Title: Food Allergy (Nourishment: Second Helpings 8)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
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Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission!
Category: Story, Clark POV
Spoilers: Moving beyond season 3 as it should have been done
Rating: T (suitable for older teens or above due to sexual content)
Pairing: Clark/Lex established relationship, Pete/Lana implied
Summary: Unexpected reaction
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me. Smallville is the property of Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Tollin-Robbins Productions, and Warner Bros. Television, and based upon characters originally created by Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster. This story is just for the entertainment of my online friends and myself, not for any profit.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: "The Nourishment Series", which precedes this series, can be found elsewhere on this archive - Enjoy!
AUTHOR'S ADDENDUM: The show as we knew it no longer exists--we've gotta write it ourselves now.
DEDICATION: For Tiff, who knows all of the secrets.
COPYRIGHT: (C) Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, September 29, 2005, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.
Lex can never know. I was so sure that I wanted to tell him everything, and now I'm sure that I can't. I love him so much, but I'm terrified of him leaving me were he to find out what I am.
It's all Pete's fault. He called me the other day to set up a time to meet when he brought Lana back to town. She's officially changing schools so she can stay near him, and needed the last of her records from Smallville High. It's the last Friday before school starts, therefore they thought they'd come visit today while the staff was taking care of last-minute paperwork.
But then he dropped the bombshell. "I wanted to warn you, man..."
"Warn me of what?
It took him a moment to answer, such a long moment that I pulled my phone away from my ear to look and make sure we were still connected. "Um, I told her."
Without further explanation, I suspected at once what he was talking about, but I took the bait and asked the question I should have swallowed back down. "Told her what?"
I slammed my eyes shut so I wouldn't set the kitchen table on fire and tried not to scream into the phone at him. "What happened?" I asked as calmly as possible.
I must not have sounded very calm, because the next words out of his mouth were, "It was an accident. Please don't kill me."
"What did you do?"
This prompted another long pause. Eventually he started to explain. "Well, Lana and I were sorta having a good time..."
"Do I really need to hear about you fucking the girl I used to like?"
"No, no, no! Nothing like that! I promised her we'd wait. Well, I have to confess that we may not do the deed, but I've gotten her to do everything but."
"Is there a point in there somewhere?"
"...and I'd just gotten finished taking her over the rainbow... I don't think she'd ever gotten there before, not even by herself. So this was like her first time, right? And I'm all proud of myself, and I start bragging."
"Pete! That isn't like you at all!" Giving him a hard time seemed the only way to prevent myself from running to Wichita and beating him over the head with his phone to get out the rest of his story, or just on general principles.
"And I say 'I guess Clark isn't the only one with amazing powers'." He fell silent again.
"You said that."
"After you made Lana come for the first time."
"Um, yeah. I'm sorry, man. I didn't want to rub your nose in it..."
Pausing to scrub my hand down my face, I then brought the phone back to my ear. "Trust me: that's not important here. How did she react? What did she say to that?"
"She said, 'What?', and I couldn't help myself. I started babbling..."
I was starting to get angry at my old friend. "Imagine that. You babbling..."
"I ended up promising her that you'd show her what I was talking about."
"You did, did you?"
"I mentioned the speed, and the strength, and probably the x-ray thing. I couldn't stop myself!" There was another long pause as reality settled on both of us. "I guess you could also break me in little pieces as a demonstration."
"Don't think it's not crossing my mind."
"I am really sorry, Clark, but I knew I was going to spill the beans to somebody someday. Is it at least a little better since it's somebody you trust?"
"Stop trying to justify it, Pete. You just want me to save your butt. Tell me--were you thinking at all with the full-sized head?"
"Lana keeps asking me questions now, man. You've gotta help me before I end up telling her even more that you don't want her to know!"
"Is she as big a blabbermouth as you are?"
My needling finally hit home. "Please, Clark. I promise I'll come along and back you up all the way. I won't even let her tell anybody else what color your eyes are. Just this once. I'm begging you..."
It was my turn to leave him hanging in silence. "Okay," I finally conceded. "I'll see if I can put a lid on the damage you've already done."
"Thanks, man!" Pete crowed. "I'll owe you for the rest of my life!"
Mentally, I added the debit to his column of favors, paying no attention to the discrepancy of our mutual accounts.
At the appointed time, I sat in the loft, flipping a football end to end. The crunch of tires on the gravel in the drive came to my ears, and I tried not to rehearse a lame speech. I didn't really want to tell her everything, but she is still pretty important to me--maybe I could use it as a dry run for my confession to Lex.
Soon Pete burst through the barn doors, dragging her by the hand up the stairs. "Come on! He said he'd be up here."
I called down a greeting. "Hey, Pete!" His little peanut head popped up into view, followed by that of Lana, all shiny black hair held back with a pink band. "I see you brought the ol' ball and chain!"
Despite her slight eyeroll, she zeroed in on me like I had a magnet in my stomach, and threw her arms around my middle. "Hi, Clark. It's good to see you," she assured me, her voice warm yet careful.
It felt nice to get a friendly hug from her, especially since, at that angle, she couldn't see me sniff her strawberry-scented hair just a little. "How have you been?" I asked, letting her go and pushing her gently back to Pete.
"Good. Pete's been treating me like a queen..." She tossed this last off so lightly that I wondered if she might have just assumed she deserved it, or if it were meant as a dig at me.
