Chapter 19 – First Day II
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, or any of the Mythology that I am about to mangle to suit my own twisted purposes. Frankly, if you recognize it, I don’t own it. This work may not be sold or used for profit in any way shape or form for that very reason. Please don’t sue me because I don’t have anything worth taking…
Author's Note: Again, there are pieces of dialog and events in this chapter that are taken more or less directly from the premiere episode of Smallville, I can't claim credit for them, just for how I adapted them to fit my story. I hope that you all enjoy this and I as always, feedback is greatly, greatly appreciated.
-== Chapter Nineteen – First Day II ==-
The rest of Xander’s first day of school in Smallville passed with remarkably few problems. In fact, only two things of note happened. First off, his literature teacher announced that he’d be retiring just as soon as the school board found a replacement for him. It was an announcement met with apathy from the student body, as Mr. Robbins was neither particularly well-loved nor overly despised. Secondly, a trophy case was vandalized in the school.
All in all, it was a far quieter first day of school than he’d expected. The real downside Xander had encountered was the fact that his poor transcripts from Sunnydale had resulted in him only sharing two of his classes with Clark and Pete and only one with Chloe. Still, it could have been far worse.
After class, Xander walked into the Torch office, half expecting to find the whole gang gathered around. To his amazement though, only Chloe was there. “Hey, Chloe,” he said with a smile, “where is everybody?”
“Pete’s going through with trying out for the football team and Clark went to lend moral support,” she said with a half-grin.
“Let me guess, cheerleading practice and little miss ‘I’m-wearing-a-piece-of-the-meteor-that-killed-my-parents-as-a-necklace’ is on the squad?” Xander asked more than a touch sarcastically.
“Yes, but we just call her ‘Lana’, cause the other name gets a little unwieldy after a while,” Chloe replied with a grin. “I take it Miss Lang didn’t leave a good first impression?”
“Not so much, no,” he confirmed with a grimace and a shudder. “I mean, is it just me or is that necklace pretty darn twisted?”
“I can’t argue with that,” Chloe admitted. “So other than your distaste at first sight with Clark’s personal obsession, how was your first day?”
“Surprisingly dull,” he replied with a grin. “Unless you’ve got an apocalypse brewing that I don’t know about, I’d have to say it was downright boring.” He sat down at the unoccupied computer desk opposite where Chloe was sitting.
“I’m not sure what I’ve got is exactly apocalypse material, but it might be interesting,” she said with a grin. “You heard about the trophy case that got vandalized?”
“Sure did,” the Aesir answered with a smile. “You find something out about it?”
“The picture that was stolen was of the seniors on the Smallville High football team the last time we won the state championship,” she said almost happily. “That was the same year that the meteor shower happened.”
“Okay, that’s definitely interesting,” he conceded. “You found a copy of the picture, I take it?”
“Yeah, it’s right here in the year book from that year,” the blonde handed him the book and Xander glanced at the picture.
His eyes went wide. The faces staring back at him from the page were the same jocks he’d seen in his dream that morning. “Okay, this may be apocalyptic after all,” he said darkly. “Here’s the problem: I saw these guys in a dream this morning. They took another teen and set him up as a scarecrow…I’m guessing on the day of the meteor shower.”
“That’s a weird coincidence,” Chloe said with a puzzled look. She turned to the computer and typed something in. “You’re right, the first game of the season was on the day of the meteor shower, which means that if they picked a scarecrow…”
“He was still in the field when the sky started falling,” the Thunder God said grimly. “But what’s that got to do with today’s break in? And why is it important enough to trigger prophetic dreams?”
“I don’t know,” Chloe said with a frown. “But something tells me we need to find out.”
* * * * *
Clark stared off at the football field, watching the cheerleaders practice their routines, or rather watching Lana practice. Unfortunately, as he idly fantasized about leading the football team to a state championship and winning Lana’s affections in the process, Xander’s words echoed in his mind. The Kryptonian frowned. His brother’s advice hadn’t steered him wrong yet, maybe he was right about this too. Maybe pursuing Lana was a bad idea.
“Clark!” a familiar voice called from behind him, distracting him from his thoughts. He turned to find Pete standing there in a set of beat up practice pads and a yellow practice jersey. Unfortunately for the other teen, the pads and helmet were clearly too big for him. In fact, the helmet wobbled and shook badly, causing him to resemble a giant bobble head doll. Clark couldn’t help but grin at the ridiculousness of it.
