Disclaimer: DC Comics/Warner Brothers owns these characters, except for Joanne Kent and Samuel Hamilton; they're mine. No profit is being made from this story. This is strictly for my own amusement.
Author's Notes: *sniffles* It's now seven years in the future, and in this final chapter, a long held secret is revealed, Jo's sixteenth birthday party gets underway without her best friend, and later, do birthday wishes come true? **Warning, a major character death!** Please read and review this final chapter. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks, everyone! :D
Chapter 17: Epilogue: Love Only Knows
The former Kent farm, the day of Jo's party:
Clark Kent glanced down from a thousand feet in the air, and knew exactly where he was. He could fly there blindfolded and without question he would know the way. It was instinct borne of not only growing up there but of also flying to Smallville countless times in the past.
After finding a secluded area to change, he slowly walked out onto Shuster's field, maybe for the last time taking in the view. Nothing had changed. The old fence still needed repair. It is as if time had stood still, but that was just it. Time never stood still. His children were all practically grown living their own lives, and he and Lois were, well, they were still the same, thank goodness.
Sighing to himself, he just wanted to take a look at the old place and remember. He welcomed his memories like an old friend. Clark failed to notice that Mr. James and his two children had approached him from behind so engrossed was he in his memories.
"Excuse me? Oh, Mr. Kent, I didn't realize it was you. Kids say hello to Mr. Kent."
"Hello," the children chorused.
Clark held out his hand. "Hello kids, Mr. James," he greeted them pleasantly then shook his hand. "It's been … what five years now?"
"Yes, it has." Mr. James watched him closely. "Is there a reason why you stopped by?"
"Well, I hope you don't mind, but I was in town for a while and wanted to drop by." He then stared out at the spot where he had landed from Krypton the first and second time all those years ago. Smiling to himself, he turned and watched the kids playing tag.
"Of course, we don't mind." He chuckled, came closer, stood beside him and looked out at the beautiful scenery. "I was raised on a farm, just a few counties over and …"
Clark interrupted him. "You grew up around here?"
"Yeah, I thought your Mom would have told you. Well, anyway, this old place always got to me and when it came on the market, my wife and I, well, we couldn't resist."
Clark was happy to hear that. "Well, I should leave."
"You don't have to run off. Stay as long as you like."
"Thanks for the offer, but I have to return to the city. My daughter's sixteenth birthday party is later today, and I cannot miss my flight."
"Of course, I understand." Mr. James held out his hand. "Take care, Mr. Kent and come back anytime."
"Thanks, and you too," Clark replied. "Bye kids!" He suddenly realized that he would not be coming back to the farm again. Not far away, he twirled into his costume and headed back to Metropolis. His family was waiting for him.
The Hamilton house, that same day:
"Hurry up, Sam. We do not want to be late!" Emil yelled up the stairs to his son. He then entered into the living room and Kitty was sitting on the sofa staring into space. "Honey, what is it? What's happened?"
She slowly handed the paper to him without saying anything.
He read the shocking headline aloud. "LEX LUTHOR HAS DIED."
"I cannot believe it," Kitty whispered, still unbelieving.
"I suppose it had to happen eventually," Emil thoughtfully said. He then read the rest of the story. "It says here that he died of natural causes."
Kitty was quiet, too quiet.
"What are you thinking?" Emil asked then took a seat beside her.
She turned her sad and brimming eyes to her husband. "He's leaving in a few weeks, and Sam needs to be told."
"Sam needs to be told what?" It was Sam coming into the living room. Emil folded the paper in half.
Frowning, he watched his parents closely. "Dad, what are you hiding? Let me see." He held out his hand.
Emil glanced at his wife. Kitty nodded to him, then she wiped a stray tear from her cheek. He handed the paper to him.
Sam read the headline. "This is great news." He then thought about what this could mean for the Kents. "The way I see it, its something else for them to celebrate today." He looked up from the paper. His parents did not look thrilled. "Am I missing something?"
"Sit down son," Emil told him.
He could tell something was wrong. "What is it?"
Kitty did not know where to start. She glanced at her husband for help.
"Sam, did you ever wonder why your blood was able to save Conner?"
"Well, yeah, at the time I thought we shared the same blood type." When his parents glanced at each other, he became worried. "There's more to it. Isn't there?"
