Clark and Lana watched from the porch as his parents returned from their shopping trip. Clark was fighting the horrible memories of witnessing his father's fatal heart attack. It took all of his control not to rush over and hug him. He was also fighting seeing the dead eyed look of his mother after his father's death. Lana's firm grip on his hand kept him in control. He noticed the looks his parents shared as they noted Lana's presence as well the fact he was holding her hand.
"Lana, it's good to see you," Martha Kent said as she walked over and gave the younger woman a hug.
"You too, Mrs. Kent," Lana replied with a smile, having missed the comfortable atmosphere of the Kent Family.
"Lana," Jonathan nodded in greeting, still trying to figure out what was going on and the two seemed to be back together, even as he knew Lana was in a relationship with Jason Teague.
"Hello Mr. Kent," Lana responded, noting his confused expression even as he tried to work out what was going on.
"Mom, Dad we need to have a very long talk," Clark finally spoke. "Something happened and it changed things," he added, not sure how to really start explaining what had happened.
"What do you mean Clark?" Martha asked slightly worried. "Wait, let's get inside first and then you can explain," she added, deciding she would rather be sat down especially if this was bad news.
Jason growled as he put the phone down after having had a very long talk with his mother about Lana breaking up with him. She wasn't pleased to learn that he had lost his position of control with the woman who housed their families' greatest enemy, but he had sensed she was happy to know he wouldn't be defying her anymore.
She had ordered him to try and still be friends with the girl, making it look like he excepted her choice and that he would like to continue being around for her. Somehow he doubted Lana would accept that so soon after breaking up with him, especially if he had been right and Clark was involved in some way with her choice. He decided to keep his mother off his back, so he would try it. He also decided to try and work with Lex Luthor in the pretense of helping Lana to uncover her links to the stones, as he knew Lex himself was doing, just that as his way of keeping an eye on Lana and the spirit of Isobel.
Martha and Jonathan Kent sat back against the sofa, as Clark finished telling them everything he had shared with Lana and what had caused this turn around, for both of them. The idea that Clark had knowledge of the future inside his head was a little hard to take, until they remembered all the other strange stuff he got involved in due to who he was.
"So let me get this straight, somehow you have the memories of your future self inside you and because of what happened in this future you decided to tell everything to Lana?" Jonathan asked trying to get his mind to focus.
"Yes dad," Clark replied, knowing his father wasn't too happy about him telling Lana his secret. "I know what the consequences will be if I don't tell her. If I keep deceiving her to protect myself," he added with a frown.
"And what would happen, Clark?" Martha asked with much more warmth in her voice because she knew Clark had wanted to tell Lana everything for a long time and it had hurt him to have to keep lying to her, so she knew this must have been a relief to finally admit all to Lana.
"I'd drive her right into the arms of a man who would use her for his own ends, manipulating and betraying her at every turn as he betrayed me," Clark spat in reply as the memories of Lex Luthor's actions in the future returned to him.
"Who would that be Clark?" Jonathan asked, even as he suspected what the answer would be.
"Lex Luthor," Clark stated and everyone could hear the hate and anger in his tone as he replied.
Martha, Jonathan and Lana all shared looks between themselves, having never heard such hate and anger in Clark and it worried them to see how much these future memories were affecting him. Jonathan himself was also worried about what it was Lex had done to forever break his friendship with Clark, although knowing Lana was involved gave him a lot of clues. He took no real joy in knowing he had been right about not trusting Lex, because he knew it was hurting Clark to know his friend was not who he thought he had been. Just like he had found out, before Lana had left for Paris, that Lex had continued to investigate him, even after promising it was over.
"I'm sorry son," Jonathan finally spoke. "I know it must have been hard to know this, but I want you to focus on the fact that for now this hasn't happened yet," he stated. "I don't want you to lose yourself to these memories and feelings. Okay?" he cautioned him hoping to pull his son back into the here and now.
Clark closed his eyes and tried to force the memories back. He felt Lana slip her hand into his and squeeze it gently. He smiled as he focused on that. "You're right, dad," he finally said after a few minutes as he opened his eyes to look at his parents, "I need to be careful how I react to what I now know could be," he went on.
"Could be?" Martha inquired.