“How do I look?” Pete asked.
“Like a tackle dummy,” he answered with a chuckle as he stood up. “Good luck.”
Pete took off the helmet and stared after Clark as the boy walked away. It wasn’t like his friend to pass up an opportunity to watch Lana like this. He could only wonder what was going on in the boy’s head.
* * * * *
“So what’s up with you and Pete?” Chloe asked as she and Xander researched the identity of the mystery scarecrow from his dream. “He didn’t seem particularly concerned with your chances of being picked as the scarecrow…and I’m surprised Clark didn’t warn you either.”
“Well, I don’t think I’m exactly on Pete’s good side right now,” the Aesir replied. “From his point of view, I appeared out of nowhere and you and Clark both instantly accepted me as part of the group. Then, on top of that, he’s the only one of the four of us that doesn’t know my secret,” the teen sighed. “If I were him, I’d probably be feeling jealous and threatened by me too. And why would Clark worry about me getting picked as the scarecrow? He knows what I can do.”
“Point taken,” Chloe conceded, raising an eyebrow as something occurred to her. “Are you going to let Pete in on your secret?”
“It had crossed my mind, but not yet at least,” Xander answered with another sigh. “He already resents me. I doubt that the truth about me would exactly sit well with him.”
“But eventually, you think you will?” she pressed.
“I’m not generally in the habit of keeping secrets from my friends without a really good reason,” the Thunder God said with a smile. “Presuming that Pete and I get over this and become friends, then yeah, sooner or later I’ll tell him.”
Xander looked back down at the yearbook he was perusing and his eyes widened. “Bingo!” he announced with a grin. “Here’s our boy: Jeremy Creek.” He stood and passed the yearbook over to Chloe, before pointing out the face he recognized.
“He was the scarecrow in your dream?” she asked. “You’re sure?”
“Unless he has an identical twin,” the teen said with a smile, “then yeah, I’m sure. Just another perk of a perfect memory…it covers my dreams too.”
“Alright, I’ll see what I can turn up on this guy,” she said with a smile.
“I’m gonna go find Clark,” Xander announced after a glance at the clock. “Football tryouts and cheerleading practice should both be over by now and he’s not here…which seems kind of odd.”
“Okay,” Chloe said, “I’ll let you know as soon as I find something interesting about scarecrow-boy.”
The Aesir jogged out of the school and over to the football field. To his surprise, he met Pete coming out of the stadium. “Hey Pete, how’d tryouts go?” he asked in a friendly tone.
“I made the team,” the other boy replied with a genuine smile.
“Great!” Xander replied with a smile. “Where’s Clark? I thought he was over here watching…”
“He took off before tryouts even started,” Pete’s voice sounded a little concerned. “He didn’t even really watch Lana. It seemed like something was really bugging him.”
The Thunder God sighed. “You have any idea where he might’ve gone? He was supposed to meet me at the Torch office after tryouts and never showed.”
“You could try the bridge out toward the LuthorCorp plant,” the teen replied with a grin. “That’s where he usually goes when he’s being all emo over Lana.”
“Thanks Pete,” the Aesir said with a smile of his own. “I’ll check there before I head home.”
There was an awkward pause before Pete offered, “It’s a couple of miles out…I could go with you, make sure he’s okay…”
Xander could only imagine how that must have hurt. “Thanks, but I’ll be fine. I’m sure he just wanted some time alone, no big deal.”
“Are you sure?”
Pete shrugged and turned away, walking back toward the school. As soon as his attention was elsewhere, Xander blurred off to find his brother.
* * * * *
Clark was standing on the bridge, staring down at the water below and trying unsuccessfully not to think about what Xander had said. Unfortunately, no matter how much he really wanted to deny it, he kept coming to the same undeniable conclusion. Xander was right. He’d been fixated on Lana from a distance for years now but he knew almost nothing about her, not really. Plus she had a boyfriend. A boyfriend who was popular, a football player, and moved in very different social circles than Clark did.
Short of a miracle, the odds were that he’d never have a chance with Lana. Maybe he really should open his eyes to other possibilities.
* * * * *
Lex Luthor accelerated his steel grey Porsche well past the speed limit as he pulled away from the fertilizer plant. After just one day, he already knew that this position was beneath him, an insult to his abilities. It was a fact that he was equally sure his father knew as well. There was no challenge here, no test of his abilities. It was drudge work that the likes of Dominic could have taken care of without a problem. Which begged the question of why he was really in Smallville?
