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Thread: Once Again

  1. #16
    Posting Pro happycamper's Avatar
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    Was just re-reading part one (what can you do when it's the middle of the night and you’re desperate for a Clana fix) when I noticed the following:

    From Clark:
    *I could have been happy for you if you had chosen any man other than Lex
    *before we go back to repairing our friendship . . .
    *I figure, since we aren’t dating anymore, I can finally tell this to you safely

    From Lana:
    *that day I trusted Clark with all my heart . . . after seeing all of this, maybe I still can’t trust him
    Are you hinting at a conclusion I’m not going to like?

  2. #17
    Clana Fic Writer Cardinal's Avatar
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    A/N: Because of the length of this last part, I've split it in two. The actual final part will be posted either tonight or tomorrow. Sorry.



    Once Again

    Chapter 2


    Once Clark had decided to tell Lana about Krypton, letting her know about his abilities was surprisingly easy…like super-speed. Clark told her to put her hair up in a tight bun for their trip. While she worked with her hair, he searched the hall closet for a knit winter cap for her to cover her hair with.

    Lana was curious and a bit confused, but did as she was bidden. When Clark came back to her, holding out a white woolen cap for her just as she was pinning her hair in place, she took it in her hands and asked, “What’s this for? I’m not even dressed for the cold yet.”

    As they stepped out the kitchen door, Clark smiled and said, “The hat isn’t to protect you from the cold, it’s to protect your hair from the wind.”

    Lana gestured skyward and asked, “What wind, Clark? It’s calm outside tonight.”

    “True. But you need to dress warmly, your clothes are in Metropolis, and we don’t want to wait six extra hours for you to drive the round trip, so…I’m taking you there the quick way.”

    “What way is that?”

    “A way that generates a whole lot of wind.” Clark dipped, lifting Lana with one arm beneath her knees and one under her shoulders. “Hold on to your hat…and keep your mouth closed.”

    “Huh?” Lana’s hand moved to hold the hat in place, reflexively doing as Clark said.

    “You’ll swallow fewer bugs that way. Trust me.”

    And before Lana could answer him, they were off like a rocket. Her breath was taken away, but she wasn’t sure if it was because of the incredible speed at which they were moving, or if it was just that Clark was finally letting her all the way inside. He hadn’t been kidding about the wind either, which was much too strong for her to look forward, so she spent the entire trip wrapped in his arms, staring up at the sharply defined planes and angles of his chiseled face.

    Sooner than she would have thought possible, the whirlwind ride stopped in the alley behind her apartment building. When Lana burst through the door to her apartment, Chloe was startled, jumped slightly, and then rushed over to Lana, picking up a thick stack of computer printouts on the way.

    “Look, Lana,” Chloe said, “I’ve got everything printed out and I’ve made a few digital copies of those files, all of which are stored in safe locations, just in case Lex finds out you sent me the files and send his goons to erase my copies.”

    “Thanks, Chloe, I don’t know what I would do without you.” Lana wanted to hug her roommate, but with the load of paper in Chloe’s arms, she settled for a quick squeeze from behind. “You and Clark were right about Lex. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you.”

    “That’s okay. You were hurting at the time, and believe me, I understand making misjudgments while under duress. ”

    “That’s great to hear.” Lana pointed at the still-open doorway. “Apparently, he understands, too.”

    Chloe’s head whipped around so fast that she looked like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. “Wha…you two? In the same room? At the same time?”

    Clark came fully into the room, closing the door behind him, with only a small, satisfied smile betraying his emotional state. Lana hurried to her bedroom to dig through boxes of packed away winter wear for something warm while Clark gave Chloe an explanation of what had happened so far.

    Chloe was worried about Lex, but Lex didn’t bother Clark anymore. He told her that Lex’s last hold on him was broken now that Lana wasn’t dating either one of them. Furthermore, he felt free to finally do what he had always wanted to do…let Lana in on his secrets.

    “Are you sure, Clark?” Chloe asked apprehensively.

    “Yeah. You’ve known since graduation and Lex has never come after you, so he shouldn’t come after Lana now that we aren’t dating. In any case, I need you as backup to tell one part of the story.”

    “Which is…?”

