The Stranger Summer

Chapter 8

BY:Ann of Midnight

DISCLAIMER:Once again: Smallville or Buffy are so not mine.

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“He’s not human?” repeated Dawn, awestruck.

Xander merely said: “What?”

< RUN! RUN! You have to run! > Clark told himself. Sadly, he was paralyzed, facing the window, Windex and rag in hand.

Maybe if he moved really slowly and looked perplexed… But how did she know? And who was she? And vampires... really?

He bent down at a snail's pace, putting the product on the floor. He put his hands in surrender position, rose up and turned around.

Everyone seemed flabbergasted. He locked eyes with the blond woman that had just outed him; he was not at all prepared for what happened next. Her eyes widened. She looked like she recognized him. She looked like she liked him. She looked like she was coming his way.

“Oh my God. Oh my God it’s you!” She screamed, clapping her hands. She practically jumped the counter to… HUG HIM.

Clark was at a loss for words. He was at a loss for movement too.

She hugged Clark tightly and jumped up and down. “HI!” She told him. “Let me get a look at you,” she asked, releasing him. She looked him over and shook her head. She repeated “Oh my God,” and gave him another hug.

She took his hands and dragged him over to the table.

He wasn’t sure how he even got there, but soon she had him sitting across from her. She was still holding his hands.

“You have to tell me everything! Are your parents with you?”

Clark shook his head ‘no’.

“How are you? How did you survive? Where have you been living? Are you just visiting or is this home?”

“I-I-I-” Clark stuttered, looking around frantically for a way out, for someone to explain. He pleaded with his eyes for Xander’s help.

“I’m sorry. Do you not know who I am?” The woman asked.

Clark shook his head ‘no’.

“I’m Anyanka,” she said, clearly thinking it would ring a bell.

“What?”

“My name is Anyanka.” When that didn’t help any, she elaborated. “The vengeance demon? You know… I met your father about 60 years ago… Come on, you know the story,” she smiled and nodded.

Clark could honestly say that he didn’t.

Anya explained to the whole class. “So, I get called upon to reap your standard vengeance on this man by this woman. Nothing like today, but the screening system worked pretty well back then. Still, this time the woman was really off balance; she was a total nutcase. She had imagined the relationship and, let’s just say, it was a big mistake… anyway, so I go meet Jor and I’m like ‘your crimes against so and so bla bla bla’ and then I try to skin him, right?” She explained with a smile.

Everyone in the room winced, Willow full out flinched.

“I mean, you could imagine, I just could not do my job! So I hit him with axes and knives and arrows, shot him with a canon, poisoned him, tried to drown him and dowsed him with acid…” It was so funny! You should have seen us, just staring at each other, like, ‘what’s going on with this?’” She happily recalled. “Long story short, he invited me for drinks, flew me to this amazing restaurant and we just talked and talked and talked. Oh, I remember everything about that night,” she sighed happily. “He was just wonderful,” she stated, squeezing Clark’s hands. “He had such a thirst for knowledge of all things. He had visited so many worlds and he had the most wonderful stories! He certainly thought my job was strange, but our planet is so far behind Krypton… He respected me, regardless. He was a prosecutor already by then, but he hadn’t ‘married’ Lara yet... You look so much like him! Bet you’re tired hearing that though, huh?”

Clark wanted to retch for the first time in his life. Could she really be talking about his father? His biological father? Should he dare hope?

His senses were on complete overload. He must have looked terrible, because both Dawn and Xander came by his side.

“Are you okay? Do you need anything?”

Clark couldn’t answer. He just looked from Dawn to Anya and back again. Xander made the blonde look at him.

“I don’t think he has the faintest idea what you’re talking about, An.”

Anya stared at Clark: “You’re little Kal-El; are you not? Son of Jor-El and Lara from the planet Krypton?”

Clark, who suffered from dry mouth, said shakily. “I’m Clark Kent, from Kansas.”

“What?” Questioned the demon. “You’re an alien. You have to be, you feel different. Not to mention the fact that you have your mother’s eyes and look exactly as your father did when we first met.”

Clark couldn’t answer.