"Yes, there is," Emil sadly replied.
Kitty spoke up then. "You and Conner have the same blood type because, Lex Luthor … he was your biological father."
Shocked to the depths of his soul, Sam stared at them eyes wide unbelieving. "How is that even possible? He's been in prison for as long as I can remember."
"He went to prison months after your father and …"
Sam stood up then. "That … person was not my Father. I have a father, and he's sitting right there."
"I know honey … but." Kitty stood up and came to him, but he moved aside.
"How could you not tell me the truth?" He suddenly had a thought. "Does Jo know about me?" The thought terrified him.
"No, I don't think she does," Kitty thoughtfully replied.
Sam thought about it for a moment. "Of course, she doesn't know about me. If she did, I know she would not want to be in the same room with me."
Kitty did manage to grab hold of him this time. "Look at me, Sam. That is not true. You know Jo is not like that. It would not matter to her, and you know it."
Sam sadly looked at his Mother's face. "I don't know anything." He then turned and walked over to the window. "It's over before it even began."
Emil went to his wife and put his arm around her shoulder.
"Honey, please do not lose hope. We will work this out somehow. I promise." Kitty was not so sure about that, but she would do her best to help them in any way possible.
Sam did not reply, but he could not help but look up at the sky. Sighing to himself, he closed his eyes and thought, I'm not good enough for her and now I know why.
A little while later at the Kent house:
The guests had yet to arrive for their daughter's sixteenth birthday party, but Lois felt that she could not keep this from her husband any longer.
"Come with me, Clark," Lois said then took his hand and brought him into the den. There, she went to a desk drawer, pulled out the newspaper and showed it to him.
Shocked, Clark read the article. "How come we did not know about this?"
"Well, knowing Perry, he probably did not want any of it to ruin Jo's party."
Clark sighed then he shook his head.
"What are you thinking?" Lois asked, worried when he had not said anything.
"Well, to be honest, my first thought was not to believe it."
Lois frowned. "Do you think Lex is faking somehow?"
"I would not put anything past Lex."
"I have to agree. Is there any way to confirm this story, not that I do not trust Perry's judgment, but it would not be the first time that Lex has fooled everyone."
Clark glanced at his watch. "I could head up there and check it out. I'll be back before the party begins."
Speaking of the party, "Do you think Kitty will tell him the truth?" Sam was like a member of the family. They loved him, and they did not want him to be unhappy.
"Probably, they have no reason to keep it from him now," Clark sadly replied.
"And Jo, she needs to know the truth about him."
"We'll tell her, after the party," Clark said, wondering how to tell her and not break her heart. He glanced at his watch again.
Lois grabbed his arm. "Clark, this day means a lot to Jo. We told her when she turned sixteen that she could go out on dates without a chaperone."
"I know what it means," Clark replied, not wanting to talk about it.
Lois sighed. "Clark, please do not do this again."
He frowned, not understanding. "Do what again?"
"Act as if she is still a child and does not know her own mind."
"I do not treat her that way."
"I know its not intentional, but we trust Jo." He squeezed his arm. "She is a smart girl and would never do anything to betray that trust."
Clark sighed, knowing what she was saying was true. "I do trust her, and I believe in her. I always have." He reached down and touched her cheek. "Now, I have to hurry. I'll call with any news."
"Thanks honey." She stood on tiptoe, kissed his cheek and then he was gone.
Lois stared at the headline again. She could not help but think about the Hamiltons and what this could mean for them. I should call them and see how they are dealing with this.
Upstairs in Jo's bedroom:
With Ipod earbuds in her ears, Jo danced around her room to one of her favorite songs. Practicing her moves for her party, she could not wait to celebrate her birthday. It was a turning point for her. She would now be allowed to go on dates to movies, dinner out, to the mall and other places with a boy alone. Giddy with the thought, she twirled in front of the mirror, her dream was still with her, taunting her and making her think about the future.
Her parents would say yet again that she was still too young to be thinking about such things, but now, she could not seem to think about anything else. "Oh, Sam," she whispered.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. It was Jason. "Oh, Sam!" He mimicked his sister.
She turned and threw a hair brush at his head. "Knock it off Jason. Not today, its my birthday."
He caught the hair brush easily. "I'm sorry squirt, but you make it too easy."