    “The day that happened twice. She only remembers the second time. Even though she’ll never regain the memory of that day, I want to tell her about it. I want her to know that for one day everything was…”

    As Clark’s voice trailed off, Chloe ran a soothing hand up his upper arm and said, “Don’t worry Clark, I’ll support your story.”

    Lana popped back out of her bedroom in record time. Normally, clothes selection could seemingly take her forever, but when Clark saw her outfit, he knew why she had been so quick: she had chosen the same exact outfit that she had worn on that fateful election day last winter.

    “This is the second time I’ve worn this outfit when you had something special planned, Clark.” Lana winked up at him. “I hope this time works out a little bit better.”

    Clark and Chloe shared a look and Clark said, “Actually, Lana, this is the third time you’ve worn that outfit for me, including the scarf and gloves.”

    “No, it’s only the second time, I would remember.”

    “Sorry, but it’s definitely the third time. That’s one of the things I need to tell you about.”

    Clark looked to Chloe for support and she came through, saying, “He’s right, Lana. I don’t actually remember it happening myself, but he proved to me beyond any doubt that what he’s about to tell you really happened.”

    Lana was completely bewildered, but, to her eyes, Clark appeared to be as sincere as he ever had been in his entire life. Chloe squeezed Clark’s hand once in a show of moral support and then chose to let her friends deal with the rest of this story one-on-one, the way Lana deserved to learn it. Grabbing her purse off the small table just inside the front door, Chloe said, “Take your time with the story, Clark, I won’t be back for a couple of hours…at least. I think Jimmy deserves a surprise visit.”

    When the door clicked shut, Clark turned to Lana and said, “This is going to take a while, Lana, so you might want to sit down.” He took her carefully folded winter jacket off her arm and laid it on the back of the well-worn couch. Lana took one end of the couch and Clark took the other. Like he had said earlier to her, the beginning was always a good place to start, so that’s what he did.

    “The last time I asked you to bring gloves and a scarf, I was afraid I was losing you. My secrets were splitting us apart. I had finally decided that letting you know everything and risking the slight chance that someone might come after you was preferable to the certainty that we would break up if I didn‘t tell you.

    “What you remember from that day is that I got scared and changed my mind. You were justifiably angry with me when I backed down, and that was the beginning of the end for us. What you don’t remember is that was actually the second time you had come into my loft that day…or to be exact, it was the second time that day had happened,”

    “You mean like the movie Groundhog Day?”

    “Well…sort of. Except I only got to redo that day one time, and I made a mess of it.”

    “Well, how did you get to have a do-over?”

    Just remembering the circumstances of that second chance made Clark break out in a light sweat. “I asked, no…I begged my biological father to let me go back in time and fix what had happened the first time on election day.”

    Even though that day was months in the past, Lana was becoming concerned. She unconsciously leaned toward Clark and asked, “What could have gone so wrong that you so desperately needed to fix it.”

    Looking off into the distance, Clark quietly said, “You went wrong, or rather, Lex went wrong and you paid the ultimate price. Just as you remember me dying the day of the nuclear missile crisis, I remember you dying the night of the election.”

    Lana sat back in shock, and said, “But I’m still here.”

    Clark‘s eyes focused on Lana once more. “So am I, and yet, you saw me die, just as I saw you lying dead, in the middle of a rural intersection. The horror of that moment, of that entire night, is indelibly etched in my memory.”

    Lana knew exactly what Clark meant. Watching him die was something she would never forget. She could still remember the washed out color of Clark’s face, the way the light shone in the room, and even the antiseptic smell of the room. Clark waited patiently for Lana to assimilate what he had told her. He could almost see the questions piling up behind her eyes.

    Unable to make sense of the tangled web of information she had just received, Lana finally said, “I don’t understand. What happened that day? How did I die?”

    “I’m sorry, maybe I should have just explained that day as it happened. So here it goes. The two…versions I guess you’d call them, of that election day, were the same right up to the point where you met me in the loft. I was scared out of my mind, but unlike what you remember, I told you everything you ever wanted to know about me. Just like I’m going to do tonight.

    “After that, I, um…” Clark’s eyes glazed over and he reached up with one hand to loosen a shirt collar that suddenly felt uncomfortably tight. “…I proposedmarriagetoyou.”

    Lana’s eyes popped wide open as she reached for Clark’s forearm. When she touched it, his eyes latched on to her and she said, “Run that by me one more time.” When Clark’s mouth moved to speak, Lana added, “Slowly.”