Buffy had gotten a crossbow out of the weapons chest and had had it pointed at Clark’s back for some time.

Anya looked up and said “Go ahead Buffy, give it your best shot.” Buffy aimed for his upper shoulder and let her rip. The arrow bounced clear off him and Clark looked as if he hadn’t felt anything. He didn’t even turn around.

“Now we know who the vamps are scared of,” she told Dawn.

“Clark, have you been fighting vampires?” The younger Summers asked, concerned.

Clark was just so numb by now, he answered: “Got attacked a few times, didn’t know.”

“Oh, right, vampires. There’s a whole gang outside,” Anya reminded them. “Should we…”

“I guess Clark being in the window spooked them a little,” Buffy surmised.

“Go fight or take care of this?” Xander asked, gesturing between Clark and Anya.

“We could get it over with, I guess,” Dawn shrugged. She got herself a sword and a stake. She passed stakes to Willow and Xander. "Let's go." Dawn said, holding the door open for everyone.

Anya was looking expectantly at Clark, but he said nothing.

“Is he really impervious?” Buffy asked Anya.

“Yes, for sure. He can fly too.”

“No.” Clark’s head snapped up. “I can’t fly.”

Anya half smiled indulgently, “Okay, whatever you say.”

“Clark?” enquired Xander. “Clark?” He asked again. “Do you know how to kill a vampire?”

“Kill?”

“Yes, see we’re going to have to go fight now. Since they seem to want you, it might be better if you came. Take this,” he handed him a stake. “You have to put this through their hearts, or separate their heads from their bodies, okay?”

Clark nodded.

“So, are we going?” Dawn asked, having let the door close. She was now making warm up movements with her sword.

“You’re not coming?” Xander asked Anya.

“I’ll be there. I’ll go secure us a first aid kit, before I come out.”

Xander nodded as she disappeared. They all started for the exit. They got to the door before Xander realized Clark had stayed behind.

Clark stared at the empty chair in front of him. Xander bent down to his level.

“Are you okay?”

“No.”

“Don’t worry, she’s coming back. You’ll get your answers.”

Clark slowly rose and looked at the stake in his hand.

“Stake though the heart, they turn to dust. Aim for the middle of their chest. It’s easier to get it in that way and you still hit your target.”

“Okay, Clark responded, looking slightly more alive. They headed out.

At first everyone just sort of stared at each other. Buffy hadn’t seen that many vampires in one place in a long time and she was glad she had people to help. There were 35, maybe 40 of them staring at the Scooby’s group. One of the vampires pointed to Clark. Buffy was advancing, clearly about to speak.

Willow threw herself on Dawn and screamed ‘down’ when a gun was pulled; everyone but the alien hit the ground. A few bullets hit Clark and that woke him up. He advanced on the group with his powers and before any of them knew it, the gun was a heap of scrap metal in the teenager’s hand.

The vampires hesitated, that is, until the humans were standing up. Willow looked frigid. She coldly said: ‘charge’.

All hell broke loose around Clark.

Willow, Xander, Buffy and Dawn jumped in the fray, and were soon surrounded buy small groups of vampires. The humans worked off each other well, Clark noted. Still, he didn’t move. It was all too surreal. He felt like he was watching in slow motion.

As he scanned his surroundings he saw more than one vampire turn to dust. Buffy and Dawn were back to back and Xander and Willow worked in tandem. It was almost graceful, the way they fought. When he focused, he finally saw the vampire visage clearly. They seemed unreal, like out of a movie or a comic book, all ridges and fangs and glowing eyes.

He heard a piercing scream and saw Dawn go down, a deep cut on her upper arm. Her sword had been taken away from her. Buffy redoubled her efforts and took the weapon back from the man, cutting his head clean off. Dawn coughed when his dust covered her. Buffy gave her a hand up, and they valiantly fought on.

In the next few seconds, it was Willow who went down with a thud, having been dealt a powerful blow to the face. She looked to her attacker with black eyes for a moment, and then shook her head; Clark thought he might have imagined it. When Xander tripped and went down next to her, she wailed just like she had the night he had heard her across town, and grabbed the vampire’s legs. Electricity bolts shot out and he convulsed in pain. Xander quickly got up and put him out of his misery. Willow, however, was very week and didn’t look like she could get up, the middle of her hands were swollen, bubbly and not their natural color.