Changing the subject as smoothly as I could, which was about as smooth as a just-plowed cornfield, I said, "Speaking of whom, he said you'd been talking about me?"
Pete held himself back, probably afraid of me crushing him like a bug. However, he spoke up to hint broadly, "Yeah--we were hoping you could tell us about that thing you and I talked about a couple of years ago..."
I shot him a quick scowl--he had been around after I'd blown up the ship, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't that concrete a "thing" he had in mind. "Anything in particular?" I stalled, trying like hell to channel Lex's cool obfuscation style.
"Pete said something about you having special powers? I'm assuming he wasn't talking about your dirt bike..."
Figuring it was time to show rather than tell, I moved over to the loft window. "No, Lana, he wasn't..." Before she could say another word, I flung one leg over the edge of the wall and stepped right out into thin air.
Her scream of "Noooooo!" followed me as I fell and landed neatly on my feet on the ground below. She looked down at me with bulging eyes as I waved, unharmed, up at her.
"Hey, Clark!" Pete called, waving the football I'd discarded. "Go long!"
He gave it a nice spiral, so I sped out to snatch it before it fell, then hopped back up to the loft at the same speed, so that it was barely gone before it had returned.
Lana looked a little pale after my leap out the window, and eyed me suspiciously. "What else can you do?" she asked, obviously not really sure she wanted an answer.
Pete piped up. "Here's a fun one! What have I got in my pockets?"
As Lana quirked a puzzled eyebrow, I x-rayed his pants very carefully. "Thirty-three cents and... you're driving your mom's 'Vette? Sweet!"
He dug into each pocket in turn, producing the keys with the custom tag, a quarter, a nickel, and three pennies. "I almost forgot!" he exclaimed, bending down to pull a blade of hay from under his shoe. "Can I get a light here?" he asked with a grin, holding the fiber steady at arm's length.
Obligingly, I focused my gaze on the tip of the grass, setting it neatly ablaze in his hand.
Lana gave me a fearful glance as soon as Pete had shaken out the flame and stomped it to ash on the floor. "W-wait," she stammered. "How can you do all this? How long have you had this power? Were you affected by the meteor rocks, too?"
Before I had a chance to say it gently, Pete piped up, "No! He came here with them!"
She turned angry eyes on him. "What?"
"The meteor shower happened when his spaceship fell to earth!" He seemed far too proud of this fact to make me comfortable.
"Excuse me?" she replied, barely giving me a glance.
Pete continued in his oblivious glee. "Yeah! Can you believe it? My best friend is an alien from outer space!"
Spinning shakily on her toe, she turned to me, but fearfully kept her distance. "You're an alien?"
I couldn't speak.
"From outer space?"
Before I could explain, Pete sidled up next to her and flung an arm around her shoulders. She startled visibly at his touch, which made me shudder, as well. "Yeah! Isn't it cool?"
She fixed me with a terrified stare. "You guys aren't kidding, are you?"
Pete may have a big mouth, but I decided I just couldn't keep secrets from her anymore. "No," I finally choked out. "He's telling the truth. I am an alien."
"How could you lie to me all these years?" she hissed, baring her teeth like a mad dog. "How did you think I'd take this?"
Pete dropped his arm in disappointment. "You don't think this is the most amazing thing in the world?"
"No!" she nearly shrieked. "I thought you were keeping some kind of secret from me, but this? This is just too much..." Freed from Pete's grasp, she began backing away from both of us.
"I've tried to help people with my abilities..." I offered limply.
"By doing what? Stealing from them and running away so fast they couldn't see you? Setting their houses on fire? Looking at their naked bodies through their clothes???" she accused wildly. "You've got a lot to atone for, you freak! You came down and brought the meteors from your planet! You hurt all of those people," she wrapped up her tirade as we watched her helplessly, "and you killed my parents!!!"
The details may have been murky, but she was right. Inadvertently, through no fault of my own, I was responsible for much more harm than I had ever prevented. There was no apology I could give her that was even one-tenth sufficient to the task. "I don't know what to say, Lana. I'm still your friend whom you've known for years..."
"Oh, like I really knew you!" she snarled. "Just leave me alone, Clark Kent! I never want you to speak to me again! Do you hear me? Take me home, Pete!" She was halfway down the loft steps before Pete and I exchanged a look.
"I'll talk to her," he tried to reassure me.
"I bet you will. That's what got us into this mess!"
Her demanding voice vaulted up to where we stood. "I'm waiting! Let's get out of here!"
He shook my hand solemnly. "I'm sorry, man. I'll call you in a few days."
And with that, they were gone.
I trust Pete--well, I trusted him with my secret, and look where that got me. However, he may be able to reconstruct some kind of peace between Lana and me.
But there went my plans to come clean with Lex. I was wrong for not telling him sooner, but how could I possibly do it now? If I confessed everything, he'd hate me for not telling him before, even if he could accept me for what I am. If he were to take the news badly, I'd never be able to live with myself for the years of secrecy between us. However, perhaps that means that my keeping him in the dark is completely justified... I don't think I'd survive were he to reject me at this point in our relationship.
It's decided, then. Lex can never know my true origins--what I really am. Even if it does us more harm in the future, telling him the truth now would be far too little too late. May God, and Lex, forgive me.
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