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Thunder over Smallville: Book One

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Thunder over Smallville". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Sequel to An Echo of Thunder and Story #2 in the Thunder over Smallville series. Xander Harris arrives in Smallville to start his new life. How will the presence of a Thunder God affect life in this not-so-sleepy Kansas town?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Smallville > Xander-Centered
DC Universe > General
anotherlostsoulFR1551240,4331681326690,93114 Nov 0615 Feb 08No

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR18

Chapter 47 – Metamorphosis II

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, the larger DC comics universe that I am drawing elements from, 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…

-== Chapter Forty-Seven – Metamorphosis II ==-

Xander was utterly shocked as they pulled up to the farmer’s market and began to unload the produce they had brought to sell. Despite the fact that Smallville was primarily a farming community, he was surprised by the sheer number of people that had shown up sell produce and other things. It reminded him of a cross between the flea markets and garage sales that his birth mother used to drag him to, before she and Tony completely fell into the bottle, and a grocery market’s produce section. On top of that the marketplace was already busy and bustling despite the relatively early hour.

As he jumped out of the back of the truck, having insisted that Clark ride in the cab with their mom and dad, he couldn’t help but look around in near awe. “Is everyone in Smallville here?” he asked incredulously as Jonathan and Clark came back to help unload the truck.

“By the end of the day most of the town will have been here at one point or another,” Jonathan answered with a slight grin at Xander’s reaction. “Keep in mind that every farm between here and Granville is probably here too, not just the ones in and around town.”

“I just… it’s really not at all what I expected,” the Aesir admitted quickly as he scooped up a normal human sized armload of produce crates.

The three men worked quickly to unload the truck and get the Kent Organic Produce booth set up and running. It seemed to Xander that they spent most of the morning loading and unloading produce as they shuffled crates of homegrown vegetables from their truck to the booth and then helped customers load up their purchases. By lunchtime, however, most of the produce had been sold and loaded, leaving the family an opportunity to peruse the rest of the market.

The two young men were ambling around the marketplace when they heard a familiar male voice say, “Hey Clark, Xan. You two seen Chloe or the hot new girls she’s hanging with today?” Pete asked he stepped up to the brothers with a broad smile.

“You mean Midori?” Clark asked with a raised eyebrow. “No, we didn’t even know they were here…”

“Not just Midori,” the other boy countered without hesitating. “I overheard Sean Kelvin saying that there’s this cute redhead with them that nobody’s ever seen before.”

The two brothers exchanged a quick glance as they searched for a plausible explanation for how one of Xander’s friends from Sunnydale was spending a weekend in Smallville. Seizing on the obvious choice, Xander spoke up, “That would be Willow. She’s an old friend of mine from back in Sunny-D. Her parents had to come to Metropolis on business and they brought her along to visit.”

“Man, Xander,” Pete replied with a look of envy, “Are all of your female friends hot?”

“Uh, yeah, pretty much,” he answered with a smirk as Chloe, Midori, and Willow seemed to appear almost magically out of the crowd. “And there they are now…”

“How are you this morning?” Clark asked the girls as they approached, his eyes never really leaving Midori.

“We’re fine,” Midori said with a half-grin as she met Clark’s eyes. “How’d things go with your unexpected visitor last night, Xan?”

“Better than I thought it would,” he admitted vaguely before shifting to introduction mode. “Midori, you remember Pete, right?”

“Hey Pete,” she acknowledged with a warm smile.

“Pete, this is Willow Rosenberg, pretty much my best-friend since the first day of kindergarten,” the Aesir put on his best goofy grin as he introduced the girl. “Will, this is Pete Ross, an old friend of Clark and Chloe’s and occasional tackle-dummy for the Smallville High School football team.”

“Ex-tackle-dummy,” Pete corrected with a roll of his eyes. “Thanks to Xander having to step in and save me from ending up this year’s scarecrow, I officially quit the football team yesterday.”