He locked eyes with Buffy. “Clark! A little help, please? We can’t fight them all but we should contain them. Bad move to let them walk away.” She shouted while doing an impressive sweeping move, blocking another vamp’s blows and dispatching them both.

He went on instinct. He ran next door, where a long water drainage pipe ran along the side of the building. He pulled it off easily and was back in seconds. “Get them all together,” he asked the others.

Willow was crawling to the Magic Box door, Anya was now back and clumsily hitting vampires over the head with an axe, while Xander, Dawn and Buffy did as Clark requested. Soon enough the dozen remaining vampires were held together by a metal pipe and everyone was panting.

“So what do we do now?” He asked.

“We have to kill them,” Buffy said, holding up the sword.

“It seems sort of…” But Clark couldn’t say it. The vampires were immobilized and they no longer had a chance, but releasing them to surely kill again, as he believed was their nature, was unacceptable.

“I’m heading in,” Xander said, helping Anya carry Willow. Dawn was hesitant, and Clark was glad when Buffy sent her away.

Buffy finished fast so as to not let any of them escape. She clapped away the dust on her hands and Clark let her pass in front of him at the door. She thanked him absentmindedly, wiping her brow with her arm.

“Are you okay?” He asked her. “It’s my job,” she replied.

Inside, Anya was busy bandaging and icing Willow. Dawn was holding a blood soaked towelette to her arm and checking herself for more bumps and bruises. Anya came to check on her, bringing bandages and rubbing alcohol.

Clark remembered what that felt like, when he got to be human. He was eternally grateful for that because he never could have understood what it was really like if he hadn’t lived it.
Xander was icing up Willow’s eye (and looking at Anya), and Willow was resting on her back on a bench, looking sick.

Clark could see Xander had blood running down his leg, yet he wasn’t at all fazed. Buffy patched herself up quickly and went to help her sister. Clark went to a mirror and lifted his shirt. He un-wedged the bullets from his chest and put them in his pocket. He absentmindedly poked at the already fading welts on his chest wondering why there was hardly any pain.

He didn’t know what to say or do. He didn’t know how to make things better. He didn’t know if he needed to.

Willow’s tears ran silently down her face as Xander wiped them away. Clark walked over to them and inquired about Willow. Xander responded she would be okay, that she’s a trooper.

Clark looked around. He spoke up: “It’s my fault. I’m sorry. I could have taken care of them and instead I just stood there and let you get hurt.”

Dawn spoke up first. “But you didn’t know. Besides, we do this all the time,” she reassured him bravely, although she was panting, bleeding and looked freaked out.

“Well I could have- I.”

Buffy passed him and tapped him awkwardly on the back “It’s my job to keep them safe, not yours. You didn’t do anything wrong. Except maybe lie to us. Not that we were very straightforward with you.”

Clark walked over to Anya and stared her in the eye.

“You really know who I am?”

“Of course, don’t you?”

“No. I don’t.”

“What happened?” Anya asked, leaning towards him and squinting.

Xander turned to Clark, Willow in his arms. “Clark, come by after, okay? You can have the guestroom, we need to talk.” Clark nodded.

“Buffy, I’ll stop by the ER and get Dawn’s arm sewn up and then bring her home, is that okay?”

“That’s great Xander, thanks.” She said, passing to kiss him on the cheek.

Dawn protested, but her arm was clearly cut deep. She made Buffy promise to fill her in, said goodbye to Clark and was out the door with the other two.

Buffy cleared the table, sat, put her feet up and waited for Anya and Clark to sit down. She looked at Clark and said: “Well, start talking.”

At this point, Clark didn’t hesitate in spilling his secret. He wanted to know about his family so badly.

“I learned last year that I wasn’t from this planet. See, in 1989, a huge meteor shower his Smallville, Kansas. I was with them, in some kind of pod.”

“So, where are your parents?”

“I don’t know. I was alone. My parents, my human parents, found me and decided to keep me. They weren’t sure, but they thought I looked three. I guess they finagled an adoption.”