"The plan was for me to change things once I had received my future self's memories, mum. I've already done so by telling Lana everything, including why I kept it a secret and it's broken all the barriers between us," he explained.
"What about Jason, do you really think he would just let you go?" Martha asked, as she recalled what Clark had told her about Jason's true intentions had been with Lana, which had angered her greatly.
"Most likely no, he won't," Lana guessed with a hard look in her eyes. "But thanks to Clark I know what he really wants from me and Isobel," she added. "I know now it's because of him and his mother that I got possessed by Isobel in the first place, so that they could get their hands on these stones," she continued, hating that she had been used that way.
"And speaking of Isobel, Clark, do you really intent to go through with this plan of yours to cleanse Isobel's spirit?" Jonathan asked as the mention of the witches name reminded him what Clark intended to do later on.
"Yes I do dad, we have to," Clark replied. "Having Isobel's help will be of great benefit for us and we won't have to worry about her killing anyone anymore or hurting Lana by proxy," he explained.
"But Clark you intend to bring Kal into this and that's something me and your father are worried about," Martha responded. "He's unpredictable, dark, ruthless and dangerous," she reminded her son.
"I know mom. I haven't forgotten about that," Clark replied, knowing just how dangerous his other half could be, but he also knew they couldn't heal Isobel without him. "We need his help, which is where the green Kryptonite comes into play, to make sure he doesn't just take off and actually helps us," Clark added. "It's a risk I know, but it's one I'm willing to take to help Lana," he stated with a confident look. "Plus I kind of feel responsible for what happened to Isobel. She only ended up a part of this because one of my ancestors came here and fell in love with her, going so far as to marry her and then left her with the mission of finding and protecting the stones and that's what led to the Teague's corrupting her," he explained now with a annoyed look.
Jonathan and Martha almost sighed when Clark explained this part of what had made him make this decision, it was the one thing they could never make Clark let of from and that was his ability to always take guilt for things connected to the secrets onto his own shoulders.
They looked between the two teens and noticed the comfortable air that existed between them, as they thought about what they were going to do. It was clear Lana would not be walking away from Clark again and it would seem this new situation had given Clark a new confidence in himself, which had helped him break through his own fears and once again reach out to Lana, only this time he hadn't backed out.
"So how is this going to work, Clark?" Martha asked.
"Kal has a few hidden talents that Jor-El unlocked, when he brainwashed me mom," Clark answered. "He has a small ability to tap into people's minds and change them as well as use the key to heal Isobel. This ability vanished as soon as I retook control again, as did my ability to fly and that's why we need Kal," he added. "The key is more than it seems mom and in certain events it can be used for different things, he finished.
"Then we better get started. The sooner we get this done the better- as I don't like the idea of having Kal around," Jonathan finally stated.
"Neither do I Dad, but I'm willing to try to help Lana and heal Isobel. She deserves that much for been dragged into this by my ancestor," Clark replied.
Lex kept an eye on Jason Teague as he talked about forming a partnership to find the stones. He was very suspicious about this, considering who's the man's mother was. His tale about wanting to do this to help Lana, while not far fetched, seemed to be fake as he took in the man's tone. He seemed quite angry with Lana and the only reason he could come up with for that was that Lana had dumped him, which almost made him smile.
He refocused on Jason as he continued to talk about how a partnership would be in his best interest, as far as finding the stones went. He began to think things through and while he knew he most likely could find the stones by himself in time, it might speed things up if he had help and it would also allow him to keep an eye on Teague.
"Okay Jason, I'm willing to accept your help in the interest of helping Lana," he finally said. "But you will inform me of any leads you come across. Is that clear?" he asked with a hard tone.
"Very clear Lex. I'm sure Lana will appreciate your efforts," Jason replied, trying to keep his voice clear of his anger, before turning and leaving, passing Lionel Luthor as he entered.
"You will have to be careful son, the Teague family are not to be trusted," Lionel cautioned his son who was pouring himself a whiskey.
"I know Dad," Lex frowned as his father sat down with a newspaper. "But by doing this I can keep an eye on Jason and maybe his mother as well," he continued. "I am sure he isn't doing this to help Lana. There was anger in his voice when he mentioned her," he added.