“Nice to meet you, Pete,” Willow said with a smile.

A sudden tension pervaded the air as Midori seemed to notice something, or someone, approaching. “Damn,” she said softly, her voice going brittle. “I didn’t expect to see him here.” Her smile took on a slightly forced cast as the entire group turned to see who she was looking at.

Lex Luthor was walking toward them with a casual, genuine seeming smile on his face. His eyes took in the group of teens in a single glance before settling on Midori, at which point his smile seemed to harden almost imperceptibly. “I guess it really is a small world after all. I didn’t realize you were in Smallville, Midori. I thought you’d be safely ensconced in one of the East Coast’s finest boarding schools by now. I guess your parents couldn’t find one that would take you.”

“Lex,” she greeted him with obviously faked enthusiasm. “Out slumming with the commoners I see. Tut, tut… now what would dear old Lionel think if he knew…”

Ignoring the caustic remark, Lex turned to Willow. Xander could have sworn that he saw a momentary flash of surprised recognition cross his face before vanishing behind his smile. “I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure of meeting before,” he said warmly, offering the redhead his hand. “Lex Luthor.”

“Willow Rosenberg,” she responded with a soft, warm smile of her own.

This time there was an obvious look of recognition on Lex’s face. “You’re Ira and Sheila Rosenberg’s daughter,” he said, his smile unwavering. “I wasn’t aware that they brought you with them. They’re meeting with my father in the morning. He’s intrigued with some of their research and hopes to lure them to Metropolis to work for him.”

“Oh?” Willow seemed surprised and dismayed by the revelation. “I thought they were meeting with the head of the Summerholt Institute.”

“Summerholt is funded almost entirely by LuthorCorp and my father chairs their board of directors,” Lex explained as he glanced from Willow to Xander and back. “I take it you’re a friend of Xander’s?”

“How’d you guess?” Clark asked noticing that Xander’s attention had drifted elsewhere. He followed his brother’s line of sight to see Whitney heading toward a booth where Lana was talking to Greg Arkin. The quarterback had a decidedly angry look on his face and Clark almost sighed aloud. Only Xander and his knack for spotting trouble could have picked up on that impending disaster.

Before anyone could say anything else, Xander spoke up. “Excuse me for a minute,” he said distractedly. “It seems like Whitney didn’t learn his lesson about bullying people on Friday after all. I need to go give him a refresher course.”

As he stalked away toward the brewing disturbance, he heard Chloe call his name and turned to look at her.

“Don’t hurt him,” she warned with a half-smile. “He is the star quarterback after all, it’s not his fault he’s a slow learner.”

The Aesir snorted amusedly and turned back to the task at hand, moving calmly toward the other teens with a pleasant smile on his face.

“Lana,” he heard Whitney say, his voice dripping sincerity, “Nell was looking for you.” The jock watched Lana walk away before rounding on Greg with a furious look on his face. “I don’t know how you got away on Friday night, freak,” the athlete spat in a low, angry tone, “but it seems you didn’t learn your lesson bug-boy. You stay the hell away from Lana. She’s mine.”

To the Thunder God’s surprise, the other boy didn’t back down or pull away from the football player. Instead, Greg got up in Whitney’s face with a grim smile. “What’s the matter, Whitney? Are you afraid of a little competition?”

The bold response from the once meek teen seemed to take Whitney by surprise, leaving Xander an opening to diffuse the situation. Or at least to shift the focus away from Greg and allow him a way out of the beating that the jock seemed prepared to deal out. “Hey Whitney,” the teenaged deity interrupted snidely, “how’d that trip to see the Wizard work out for you? Did he have a brain lying around that was small enough to fit inside that that Neanderthal skull of yours?”

The quarterback whirled on Xander and froze on seeing who was insulting him. “What’s your problem, Kent?” he barked angrily.

