Disclaimer: I don't own these places or characters. I'm lucky even to play in their sandbox.
“So you’ve been programmed with the mind and memories of my father, Jor El,” Clark said. “Why did you wait this long to communicate with me?”
“You were damaged.” The voice rising from the ship was emotionless. “It was not the time.”
A bright light flashed over Clark and he felt his body tingling. Pain he hadn’t even been aware of was washed away and the cobwebs were vanquished from his mind.
“Your time has not yet arrived,’ the voice said. “You shall leave this place until the danger has passed.”
“I can’t do that,” Clark said. “From what I’m told, if I don’t help stop this, there won’t be any place left to hide. This affects more than one world.”
Visions of the planet Krypton flashed before him, and he felt dizzy suddenly as he felt himself flying through the air. The planet receded before him, and he was in the vast silent depths of space.
“Last son of Krypton,” the voice said. “You are destined to rule these humans.”
“I won’t!” Clark shouted.
He fell to his knees as light flashed again, and he felt the flesh on his chest searing into an unfamiliar shape. He groaned and pulled his shirt open to stare at the glowing lines burning into his skin.
The ship crashed suddenly to the ground and everything was silent. Buffy stood beside it, her hand holding the octagonal key.
“Guess I’ve finally met someone with bigger father issues than I’ve got,” Buffy said. She glanced down at his chest and her eyes widened.
“That wasn’t my father,” Clark said hoarsely. “My father is upstairs. That’s…I’m not sure what that is.”
“That’s not healing,” she said.
He looked down and then pulled his shirt together. His chest hurt, but not nearly as much as the damage Glory had done. He pulled himself to his feet.
“I’m not a bad guy,” Clark said. “I just want to help people.”
Stepping closer to him, Buffy said, “I know,” she reached out and touched the scarring on his chest.
“So you’re an alien,” Buffy said. “I guess if witches and vampires and demons are real, aliens aren’t that much of a stretch. Xander is going to be geeked out. It’s like something from one of his comic books.”
“He can’t know,” Clark says. “Nobody knows about my secret except my parents, and they didn’t even show me the ship until a couple of months ago.”
Buffy stared at him for a moment, and then silently handed him the octagon. “Ok. If you need me to be secrets girl, I can do that.”
Clark hesitated. “It doesn’t bother you that I’m an alien?”
“Compared to what I thought you were, alien is a big improvement,” Buffy said. “I was assuming you were a baby hellgod.”
Looking confused, Clark said, “Aren’t you afraid that I’m going to try to take over the world, like Jor El said?”
“I’ve met your mom and dad,” Buffy said. “And I was a little quick to judge you at first. The fact that you are even willing to go out there to face Glory again after what she did you tells me that you are a hero.”
“Or just a little stupid,” Clark said ruefully.
“Most guys are,” Buffy said, grinning a little ”Besides, if you try to take over the world, I’ll tell your mother.”
He smiled slightly, although he looked a little sad.
More seriously she said, “We’re going to be depending on you out there. Glory has an army of mutants out there and she was kicking our collective asses all by herself.”
Clark was silent for a moment. “There’s something you need to know. Meteor rocks hurt me….they take away my powers and can kill me.”
“Does anyone know about it?”
“I’ve put five or six meteor freaks in Belle Rev already,” Clark said. “At least a couple of them may have some idea.”
“We’ll need to assign you a partner then,” Buffy said. “Somebody to keep the rocks away from you so you can do what you have to do.”
The sounds of a car pulling into the driveway brought them both up short. Buffy had left the cellar door open, and the sounds of tires on gravel were distinct.
Pulling into the driveway, Willow was surprised to see the other Kia in the driveway. Her heart sank as she realized that something had to have gone wrong with the plan to take Dawn away from Smallville.
The lights were out and the house was silent, and she wondered if they’d locked the door against her.
Her stomach tightened at the thought of her upcoming confrontation with Buffy. It had been foolish of her to run after Tara, but she felt in her gut that if she hadn’t, Tara would have been dead.
She started as Lex put his hand over hers and squeezed reassuringly.
Two figures walked around the corner of the building, and the taller stopped the moment he saw them, and then leaned over to speak to the smaller figure.
Willow concentrated on getting Tara from the back of the car. Tara had fallen asleep and by the time she had managed to gently wake her, Lex was already standing on the other side of the car, and Buffy was behind her.
“I see that you managed to get her back,’ Buffy said quietly. “What’s he doing here?”
“Glory took over his house and he saved my life. She’s building a tower in his back yard.”
Clark was standing behind Buffy and he said “Tell me you didn’t tell him anything about me?’
“We haven’t had time,” Willow said. She glanced over at the other Kia. “What happened?”
“They got to Dawn,” Buffy said shortly. She was silent a moment. “So we know approximately when and where it’s going to happen. We’ve got some planning to do.”
Willow felt a moment of relief. Whatever showdown she’d been expecting wasn’t going to happen, at least not yet.
The ringing of the doorbell at dawn was an unwelcome surprise for all of them. Buffy had had less than four hours of sleep, and she could have used more.
As she looked through the blinds, she could see the brunette from the night before standing on the front porch.