“So, you’ve been living in Kansas? Why? Why would you do that?” Anya asked, a little distressed.

“I live there because my parents are there. Besides, I like it.”

“Really?”

“Anya, one day it will be nice to hear why you’re afraid of the state of Kansas, but right now, I want to hear Clark’s story.”

“That’s it really.”

“That’s it?”

“Well, I always had special powers. I was strong. Really, really strong. I couldn’t really play with other kids. I still can’t. I can see through things when I need to. I have ex-ray vision. I can run fast, I can jump high and I can get shot,” he said, absentmindedly poking through a hole in his shirt. “I don’t get injured, is what I mean. I have super hearing now too. I can’t control it very well though,” he said, blushing.

Buffy turned red, thinking of everything he might have heard.

“You can’t fly?”

“No, not at all.”

“I don’t understand? I thought the earth’s yellow sun gave you all your abilities, the best one by far being the power of flight?”

“I hover. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning I’m hovering.” He supplied lamely.

“Oh, well, they could come gradually, as you grow. I can’t possibly imagine you growing more, but it is possible. Your father was about 6’4.”

“Really?”

“Yes. And your mother was quite the tall one as well. Didn’t like me much though, you can imagine.”

“So I don’t understand. What do you know about my parents and where I came from?”

“A lot, I guess. What do you want to know?”

“Everything you can remember.”

“Your father was a great man, an intelligent man. He was a prosecutor on his home planet of Krypton. That’s a K-R-Y. He traveled a lot. Having already learned about other worlds, he wanted to see for himself. He got a big surprise coming here. He had only learned about human history in school. He was devastatingly handsome. He had light hair and blue eyes. You have hazel eyes, like your mother. She had red hair. She was older. I know this because when they got ‘married’ they traveled the worlds together and made their way here. They look human, they can fly and they can’t get hurt. You couldn’t have had a safer planet for them. It’s the atmosphere; it’s the sun. On Krypton, you would have been bound by the limitations of men on earth.”

“Do you know why they sent me here? How they did?”

“Your father visited once more for a very brief period. He had calculated the planet was in grave danger and was doubly worried because Lara had just given birth to you. He called you Kal-El, did you know that?”

“No." He took a moment to digest his true name. "Okay, so what I don’t understand; if I was so young, how is it that I was three when I got here? Did the voyage take that long?”

“No. Half a day; at best. Jor told me their energy was in crystals, that they could store an infinite amount of knowledge or energy into them. You should check your ship. He also said that the ships or pods or crystal balls could be programmed. They could play with the fabric of time. Perhaps they thought you had a better chance had you arrived a toddler. That outside the ship, only 12 hours passed, but inside, it was three or four years.”

“But if you met my father 60 years ago?”

“I don’t know what to tell you. Lara was pregnant with you 25 years ago, in my book. Time on Krypton did not move as it did on Earth. Not to mention they moved around alot, and I may or may not have been accurate in my time keeping.”

“Your name is Anyanka?”

“Yes.”

“Do you think you could write this all down for me? Everything you can remember? Even the most insignificant details.”

“Well, I have work; Clark, is it?” She said uncertainly.

“Yes.”

“It’s nice of you to ask, and you’re very yummy to look at, as your father was, but I have a full plate right now,” Anya gave what she thought was an Anya-like answer. Maybe it was a little unsettling to be the only link between this boy an his parents.

“I can pay you.”

“I don’t really need money anymore,” she said unsteadily.

Buffy, who both had forgotten, chuckled. “I never thought I’d hear you say that.”

“Yes, well, if that would be all," Anya stood up, knelt down next to Clark and passed a hand over his face. She looked deep in his eyes and told him, sincerely. "I'm glad you're alive Kal-El"

Clark, desperate for her to agree to help, blurted out: “I know Lex Luthor.”

“What?” She jumped.

“Lex Luthor. He’s my friend,” Clark repeated.

“How good of a friend?”

“My best friend.”

Buffy said: “It’s true, got him the nifty cell phone he’ sporting.”

Anya took a seat in front of Clark again.

“I love him.”

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