The jovial smile on the young god’s face carried just a tiny hint of predatory joy, almost like a happy cat playing with a mouse that it planned to eventually kill and eat. Eventually being the keyword. “I don’t like bullies, Fordman,” his voice was pleasant and conversational as he spoke. “I thought I had made that pretty clear when we had our little discussion in the parking lot Friday afternoon, and yet, here you are, bullying someone else.” He took a casual step closer to the jock and watched Whitney’s self-confidence erode. “So why don’t you do the smart thing? Turn around and go home before you cross a line that I can’t ignore.”

Whitney eyed the other young man closely and tried desperately to figure out why Xander was so damn intimidating at moments like these. It certainly wasn’t like he was the huge, hulking behemoth that that Thor guy who strung them up like scarecrows had been or anything, but there was just something in his eyes and the way he stood. He had an air of supreme self-confidence that promised that he would rip someone a new ass in a fight and then put his boot in it. It was a look that said that he would not back down and would not hesitate to answer violence with violence. It also screamed out that he was probably a lot better at doing violence than anyone his age had any right to be.

As the football player turned and stalked away angrily through the crowd, the tension in the air seemed to melt. “See, even blind monkeys occasionally find bananas,” he remarked at Whitney’s back, “though in his case ape might be more appropriate.”

“I could have handled him,” Greg said coldly as Xander turned toward him.

“I don’t doubt that you could have,” the other teen replied with a grin, “but if you’d ended up hitting him than the BS he’s so full of would have splattered all over the place… and really, who wants to see anyone have to clean that up?” More than a few people who’d been watching the confrontation chuckled at that comment.

The deity’s broad smile never wavered as he turned to rejoin the others. He almost didn’t even notice the way that the feeling of Greg staring at his back made his skin want to crawl.

* * * * *

Lex watched with a puzzled expression as Xander strode purposefully toward another trio of teens that he didn’t recognize. The preliminary picture that the youth’s school and police records had painted was one of a troubled kid who constantly at the edge of things he shouldn’t be involved in. It didn’t seem that he necessarily sought trouble out – it was more like it just always seemed to find him, which was why he was never charged with anything. Unfortunately, Lex was now getting the distinct impression that assumption wasn’t entirely accurate.

“Is that a friend of Xander’s?” he asked, trying to make sense of the brief exchange that preceded the youth’s departure.

“Which one: Lana, Whitney, or Greg?” Chloe countered, keeping her attention on Xander.

Her attention was so focused on Xander that it left Lex feeling like she and the others were waiting to see if they would need to get involved as well. The idea sent a bizarre mental image of Chloe, Midori, Willow, and Clark dragging an irate Xander away from the beaten and bloody form of the aggressive looking blonde teen.

“Not really,” Clark answered when no one else saw fit to explain the relationships between Xander and the other group. “Xander took offense to something that Whitney and his friends tried to do on Friday and he thinks Lana is shallow and overly morbid. He has a couple of classes with Greg, but I don’t think they’re necessarily friends.”

“So he’s going to facedown Smallville’s star quarterback and risk getting into a fight, just to stop the jock from bullying a classmate that isn’t even really a friend of his?” Lex couldn’t keep the incredulity out of his voice as he pieced the situation together. It seemed as if Xander had some kind of a hero complex, which completely flew in the face of what his official records indicated.

“That’s Xan in a nutshell,” Willow said with no small amount of affection in her voice. “He’s never one to stand by and let someone get hurt or bullied or pushed around if he can do something about it. He got beat up more than a few times in grade school standing up to bullies on behalf of his friends.”

“There won’t be a fight though,” Pete said with a cocky grin, forgetting that he was talking to Lex Luthor for a moment. “He sent Whitney and four of his buddies packing on Friday without even throwing a single punch. Boy was downright scary! Whitney’ll back off when Xan steps up.”