"I noticed, considering I was listening outside," Lionel agreed. "I didn't expect you to have company son, I'm sorry I didn't mean to overhear," he added when he noticed his son's look.
"Whatever you say Dad," Lex decided not to bother to get into another argument at the moment with his father. "I wonder what happened between him and Lana?" he said instead.
"Most likely Clark came to his senses and confessed his love to her," Lionel guessed with a shake of his head. "You should know by now son, those two are tied together. They just fear getting hurt by the other," he added as he read his paper.
Lex frowned at his father's answer because he knew, that first it was most likely true and second it meant Lana was untenable for him to process.
Clark looked around the living room as they prepared to try to heal Isobel. He was nervous about this, but knew it had to be done if they were stop Isobel being a threat. He just hoped the green Kryptonite would be enough to control Kal. He kept his gaze on Lana as his mother and father approached them with the green Kryptonite they kept for emergencies, as well as the red Kryptonite ring he kept in his bedroom in case he ever wanted to escape his pain again.
"Clark, are you sure you want to do this?" Jonathan asked.
"Yes I am dad," Clark replied as he was handed the red Kryptonite. "Okay, we're set, so let's do this," he added smiling slightly before slipping the ring on.
Martha opened the led box she kept the green Kryptonite in and held it towards Clark, as soon as he put the ring on his finger. They all noticed his eyes flash red as his veins seemed to turn red as the red Kryptonite infected him
"I'm back," Kal said with a cocky grin before dropping to his knees, as he felt the effects of the green Kryptonite. "Stop," he shouted.
"No Kal," Jonathan replied with a frown. "We want your help in curing Isobel. Clark says you can," he added. "I know you know what we are talking about because you have access to his memories," he continued.
Kal stared at his step dad for a few seconds, the anger clear in his eyes before switching to Lana who was watching him closely.
"Considering Clark has decided to follow our father's will and find the stones I will help remove the threat of Isobel," Kal finally spoke. "But you let him know he can't go back on his word. He knows what will happen if he fails or someone like the Teague's or Luthor's get their hands of them first," he added.
"We promise," Lana responded. "He told us some of what will come if we fail," she reminded him.
"But not all of it Lana," Kal shot back. "There is much more to come," he warned them. "You all will need to be strong," he finished before taking the key out of Jonathan's hands and pointing it at Lana.
The key began to glow, as Kal focused on it, then three lights shot out of it at Lana. One was blue, one was yellow and the last was red, they converged near Lana's heart and became a brilliant gold. Lana's eyes turned purple as Isobel tried to regain control, but she couldn't break through the power of the key which was joined to the caves and Jor-El. Finally Kal moved the key slightly, so the beam was now centered on Lana's mind and the light turned silver before finally stopping and Lana collapsed to the ground unconscious.
"It's done," Kal informed them trying to ignore the effects of the green Kryptonite. "Tell Clark if Zod comes again and takes Lex he must not make the same mistake he did the first time," he informed them. "If he can't tell him he can use me to do it," he finished before removing the ring and Clark collapsed next to Lana as Martha finally closed the led box cutting off the rocks effects on Clark.
Somewhere inside the caves a light began to glow from one of the pictures, before finally condensing into the figure of Jor-El, his body was translucent as if he was a ghost. He walked across the cavern and touched one of the pictures which suddenly changed to depict another meaning, which his son would soon find: this event had been unforeseen and had changed his son, so he was not so willing to turn his back on his destiny or his heritage and whilst this pleased him it also made him wonder what else his son now knew.
Until the stones were reunited and the fortress of Solitude had risen he could interact with his son only briefly and so he would have to wait to speak on this matter with him: he was at least taking this mission more serious now, because he knew what would happen if he failed. Finally he vanished, just as Lex Luthor walked into the caves and began to look around trying to see if there were any clues to the stones locations within the cave, unaware he was being watched by the spirit of Jor-El.
Clark watched as Lana finally came around, he knew she would most likely be groggy at first, so he didn't bother to ask how she felt. She took the glass of water his mother had left for her and drank some of it before turning to him.
"Did it work?" she asked as his mom and dad rejoined them.
"Yes Lana, it did," Clark replied. "Kal actually helped," Clark said, still amazed his other self had been so helpful. "I guess because we are now actually fulfilling the mission our father gave us he decided it wouldn't hurt to help us," he added.