    Clark blushed a bit at that, and said with exaggerated clarity and slowness, “I…proposed…marriage…to…you.”

    “Really? What did I say?”

    “Nothing. After realizing I had unfairly dumped too much on you at once, I asked you to not reply to my proposal. I wanted you to have all the time you needed to think about everything I had told you before you made any commitments. So…I brought you home and sent you on your way. I didn’t see you again until it was time for us to go to the Talon for the election party.

    “We were going to meet at the Talon, but you chose to come out to the farm a little bit early so we could talk.” Clark’s face started taking on an look of contentment, maybe even joy, that Lana could rarely remember ever seeing from him. “I remember our exact words to this very day, it’s still the single happiest moment of my life.”

    When it appeared that Clark was caught up in the moment, Lana impatiently asked, “Well? What did we say?”

    “Oh. Umm, some of this won’t make any sense until after we make our visit tonight, but here goes. I asked, ‘Do I look different to you now?’ And you said, ‘Clark, you look like the same handsome guy I’ve always known.'" Clark shifted his position on the couch. “That made me really, really nervous, so I asked, ‘Handsome as in “I wanna spend the rest of my life with you?” or handsome as in “I’m gonna let you down easy?”’”

    By now, Lana was hanging on Clark’s every word. “And…?”

    “Waiting on pins and needles doesn’t even begin to explain my feelings at that point, and then you said, ‘As in, “Yes, Clark, I’ll marry you.”’ I had given you an engagement ring when I proposed, and when you said yes, you pulled the ring out of your pocket and let me slide it on your ring finger.” Clark paused as he enjoyed this happiest of memories. “The rest of the day was a happy blur. I do remember us showing off your ring to my parents, who were naturally thrilled to be gaining you as a daughter…and then, at the height of our happiness, things went wrong.” Clark began fishing for a nice way to describe what had happened next.

    Lana made that unnecessary by bluntly asking, “How did I die?”

    Clark bit his lower lip and then said, “When dad won the election, Lois pulled the whole family over to one side for a photo op. How I wish that I had dragged you along with me since you were just about to join the family.” Clark exhaled heavily, then said, “Apparently, you got a call from Lex during our photo op, because the next thing I knew, I was on the receiving end of a panicked phone call from you. You said you had gone to see Lex and he had somehow figured out that you knew all of my secrets. You left him, but he chased you down in one of his sports cars.

    “All I could figure at the time was that, while trying to get away from him, and distracted by the cell phone, you didn’t see the school bus approaching. It hit you broadside at full speed, launching your SUV across the intersection. I heard the crunching metal and the shattering glass and I ran to the crash site at full speed, not caring who saw me use my abilities. There was your broken body, laying in the middle of the road in an ever-growing pool of your own blood. Despite everything I was capable of doing, my brand-new fiancée, the love of my life, was dead.”

    Having to relive the tragedy brought hidden emotions back to the surface, making Clark distraught all over again. Lana found herself unable to stay away from him any longer and slid across the couch to be by his side and comfort him. The lightest touch from her hand acted like a balm for his soul. By the time she pulled his head onto her shoulder and began stroking his hair, he was already regaining control of himself.

    “I can see why you were desperate to redo that day,” Lana said, “but why didn’t you just save me from Lex?”

    “If I knew then what I know now, that’s what I would’ve done. I thought Lex would leave you alone if I didn’t tell you my secrets and then you’d be safe.

    Lana wished then she could look away from Clark, because his eyes were filled with pain. “Never in my wildest nightmares did you end up dating him,” Clark said slowly. “To think that after all I gave up to see you safe, you ended up in more danger than ever…I thought I was going insane.”

    Lana knew now that her dating Lex hadn’t just made Clark jealous, it had devastated him. Even though he had been the one to break up, she couldn’t help but try and apologize.

    “I’m sorry, Clark. If I had only known…”

    Clark pressed a hand to her lips. “Please don’t apologize for my mistakes. If I had just told you everything the second time and then saved you from Lex, none of this would have ever happened. I’m the one that should be apologizing. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I lied to you when I said I didn’t love you anymore. I’m sorry I ever got you tangled up with Lex in the first place. Finally, I’m sorry I wasn’t the boyfriend you deserved.”