The people around the football player, his would-be victim and Xander all seemed to be almost oblivious to what was going on until Xander spoke. After that they, like Lex, watched the remainder of the confrontation with an almost morbid fascination. It was like watching a train-wreck in slow motion, no matter how nasty you expected the outcome to ultimately be, you just couldn’t look away. Objectively, Lex was surprised to realize that the blonde athlete wasn’t really any bigger than Xander once the dark-haired boy shed his casual slouch. The moment the confrontation began, it was like a switch flipped and the goofy, not quite clownish façade the boy wore like a mask vanished.

Pete was right, Lex decided quickly. It was scary to see the shift in his demeanor and for a moment Lex found himself sincerely hoping he never had to facedown that aspect of Xander’s personality. It was even scarier to see how quickly his more intimidating persona vanished when Whitney walked away. By the time the older of the Kent brothers rejoined Lex and his friends; he was wearing his usual goofy smile and seemed completely at ease with what had happened.

“Nice work, Xan,” Pete commented quickly. “I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching that jerk tuck his tail between his legs and run away.”

“The Wizard of Oz reference was a particularly nice touch,” Midori added with a wicked grin, “though I’m kind of surprised the moron got it.”

“Well, mockery is a language that even someone suffering from such a severe testosterone induced lobotomy tends to understand,” the Thunder God explained sagely.

“I hate to cut this short, Xan,” Clark interrupted with a chuckle, “but we need to get going too. Mom and Dad are probably ready to head out and we’ve got a few deliveries to make after we get back to the farm.”

“We’ll meet you guys back at the farm later,” Willow said quickly. “I think I’m going to stick around here with Chloe and Midori for a while longer.”

Nodding his acknowledge to the girls, Xander fixed him with an entirely genuine smile. “Nice to see you again, Lex,” he said warmly.

Lex stifled a frown as all of the teens except Pete and Midori echoed the general sentiment and the group around him seemed dissipate around him in the wake of the Kent brothers’ departure. The more he learned about the two young men who saved his life, the more certain he became that nothing about them was what it appeared to be. Even the seemingly innocuous facts of their association with that pain in the ass Satou girl or the daughter of the very researchers his father seemed so interested in hiring stretched the bounds of coincidence.

They were almost as big a mystery as the identities of the three super-heroes who had appeared in LA or exactly what had happened on the bridge the day of his accident. And if there was one thing that Lex hated more than his father, it was a mystery that he couldn’t solve.

* * * * *

Greg watched as the being masquerading as a teenaged human strolled casually back towards his friends. Even while wearing his human shape, his psychic senses had clearly registered that there were only three human beings among Xander’s little group of friends: Lex Luthor, Pete Ross, and the little Japanese girl whose name he didn’t know. For a long moment, he considered a change of plan. One of the meddler’s three female friends might be an even more appropriate choice of Queens after all… He quickly dismissed the idea, however. Moving on one of them would only serve to attract even more attention to him than removing Whitney would. At least now he had faces to go with the slew of non-human presences he’d felt moving around the market.

Abruptly, Greg froze as he realized something that sent a jolt of fear through him. Clark Kent was completely invisible to his psychic awareness. Such a thing should have been completely impossible. Even the most powerful magicians and psychics on the planet would at least leave hazy, indistinct impressions in his awareness, no matter how well they shielded themselves and yet Clark simply wasn’t there at all. Whatever sort of non-human his one-time friend really was, his species had apparently evolved the perfect camouflage against psychic predation. It caused Greg to smile evilly. When the time came he would enjoy the challenge of hunting prey that could effectively hide from him. It would be fun.

Turning, he slipped through the crowd and was largely ignored by the majority of passers-by. He was just one more non-descript teenage face in the crowd. Most of them never even really noticed as they unconsciously cleared a path for him. Their subconscious minds recognized the predator among them, even if they never became fully aware of it. In no time at all he spotted his future Queen having a rather heated discussion with his biggest obstacle: her pain in the ass, soon-to-be-dead boyfriend. He watched as they parted unhappily with Lana leaving in the company of her Aunt while the ignorant jock stared impotently after her.