She turned back to the mirror. "What are you doing here anyway? This teen crowd is far below your superhero friends."
Jason pouted. "Jo, it is your sixteenth birthday, of course I would be here."
Jo felt contrite. "Just behave and I'll try not to drool over Sam."
"Is that even possible?" He teased her again.
"Haha, get lost, I need to finish getting dressed."
"Ok, I'll see you downstairs." He paused after he opened the door. "Have fun today, Jo. I mean that."
"Thanks, Jason." She turned and smiled at him.
He returned her smile and left her alone.
Smiling, she went over to her desk and pulled out a photo of her and Sam at her grandmother's wedding nearly seven years ago. Sighing to herself, she then remembered the beautiful wedding one that she would never forget the moment they had danced for the first time.
Jo's grandparent's wedding, seven years ago:
Would you like to dance?
Sam and Jo asked the same question at the same time.
Sam stood up and came over to her, took her hand and led her out onto the dance floor. They stood in the center of the floor with no clue what to do next. He knew he would have to lead her around the floor so he lifted her right hand and placed on his shoulder.
"Now, just follow my lead," Sam instructed.
"Ok," she said quietly.
Head down watching her feet, Jo followed him around the dance floor. She knew how not to step on his toes because she had learned a few things while dancing most of the afternoon with the men in her family.
"You're doing great," Sam told her feeling proud.
She finally looked up at him. "Thanks. Where did you learn to dance?"
"My Mom," he replied.
"Your parents are wonderful," Jo commented.
"Thanks, Jo," he said and smiled at her.
She ducked her head.
"You know, I never thanked you for saving us the other night." He waited for her to lift her head and look at him. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," she said and put her head down again.
A few minutes later, they finished their dance. They thanked each other for the dance, and a little while later they said their goodnights.
Back to the present:
A year later, their parents decided that Jo would not be staying over at the Hamilton house anymore. Their friendship had taken a dramatic turn after the wedding, and now that Jo's grandparents would be living a few miles away, that she would spend more time with them after school and on weekends.
She had her friends at school and her different after-school projects, but she managed to get through puberty without too much trouble.
Sam of course was finding it hard to adjust to not seeing Jo during his last year of school. He still saw her occasionally, but she was always so busy with her projects. She became a cheerleader in high school, which totally surprised him. He wasn't into sports at all. He was into books and learning. He realized he was a nerd, but Jo didn't seem to mind. They still talked on the phone and online, and they did see each other from time to time with homework assignments and class trips.
But now, everything was different. Sam was almost eighteen now ready to go off to college, but Jo still had another year of high school.
Jo knew about his decision to attend state university two hundred miles away. She was devastated by the news, but she didn't tell anyone how she felt. She kept it to herself and now they would only have a week before he would be gone for years. After finishing college, he may not come back to Metropolis at all.
Just stop it, Jo. He's going to college, not the moon. Buck up. Have fun today and forget about him … fat chance of that happening. She groaned at her inner voice.
A knock came at the door. It was her Mom. "Are you ready honey? Oh, sweetie, I love the dress. The color is beautiful."
"Thanks, Mom for helping me pick this one out. I truly like it."
"I do too, honey. Let's go, your friends are downstairs."
She couldn't help asking. "Is Sam here?"
Lois came into her room and took her hand. "Honey, Kitty just called. He's not coming."
Jo was shocked. "But, he promised to come."
"I'm sorry honey. He had a lot of packing to do and …"
She frowned, understanding. "No, he isn't packing. He hates me for ignoring him for years. I know he does."
"Of course he doesn't hate you."
Jo thought about it for a minute. "Mom, could you do me a favor?"
"Of course, honey, what is it?"
"Could you go there and find out what's going on? I have this feeling that something is wrong. He would never break a promise to me unless something happened. Please Mom."
Lois sighed. She knew exactly what was happening. "Alright, I'll go, but come downstairs and have some fun. It's your birthday sweetie." Lois came over to her and gave her a hug. "Try not to worry and have a good time today."
"I'll try, and thanks Mom."
Lois kissed her cheek then headed out.
"Where's Jo?" Clark asked, waiting at the bottom of the stairs for his little girl. He had returned from the prison, but Lois wasn't there. Jason told him that she had gone to see the Hamiltons.