Clark was at the door so quickly that Lex, sleeping on the couch almost caught him at it.
“It’s a little early,” Clark said. There was a submissive note to his voice that grated on Buffy’s nerves.
The brunette spoke quietly to Clark, and she could see him swaying slightly as he replied to her.
Spike’s voice close to her ear startled her, and she elbowed him in the stomach.
“Fine wakeup call , Slayer.” he said.
“Don’t stand so close,” she said.
“The girl outside stinks,” Spike repeated.
Glancing back, Buffy noticed Clark’s slumped shoulders. “She’s not good enough for him.”
He shook his head. “She stinks like the freaks, but stronger.”
“You think she’s one of them?”
“Could be,” he said. “She might just be one of the ones that got cancer.”
She glanced at him sharply and he looked abashed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t smell it on your mum until it was too late. By the time I did, she was already at the doctors.”
“And she smells like mom did?” Buffy asked.
“She’s got the Smallville stink,” Spike said. “Don’t know what it means.”
The girl’s voice was becoming more strident as she accused Clark of hiding things from her. Buffy winced. He’d decided not to tell her about him for some reason and now she was using that against him.
It reminded her; they needed to see Lex Luthor off before the evening festivities began. He’d already seen too much, and if Clark said he didn’t entirely trust him, Buffy was willing to follow his instincts.
Memories of the Initiative went through her head as she imagined Luthorcorp labs working on demon body parts.
It would be better that Lex not see anything else to pique his curiosity.
Its smile was weirdly infectious. The creature on the other side of the door looked like a weird, hairless humanoid dog, with mottled incredibly wrinkled skin. It smiled at him, showing pointed teeth.
“Is the Slayer in?” it asked.
Lex opened his mouth to speak, for once at a loss for words. He was startled when Buffy suddenly appeared at his elbow.
“Clem!” she said. “Come on in!”
The creature stepped inside the Kent household, and Lex found that he couldn’t take his eyes off it. He’d seen meteor freaks before, but most of them didn’t mutate nearly this much.
Buffy stared at him open eyed for a moment and then said, “This is my cousin Clem….he’s…um…circus folk.”
Clark and the Kents were up, he noted, and from the expressions on their faces they were as surprised as he was.
“I brought the stuff Spike asked for,” Clem said. “Had to hire three Fyarl demons to help load up the hammer, and I think they stole some of the stuff from the store.”
Buffy hugged the creature and said, “I won’t forget this.”
“Yeah, anything to help a Slayer in need.” Clem said.
An older British gentleman came down the stairs. He stepped forward and said “You managed to get everything on the list.”
The creature nodded. He gestured at Buffy to follow him, and Lex found himself following along with the older man to a beat up, pale blue sedan.
He opened the trunk, and for a moment Lex thought he saw a body. Then he saw the wires and electronics from an open hatch.
Buffy picked up a massive hammer from the trunk, and the rear of the car visibly rose when she pulled it from the trunk with one hand.
Clem whistled. “Took three Fyarls thirty minutes to move that, and one of them threw his back out.”
Buffy pulled the mannequin, if that was what it was out of the trunk. She handled it easily, as though it was hollow and handed it to Giles. Lex reached out to give him a hand as he staggered under its weight. She’d picked it up with one hand, but it must have weighed at least a couple of hundred pounds. He was shocked to feel skin on it that almost felt real.
He helped Giles carry the mannequin into the house, and so he didn’t see any of the other things Buffy pulled from the trunk, but what he was seeing was enough.
The inside of the panel that was open was filled with sophisticated equipment and wiring; this wasn’t something stuck together with glue and paper clips. From the weight of it, the thing was substantial.
From the look of it, the thing was intended to be a robot, and Lex’s mind raced with the possibilities. If the thing actually worked, it could be reproduced a thousand, ten thousand times over. It would revolutionize warfare forever.
He briefly flirted with the fantasy of an entirely mechanical army, staffed solely with robots produced by Luthorcorp. The profits generated would be huge, and the positive press in being able to declare the birth of a new era where no American son would be shedding blood for his country would be an added bonus.
Plus, adding a way to override the system during times of emergencies would give him the ability to really change things/
His mind quickly moved on to the more immediate question. A woman who claimed to be a witch and had the power to prove it, another who could lift something weighing apparently several hundred pounds with one hand, and a robot that looked like Buffy.
Was Buffy herself a robot?
Who the hell were these people?
His mind racing, Lex began to make his own plans. Once the crazy woman who had taken over his mansion went down, there would be plenty of time to find out everything about these people and the possibilities they represented.
The fact that they somehow had ended up staying with Clark Kent was less of a surprise than it should have been, but for once, Clark’s secret wasn’t the first thing he was thinking about.
These others represented a mystery for him to crack, and Lex had always loved solving mysteries. The fact that he hadn’t solved Clark’s mystery ate at him on a daily basis. Now here was an indication that there was an entire world that he he’d had no inkling existed.
Glory had taken what was his, and that didn’t happen to Lex Luthor, at least not for long. She was going down, and afterwards, he’d have time to deal with the others.
Life was what you made of it, and power existed to be used.