He almost felt sorry for the fact that Whitney’s last words to Lana were going to have been spoken in anger. Or rather, he might have felt sorry for him if sympathy and compassion weren’t ideas that were completely alien to the being that he had become. Seeing that Lana wasn’t traveling with his target gave Greg an idea. While he would have thoroughly enjoyed killing and devouring the arrogant quarterback, an accidental death seemed far more appropriate and far less suspicious.

Smiling pleasantly, he moved away from the farmer’s market, making sure not to attract unnecessary attention to himself. In no time he was standing alone at the road back into Smallville. Flexing his legs deeply, he used his super-human strength to hurl himself up and away from where he stood in a leap that would have made even the best jumpers in the insect kingdom jealous. He landed softly a couple of miles from the market and positioned himself carefully in a tree where he could watch the approaching traffic without being seen. It was the perfect place for an ambush.

Now he just had to wait for his prey.

* * * * *

Whitney was fuming angrily as he drove his sleek, new, black pick-up back toward home. He had plenty of reason to be angry, or at least he felt like he did. First, that freak Arkin had been hitting on his girl, which had pissed him off royally, especially since he’d already warned the guy what would happen if he didn’t leave Lana alone. Then, Xander Kent had to show up and complicate things. That guy seriously needed to learn to mind his own damn business. Finally, to top things off, he’d had a fight with Lana, who was still pissed at him for losing her favorite necklace. As if it was his fault that some huge asshole with a stun gun set them up as scarecrows and lost the necklace in the process!

Sometimes he wondered if it was really worth all the trouble it took to date Lana. If she wasn’t the hottest looking girl at Smallville High, he wouldn’t even have given her a second glance, especially since she was a freshman and he was a senior. Honestly, the girl didn’t have a clue how good she really had it. He was the starting quarterback for the football team for fuck’s sake! He could snap his fingers and have any girl he wanted, including the one’s that weren’t exactly well known for holding out on a guy sexually the way Lana did. The only problem was that Lana was the girl he wanted and he wanted her bad enough to endure cold showers and sexual frustration until he could convince her to give in and have sex with him.

Not that he was going to admit that little fact to anyone else. Of course, it helped that all of the guys on the team just assumed that she was already putting out. Most of them figured Lana for an easy lay and he was content not to correct that little misconception since it only added to his reputation and kept them from giving him shit about dating someone three years younger then he was. Since they were smart enough to keep their mouths shut about their assumptions around Lana, he figured it wouldn’t hurt anyone. And it wasn’t like he actually lied about it; he just didn’t stop them from jumping to the wrong conclusions.

The real problem was that none of that would really make a damn bit of difference if she kept riding his ass about that lost necklace. He would be seriously pissed off if that tiny piece of meteor rock undid all the work he’d done toward getting into her pants. The fact that it had come from the meteor that had killed her parents aside; it was still just a worthless chunk of green meteor crystal hanging from a little gold chain. You almost couldn’t take a piss in Smallville without hitting a meteor rock that either killed somebody or destroyed something, why was it such a big fucking deal?

That thought brought the young man up short. If he couldn’t find the original necklace, which seemed increasingly doubtful, maybe he could have another one made without her knowing the difference. The meteor rock was certainly common enough, how expensive could it possibly be?

A sudden motion in front of him derailed the teenager’s train of thought. A split-second later, everything went to hell as a man-sized, blackish-green… thing slammed down onto the hood of his truck. It smashed down with the force of a wrecking ball, buckling the metal and crushing the front end of the vehicle into the asphalt of the road. The truck’s momentum sent it into a flip, the bed of the vehicle seeming to explode into the air and causing the vehicle to somersault violently. It crashed back into the ground with tremendous force.

The last thing Whitney saw before everything went black was the road rushing up to meet the windshield.