He knew Jo wanted to make an entrance, but this was taking it a bit too far. The party was scheduled to start at two o'clock, but it was now almost two-thirty.
"There's the birthday girl!" Jason announced to the crowd of teens and young adults in the living room.
Clark came up to greet her. "You look beautiful sweetie." He realized she was distracted. "Is everything alright?" She appeared to be searching for someone. He briefly turned to face the crowd of family and friends. "Who are you looking for?"
Jo sighed her heart torn in two. "No one."
Meanwhile, at the Hamilton house:
After Lois explained to Kitty about Jo and how she looked forward to seeing Sam at the party, she then went on to say how worried she was about them and how they were taking the news about Lex.
"I'm sorry, Lois, we told Sam the truth about Lex, but he won't come out of his room, let alone come to Jo's party."
Lois sighed. "I don't know what to tell Jo."
Kitty realized the time had come. "You have to tell her the truth Lois."
Lois sighed again. "Clark and I decided to tell her after the party, but if Sam doesn't come, she'll be terribly disappointed. I know she will."
Sammy was listening to them. He stood at the top of the stairs, closed his eyes and thought of Jo and how much this day meant to her. It meant a lot to him too. He ran his hands through has hair. He wanted to be there for her. He needed to see her to say goodbye at least.
"Mrs. Kent?" Sam came down the stairs. "I'll come."
Relieved, Lois smiled at him. "Thanks Sam." She glanced at her watch. "I have to hurry back to the house. Clark should be back by now."
"Alright, Lois, we'll see you in a little while," Kitty said then escorted her out.
Kitty watched her son for a moment. "You're doing the right thing."
"I hope so," Sam replied, not sure if that were true.
Lois headed back to the house and managed to pull Clark away from the party to find out what had happened at the prison.
Clark then explained that Lex's body had been removed from prison after it had been confirmed by prison doctors that he was dead.
Lois had a million questions for him, but they had to get back to the party.
A little after three, Kitty and Sam arrived. It was in full swing with everyone eating, drinking, dancing or playing games, and having fun.
Jo tried to be the life of the party. She pasted on a happy smile, and looked at all of her friends and family still searching for the one person she wanted to see and then she spotted Sam. He came!
Jo couldn't help it. Eyes on Sam, she came over to greet them. "Thank you for coming."
"I did promise, didn't I?" Sam asked, staring at her lovely face.
"Yes you did." Jo smiled at him.
"You look beautiful, Jo." Kitty remarked, hoping to ease the tension between them.
"Thank you, Aunt Kitty. Come in, come in." Jo escorted them over to the food table. "Have some food, there's plenty."
Suddenly, a young man pulled her arm and asked for a dance and Jo felt she should at least try to have fun.
Sam watched her on the dance floor and of course he remembered the wedding all those years ago. Sighing to himself, he wanted to dance with her too, but he certainly couldn't approach her to talk about his leaving. It would ruin her mood, and she did seem to be enjoying herself. Or was she acting? Sam wasn't sure.
Suddenly, Clark and Lois came out of the kitchen with the birthday cake, candles burning with happy smiles on their faces.
After singing the birthday song, Jo took a deep breath, staring at Sam hoping to convey how she felt, and then she closed her eyes and made a wish.
Song Inspiration: Love Only Knows, Josh Groban
A/N: I'm sorry to end it there, but this story will continue. It truly got to me. I so enjoyed writing it, even the research was fun. The song that I chose for this chapter was mainly for Sam and Jo. As you may have guessed, I've already started plotting stories for them. Now, I can't say when that first chapter will happen, but you can look forward to seeing everyone from this story appear with my new favorite fandom ship 'SammyJo.' Count on it! Make sure you add me as your Favorite Author so you won't miss any updates or new stories! *smiles!*:D
Enough rambling! Tell me your thoughts about this final chapter or any other chapter! I would so, so appreciate it. To my readers who stuck with me and left a comment, thank you so much for taking this journey with me. I so enjoyed our talks and thanks to those who followed me here from my earlier story, Now or Never. Hopefully, we'll get the chance to chat about the 'sequel' to this story entitled I Still Believe. Yes, it may just happen. Stay tuned everyone. Until next time, take care and happy reading! Bye for now! :D