    “Apology accepted.”

    Clark and Lana spent a long time holding on to each other. Lana had more questions, mostly innocuous ones, and Clark was more than happy to answer them. He explained the full extent of his abilities, and even described her engagement ring. When the questions were exhausted, but before the people were, Clark stood up and said, “It’s time for you to learn my first secret, my biggest secret, the secret Lex would kill to know.”

    Lana replied quietly, “I’m ready, I've always been ready. Let’s go.”
    Last edited by Cardinal; 09-04-2006 at 08:38 PM.

  3. #18
    Forum Regular Clana227's Avatar
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    That was a great update. great job
    update soon please

  4. #19
    Posting Pro superman_lives_on's Avatar
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    So where will they be at the end of it? I do wonder...

  5. #20
    Forum Regular Venezuelan Lana's Avatar
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    Awesome update!!! PPMS

  6. #21
    Clana Fic Writer Cardinal's Avatar
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    Originally posted by happycamper
    Are you hinting at a conclusion I’m not going to like?
    The last quote was either poorly written by me or misunderstood by you. Lana was referring to not being able to trust Lex.

  7. #22
    Posting Pro deanyouk's Avatar
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    That was brilliant

  8. #23
    Posting Pro happycamper's Avatar
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    Yeah, yeah, so you claim...

    Still, Clark seems so intent on not dating Lana even in this update...and you never did address my concern...

    Waiting for the finale with bated breath.



  9. #24
    Clana Fic Writer Cardinal's Avatar
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    That concern will be answered in the last update.

  10. #25
    Board Master Iowanmom's Avatar
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    Great update, Cardinal. Can't wait for the second update.

  11. #26
    Forum Regular Dr. Jeckyll's Avatar
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    Just read both parts. Stories like this always make me happy It's everything a clana fan could ever have hoped for.

  12. #27
    Forum Whiz clark&lanafan06's Avatar
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    Great Updates ! Can't wait for the next one !!!!!!!

  13. #28
    Clana Fic Writer Cardinal's Avatar
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    Once Again

    Chapter 3

    At the end of the next super-speed trip, Lana was surprised when they ended up at the mouth of the Kawatche caves just outside of Smallville. When thinking of a cold-weather destination, she had been thinking of some place far to the north, not somewhere in Smallville.

    After gently setting Lana down, Clark slapped himself on the forehead when he realized he had forgotten the octagonal key. “Wait here a second, Lana, I need to go get something.”

    By the time she asked, “What do you need?” Clark was back in front of her, holding the gray, metallic disk.

    “I saw a picture of that in one of the files on Lex’s computer,” Lana said.

    “Yeah, I imagine you did. Lex found this our sophomore year in high school in the field where…well, I’d better wait to tell you that part of the story.” Tipping his head toward the cave mouth, Clark said, “Come on, your answers await.”

    Walking by the many paintings and symbols on the cave walls, Lana was overcome by a long-held curiosity. “Clark? You can read these symbols, right?”

    “Umm…yeah. Most of them anyway. Some of them are actually Kawatche paintings which were explained to me by Dr. Willowbrook, but most of them are from an extinct language.”

    “Who spoke this language?”

    Clark grinned and said, “Not anyone around here, that’s for sure.”

    Shortly thereafter, Clark and Lana stepped into the small room at the back of the caves. Having been to the caves before and never having seen this room even once, Lana was confused.

    “I don’t remember this place ever being here,” Lana said. “How’d you find it?”

    “It was left here for me.”

    Almost disbelievingly, Lana replied, “For you.”

    You’d think this would be easier the second time around, Clark thought, but noooooooo! Clark held the octagonal key in the air, and said nervously, “Lana, what you’re about to learn might end up changing our relationship.”

    Lana latched onto his forearm and said, “You’ve already told me so much, whatever is left will be okay, too.”

    Buoyed by Lana’s support, Clark slid the key into the slot. A cascade of golden light shot up from the table as Lana looked around wonderingly.

    Clark held out the hand that had held the key and asked, “Do you trust me?”

    Without any hesitation, Lana curled a delicate hand around his. Clark took a short step forward and loosely wrapped his other arm around her back. Instantly, they were shot forward along a coruscating tube of blue-white energy.