* * * * *

Greg watched with malicious glee as the pick-up slid several dozen yards along the roadway on its roof, sending sparks and debris flying everywhere. The smell of gasoline permeated the air, the ‘accident’ having clearly ruptured a fuel line if not the actual gas tank itself. The destruction his landing had wreaked was truly magnificent. Small, burning bits of the truck littered the damage path, insuring that if Whitney wasn’t dead yet, he soon would be. All it would take was the stream of gasoline flowing from the wreck to reach one of those open flames and they’d be identifying Whitney from his dental records.

Sensing more people approaching, Greg leapt back into the trees. His dark colored carapace made him almost unnoticeable among the still green foliage and allowed him to observe the scene without being seen. There was a squeal of protesting brakes as an older, red pick-up truck screeched to a halt at the sight of the carnage. A low, involuntary chittering sound of anger escaped from as he recognized the vehicle’s occupants were the Kent Family. He could only hope that Whitney’s truck was smashed up enough to make rescuing the athlete impossible.

He watched as Clark vaulted out of the bed of his family’s truck without a moment’s hesitation and literally blurred over to the wreck in a movement so fast that human eyes couldn’t have followed it. The teen wrenched the door off the mangled vehicle in a single motion, ripped the seatbelt free and pulled Whitney from the burning hulk in moments. Encumbered with the unconscious quarterback, his movements slowed down to more human speeds as he moved a short distance from the imminent explosion.

Greg smiled inwardly as he heard Xander shout for his brother to get down. There was simply no way they could get far enough away from the truck to be safe now. Sure enough, he was right. Clark hunched down and put himself between the remains of the truck and Whitney, shielding the injured boy in what Greg was sure would be a useless, if noble, gesture as a powerful explosion ripped through the area.

His joyful chittering turned once more to an angry sound as the fireball faded to reveal a slightly singed Clark and a still breathing Whitney. Whatever the creature called Clark Kent was, it was clearly powerful enough to be particularly dangerous, especially since it was invisible to his hunting senses. Greg fell silent quickly on seeing that Clark’s brother was staring directly at the tree where he was hiding. It was as though Xander knew something was in the treetop, even though he couldn’t actually see Greg himself.

He would have to eliminate the Kent brothers, he decided quickly. No matter how dangerous they were. Any other option was simply too risky.

* * * * *

Xander suppressed a slight sigh at the silence that pervaded the pick-up’s relatively small cab. The vehicle could seat three full-grown adults, barely, but not four, meaning that he or Clark had to sit in the bed of the truck. This time, however, Clark had claimed the back, leaving him to share the cab with his adopted parents. Unfortunately, while everything that had happened yesterday had been dealt with and was more or less forgiven, the events clearly weren’t yet forgotten. So far neither Xander nor his parents had managed to find something to say that would dispel the awkward silence and it seemed as thought it might be a long ride home as a result.

Then they saw it: the burning wreckage of a very severe car accident.

“That’s Whitney’s truck,” the Aesir declared, recognizing the vehicle as his father slammed on the brakes and sent their own truck into a short, skidding stop.

By the time the Thunder God got the car door open and emerged from the cab, Clark was already moving. Of everyone present, only Xander could really watch what happened as his brother ran to the wreck, intent on saving the football player’s life. For a few moments, the barest blink of an eye at normal speed, it looked as if they might get clear of the impending explosion.

Xander felt, rather than saw, the momentary electrical spark that ignited the gasoline and shouted, “Clark! Get down!” An instant later the world seemed to be on fire as a great ball of flames erupted and engulfed the wrecked vehicle along with the Kryptonian and the quarterback.

For one heart-stopping second, Xander was afraid. He was terrified that Clark couldn’t withstand the force of the blast or that the flames could harm his brother. They still weren’t really aware of the extents of Clark’s abilities any more than they knew for certain exactly what Xander was capable of. When the blast dissipated and Clark stood up mostly unharmed, though his clothes looked a bit worse for wear, the Aesir let out a relieved breath that he hadn’t realized he was holding.