He fished his cell phone out of the inside pocket of his sports coat and flipped it open. Taking his eyes off the road for a few moments, he dialed a number from memory. Looking back at the road as he rounded a curve, he suddenly dropped the phone, grabbing the steering wheel with both hands as he swerved wildly to try and avoid a long roll of metal that was lying haphazardly across the greater part of the road.
He braked frantically, going into a skid as his tires caught the metallic obstruction and exploded. That’s when he saw the teenage boy standing at the railing of the bridge. Lex’s life flashed before his eyes as he hurtled straight at the boy at a speed in excess of 90 miles an hour. He knew that not only was he about to die, but he was going to kill an innocent bystander in the process.
* * * * *
Xander slid to a stop at the edge of the bridge, spotting Clark at the railing. His brother seemed thoughtful, but not particularly depressed. Maybe the boy was seriously considering what the Aesir had suggested earlier. Of course, if Clark did finally open his eyes and see how Chloe felt about him, Xander wouldn’t stand a chance with her, but he could live with that if it made Clark happy.
A loud screech of brakes shattered the quiet, punctuated by a pair of ear-splitting bangs as a set of tires blew out. Xander and Clark looked toward the sound almost in unison. A steel grey sports car was flying straight at Clark, completely out of control. The Aesir shouted a warning before blurring into super-speed.
Xander was less than a hundred yards from his brother when he started moving. His momentary hesitation as he shouted a warning left the car mere feet from hitting Clark. The Thunder God had estimated his running speed at over 1000 miles an hour based on the run back from Hub City the day before. The car couldn’t have been moving more than a tenth of that speed.
He charged across the bridge, desperate to get Clark out of the car’s path. He was positive that getting hit by that vehicle at that speed would kill his brother instantly, no matter how strong he was. It was going to be close, he realized as he sped across the bridge. He was faster, but the car was already so close to hitting Clark. Worse yet, he had to be careful. Tackling Clark out of the way at full speed could be just as dangerous as letting the car hit him.
Xander emerged from super-speed and grabbed Clark just as the car bounced over the shallow curb, smashing into both boys full force. The impact drove them back through the metal railing and into the air. Their bodies rolled painfully over the hood of the car, smashing off the windshield as they bounced. Pain flared through his body in the wake of the impact, surprising the Aesir. Each burst of pain lasted only a second before fading, but it definitely hurt. A grim thought crystallized in his mind. If it hurt him, despite his heritage and near invulnerability to injury, how much worse must it have been for Clark? The impact would have killed a normal human almost instantly.
As they slammed into the water, Xander barely felt the shock of the sudden immersion. He immediately looked around for his brother as he sank into the murky liquid, his eyes bulging in shock as the alien looked back at him. Clark seemed as relatively unharmed as Xander was. Shaking off his shock, Xander pointed at the rapidly sinking car.
Together, the two boys swam down after the descending vehicle. Clark grabbed the roof and folded back the metal easily, allowing Xander to pull the driver, a young, bald man, free and haul him to the surface. As they scrambled to shore, the Thunder God quickly recognized that the man wasn’t breathing. “Clark!” he shouted, “Can you do CPR?”
“Yeah,” his brother shouted back, hurrying to catch up.
“Good, do it,” Xander ordered. “My control isn’t as good as yours, I might crush his chest. I’ll breathe for him.”
Working as a team, the boys got the young man’s heart beating and he woke with a cough.
* * * * *
Lex soared over the small town, really seeing the world around him for the first time in his life. It was rather ironic since he was well aware that he was, in fact, dead. One moment, he’d seen a second teen appear in front of the car as if by magic and he’d blacked out. And now he was flying over Smallville, free and unfettered by the cares of the world. It was an amazing feeling as he watched the entire world spread out around him.
Then, Lex felt a strange tugging sensation. Suddenly, he knew that his life wasn’t over just yet. He had things to do, a life to lead, a world to change. He would leave a legacy that meant something when his time finally came.
His eyes snapped open and he coughed, sputtering out the last remnants of the water in his lungs. He found himself staring into the face of the second boy, the one who had appeared so suddenly. A glance to his left revealed the first boy was there as well and both boys were soaked to the skin. “I hit you,” he said confusedly. “Both of you…”
“No,” the second boy said with a shake of his head. “I managed to knock Clark out of the way and you missed us by a few inches. We dove in after you.”