    Everything that happened from here on out was brand new to Lana and she was soaking with the wonderment of a child on her first trip to the zoo. The trip was over all too fast as far as she was concerned, and she found herself standing at Clark’s side in what could only be described as a towering palace made of what appeared to be ice and crystal. The cold closed in on Lana like a thick blanket, but she barely even noticed as she looked in awe at her surroundings.

    “Oh my God!” she said. “What is this place?”

    “It’s the Fortress of Solitude…the real fortress of solitude.”

    Before Lana could ask another question, Clark summoned his last reserves of courage and gave her his final secret. “Wh…when you asked me years ago if I believed in life on other planets, you had no idea how ironic that question was.”

    Lana broke off staring at her incredible surroundings to look squarely at Clark. She was confused, not sure how this fit in with his secrets.

    Clark pushed on, and said, “I’m from a planet called Krypton.”

    Lana had been expecting something momentous, but this was far beyond anything she had seriously considered. Clark Kent, Lana thought, the man I lo…well, I’ll think about that part later…the guy I’ve known since early childhood, is an alien?

    Once the secret was out in the open, Clark told her everything, starting with his arrival in the first meteor shower and ending with the revelation that his biological father Jor-El lived on in this place through his memories and will.

    After that, just like before, Clark took Lana back home to think over what she had learned. He believed she would choose to remain close to him just like she had the first time, but this time, they weren’t dating and that would make all the difference, it would keep her safe.

    Over the winter, Clark and Lana repaired their friendship, slowly returning to the comfortable place in their lives they had shared during their ‘summer of love.’ Long before the winter was over, Lana felt a rekindling of the need to once again have Clark by her side as her friend, her lover…her one true love.

    Clark felt the same need, but fought it constantly as he believed that Lex would leave her alone as long as they stayed apart.

    Lana was becoming increasingly frustrated by Clark’s intransigence, so finally, she arranged for Chloe to disappear during a movie the three of them were attending together. When the final credits rolled and Clark realized that Chloe had taken a taxi, Lana dragged him from the theater lobby to her SUV where they had it out.

    Lana stuck the key in the ignition, then turned to Clark and said, “I love you, Clark.”

    Unwilling to lie to her anymore, Clark stayed silent, his face a stone mask.

    “I love you, Clark. I love you, I love you, I LOVE you.” Each time, she said those three words a different way, and each time, Clark knew that she meant them. Under the force of her heartfelt barrage, he was able to maintain his silence, but the stone mask began to crumble.

    Sensing weakness, Lana turned up the pressure, trying to turn a slight crumble into a total collapse. “Please, Clark, once again I feel the connection we used to have.” Using mental images that were sure to make Clark sweat, Lana said seductively, “I burn for your gentle caress, your fiery kiss, and your passionate lovemaking.”

    Clark was still silent, though his eyes were wide open, his face was flushed, and his breathing was shallow as Lana leaned in for the kill and whispered, “And you know what else, Clark? I know you feel the same way too.”

    “I can’t do this, Lana," Clark pleaded. "Staying away from you is the only thing keeping you safe from Lex.”

    “Clark, you have to learn you can’t control everything, even with your abilities. Life is risk. I won’t let you control me just so you can feel good about yourself.”

    Seeing the challenge that was plain in Lana’s intense glare, Clark thought back to the day he begged Jor-El for another chance to save Lana, another chance to make things right. Jor-El had told him, ‘There is one trial you have yet to experience. But you must heed my warning. The tide of fate is impossible to stop.’

    Clark had always thought that ‘one trial’ was losing someone close to him, but now, he was looking at it in a different light. Maybe, he thought, it meant that I have to learn to let go of the idea that I’m somehow responsible if anything goes wrong, that I can somehow save everyone if only I try hard enough. ‘The tide of fate is impossible to stop.’ Wow. Life goes on, and people have to be allowed to live their lives…including me.

    Clark smiled for the first time since the movie ended and said softly to Lana, “I love you too and I'm ready to try once again.”


    The End
    Last edited by Cardinal; 09-05-2006 at 02:29 AM.

  14. #29
    Settling In SmallvilleFan2001's Avatar
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    Great story Card!!!

  15. #30
    Forum Regular Clana227's Avatar
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    That's the end come on can't we have an epilouge or something please

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