And that was when he heard it. The angry chittering sound was too soft for most people to hear it over the roar of still burning fire and the popping of over-heated metal trying to cool, but he caught it. It was a sound that he’d heard in more than one of his nightmares after the giant preying mantis had tried to mate with him and was something he wasn’t like to ever forget. His eyes snapped toward the source of the sound, but there was nothing to be seen there. Or at least he didn’t think there was, unless whatever made the noise had really good camouflage.

His adopted father’s harsh demand for him to call 911 distracted Xander or an instant and a quick, faint rustling sound told him that whatever had been there was definitely gone now. Snapping open his phone, he quickly called for help, unable to escape the feeling that something very, very bad was going on in Smallville and that this had been no accident.

* * * * *

Chloe could practically feel the tension and anxiety radiating off Willow as they finally made their way through the market and back towards her car. The girl had been quietly freaking out ever since their brief encounter with Lex Luthor and she certainly might have a good reason. “You know, Metropolis really isn’t that bad of a place to live,” she suggested, hoping to ease the girl’s anxieties. “It’s bound to be safer than the Hellmouth and you’d be closer too, we could all be in Metropolis in minutes.” She smiled reassuringly. “Honestly, having your folks work for LuthorCorp, directly or not, isn’t as bad as you might think. My dad has helped manage the Smallville plant for years…”

Willow looked askance at the blonde for a moment. “That’s not really what has me worried,” she admitted wryly. “I mean, yeah, okay, not thrilled with the idea of leaving Buffy alone on the Hellmouth, no matter how mad at her I am right now, but if she needs help all of us but Xander could be there in the blink of an eye.”

“Then why are you all anxiety-girl?” Midori asked with a frown of her own

“Lex knows who I am. If he mentions to my parents that he met me here…” She looked almost sick with worry at that possibility. “How am I going to explain that?”

“The chances of Lex ever even meeting your parents are pretty slim,” the Japanese girl pointed out quickly. “He runs the Smallville fertilizer plant for LuthorCorp. The stuff your parents would be working on would be in an entirely different division.”

“And the odds of encountering anyone who might have even a remote possibility of mentioning my presence to my parents were even slimmer,” the redhead retorted. “That didn’t stop it from happening.” She sighed resignedly. “I guess there’s not really any point in getting all worked up over it though. It’s not like worrying will change anything, he can’t exactly un-meet me.”

Chloe considered, for just a moment, offering to change Lex’s memory of their encounter to exclude Willow’s presence. Such a thing was certainly within her capabilities after all and with the memory being so very recent and still malleable it would be simple enough to do. The problem was that the very idea of it made her more than a little uncomfortable. A person’s memories could have a tremendous impact on who they were and even minor modifications might have unpredictable effects. Would it really be worth opening that particular can of worms over this?

“Even if he did happen to mention it,” the Olympian said with a forced smile as she reached her decision, “you’ve got complete deniability as long as you’re back in Sunnydale when your folks get home. It’s not like you bought a plane, bus or train ticket for the trip, so there’s no proof you were actually here.”

Midori smiled more genuinely before adding, “Yeah, and since the possibility of Lex being mistaken is way more plausible than you being here, I’d say you’ll be fine.”

“You’re probably right,” the redhead agreed as they reached Chloe’s car and clambered inside. Midori quickly moved to take the backseat, leaving the front, next to Chloe, for Willow.

“I guess there’s really nothing for me to worry about except the possibility of having to move to Metropolis in the middle of a school year.” The Titan’s daughter grinned slightly. “And the odds of that are pretty slim too, since my parents have been turning down major corporations like LuthorCorp for years.”

“So, off to the Kent farm then?” Midori asked with a grin.

“Yeah,” Chloe replied. “I’ve got a feeling we’re all going to be spending a lot of time on the Kent farm for the time being.”
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