“Yeah,” the first boy agreed shakily. “If you’d hit us, I…we’d be dead.”
Lex looked from one of the teens to the other for a moment. The boy was right. He’d been going more than 90 miles an hour…no one could have survived that…could they?
* * * * *
As Jonathan raced across town to the site of the accident, his mind whirled with possibilities. The deputy hadn’t been particularly forthcoming with the details, merely telling him that Clark and Xander had been involved in some sort of accident. As he parked the truck and practically jumped out, the Sheriff met him.
“Calm down, Jonathan,” he said gently. “The boys are fine, just a little shaken up.”
“What happened, Ethan?” the farmer demanded.
“The driver was speeding and hit a roll of fencing that was in the road. He lost control of his vehicle and put it in the river,” the sheriff explained calmly. “He almost hit the boys, but Xander got them out of the way. Then, the two of them dove in after the car and rescued the driver.” Ethan chuckled. “You and Martha have done a hell of a job with those boys, Jonathan. I never would have expected what happened from a kid with Xander’s records, but he and Clark both went in without a second thought. You should be proud of them.”
Jonathan nodded, smiling tightly. Hearing what had happened lifted a big weight off the man’s shoulders. The fact that both boys were unharmed and that their respective secrets were safe set him almost at ease. As Ethan guided him down the steep embankment to where the boys sat, wrapped in red blankets, he noticed a crane hauling the car out of the river. The way the roof was peeled back left no doubts in Jonathan’s mind that only his sons could have saved the driver.
“Are you boys okay?” he asked as he approached the teens.
“We’re fine, dad,” Xander replied. Clark couldn’t seem to tear his eyes away from the car that had nearly hit them.
“Who’s the maniac that was driving that car?” Jonathan demanded, glancing at Ethan.
“That’d be me,” a bewildered looking, young, bald man who was also wrapped in a red blanket said. “Lex Luthor.” He held his hand out to Jonathan.
Jonathan looked the man over, eyeing the proffered hand as though it were a poisonous snake. “I’m Jonathan Kent, these are my sons,” he said gruffly as he helped the still rattled Clark to his feet with Xander following suit.
“Thank you both,” Lex said sincerely. “The two of you saved my life.”
“I’m sure you’d have done the same thing,” Xander said dismissively, despite the fact he was fairly sure that the man wouldn’t have known what a selfless act was if one smacked him in the face.
As the Kent family began walking away, Lex grabbed on to Jonathan.
“You have two very extraordinary boys there, Mr. Kent,” he said. “If there’s anything I can do to repay you…”
Jonathan looked him in the eye with a grim expression, before saying simply, “Drive slower.”
Lex watched the trio climb the embankment, supporting one another. He knew that he fully deserved the man’s reaction. After all, by all rights, that accident should have killed both of his sons.
* * * * *
As soon as his sons were in the truck and they were away from the accident site, Jonathan spoke up, “Is that what really happened? Are you boys really okay?”
Xander waited a moment to see if his brother was going to answer. The younger boy had barely spoken since Lex woke up. He suppressed a sigh of relief as Clark spoke, “It just happened so fast…I froze.” Clark swallowed. “Then suddenly Xander was there…but the car hit us both.”
“I was too far away when I saw what was happening,” the Aesir explained. “As fast as I am, I wasn’t fast enough to get Clark out of the way. I tried, but we both still got hit.” The Thunder God swallowed. “And it hurt, a lot.”
Clark nodded. “I felt bruised all over, like I did after that demon slammed me into the ground, but it’s faded away already.”
“I thought you were dead, Clark,” Xander admitted in a pained voice. “You should have been dead… No matter how strong you are, an impact like that…” He looked at his brother, “Whatever planet you’re from, you guys are as hard to injure as I am. There’s no other explanation for it.”
The Kryptonian nodded again, “I don’t think I heal quite as fast though. I’m still sore in places.”
“I’m just glad you’re both okay,” Jonathan said finally. “It’s just one more thing I have to be thankful for.” He paused for a moment. “Do you think you might have somehow protected Clark from being seriously hurt, Xander?”
“No way,” the teen said flatly. “I honestly believed he was going to die. The one thing I’ve learned about my abilities is that if I don’t believe I can do something, I can’t do it,” he smiled at Clark. “That was all Clark back there.”