"Clark, do you remember what Kal wanted us to tell you?" Jonathan asked after a few minutes of silence.
"Yes I do," he replied. "I guess you're wondering who Zod is and what Lex's involvement with him is, right?" he asked with a heavy sigh, as he remembered what would happen if he was not careful.
"Yes, who is Zod, Clark?" Martha asked noting how worried her son now looked.
Lana noted it too and took Clark's hand in hers and tried to offer whatever comfort she could.
"Zod is the reason my planet no longer exists," he finally answered. "He was once Krypton's greatest general before he decided he wanted to rule the planet himself and tried to seize power. He failed and my father sentenced him to the phantom zone, along with his surviving followers," he explained. "While he failed to actually take power, his final gambit caused a chain reaction within Krypton which would destroy it. My father tried to warn the rest of the high council of this, but they refused to listen and forbid him to warn anyone or to leave the planet himself and so he sent me in a ship he made to take me to safety, here to the Kent's," he added. "Remember what I told you dad? He met your father when he himself was on Earth and he had been told if he ever needed help he'd know where to go and that was why I ended up here in Smallville," he added at his father's look. "The planet exploded just after my father sent me away. He died knowing at least his son was safe, as did my mother," he finished trying to keep his emotions under control as he finished.
Lana pulled him into a fierce hug as he finished. She could tell he was very upset about what he had lost and she couldn't blame him. She wished she had some way to understand how he truly felt.
"Clark, what is this phantom zone you mentioned?" Martha inquired.
"It's a prison, my father created, to hold the worst criminals of the known twenty eight galaxies. It is, as far as I understand it, a dimensional plane which exists outside ours," he explained. "The prisoners don't die they live on. Some lose their bodies and become phantoms, hence the name," he added. "The inside is basically like a desert world and people can be sent to the zone and if a member of my family is sent there by our enemies we can escape by way of a back door my father created. It's activated by our blood so no one, but a member of the family could use it," he finished.
"And I take it prisoners can escape as well correct?" Jonathan inquired with a worried frown.
"Sadly yes, it's one of the reasons Fine is so dangerous. He is a follower of Zod and wants to free him. Which is why he will try to pass himself off as a friend to me, when he arrives," he replied. "He failed the first time, but he succeed the second time by infecting Lex with a virus he got him to create, which would allow Zod to process him as well as give him Kryptonian powers, I was given a special dagger by my father and told to kill Lex, to stop Zod and instead I used it to kill Fine, which is exactly what he wanted me to do as it allowed him to access the zone and free Zod, straight into Lex," he explained with a pained look, as he remembered his failure. "Zod sent me to the zone and then tried to convert earth into a new Krypton. I managed to escape the zone thanks to Raya," he added.
"Who is Raya?" Lana asked, noting the way Clark had said the name.
"She was one of my father's assistances and she wanted to remain with my father when the end came. My father refused and sent her to the zone believing any life was better than death," he went on. "He gave her a crystal which could drive off the phantoms and the other criminals which is how she survived for so long. She helped me survive and make it to the gate," he almost stopped as he remembered how he believed she had been killed just as he left. "We were attacked just near the gate and she was stabbed. I thought she was dead. My escape however also brought other criminals to earth and I would spend a lot of time after dealing with Zod in taking these down," he added. "Raya survived long enough to arrive on Earth where the sun could heal her. She tracked me down and began to teach me, but one of the phantoms killed her before I could take him down," he stood up and paced a little, feeling the loss of Raya even as it hadn't happened, nor had he even met her yet.
"How did you stop Zod?" Lana asked, deciding to leave the subject of Raya alone for the time being, but she would ask him about her again later on.
"With the crystal my father had given her. I used it to suck Zod's soul out of Lex, just as I used it to pull the phantom out of the boy who killed Raya," he answered.
"Clark, if you find these stones first, will any of what did happen in the future happen now?" Jonathan asked.
"Anything is possible dad. There could be other ways for the black ship to arrive on Earth, but Zod will remain in the zone unless Fine does arrive here and can engineer his escape like he did last time," he answered. "We'll just have to be very careful from here on out," he added as he sat back down and leaned against Lana, letting everyone think over what he had told them.