All for Believing
by supacat

Their first time, Lana isn't sure why she remembers the ship, the raked earth, its dark bulk digging into the ground. Her fingers skim the cut at the corner of Clark's mouth. Again. And again. He lets her do it. The fire in the hearth warms her and the feel of his skin changes everything. She never doubted him. That's how she's going to remember it.

"I finally know who you are," she says, and Clark's breath catches. He rolls her over and they're moving together. She wraps her arms around his neck and lets him all the way inside.

Talking to Chloe changes it from private to real. Lana waits a day, two days, then lets the words bubble out over a lemonade while they take a break at the site of the new Evans farm. She talks about how happy she is, and how they fit together, and how good it had been to wait for the right person, which maybe is insensitive, but she can't keep the words inside.

"So he told you," says Chloe, smiling in relief, and a shadow falls across the grass hill.

"Told me what?"

"That he loves you," says Chloe, after a second has passed.

From the first moment she saw him, Lana knew that no one could make her happier. That's how she's going to remember it. A part of her knows that she chose Whitney first, but Whitney is gone; he couldn't have been the one she knew she was meant to be with. She still has his Crows jacket, but it's packed away, and she hardly ever thinks about it. She never thinks about Jason or Adam.

Clark turns from the telescope when he hears her footsteps, stopping whatever he's doing, pushing away from the sill of the window and smiling at her widely.

Summer is an endless stream of days rebuilding, wooden frames of houses sprouting, supply runs, Mrs Kent's home made lemonade, and it's easy to believe in fresh starts.

"How many second chances are you going to give him, Lana?"

She says, "Get out of my apartment, Lex."

Lex is wearing a three quarter dark coat and dark clothes underneath that, his face smooth as he rises from her couch. She looks at him and thinks, this is who you've been all along, isn't it, watching, manipulating. She thinks of all the nights Lex sat with her pouring over Talon receipts, giving advice that had first seemed vitalizing and later insidious, challenging her to step out of her comfort zone. His words had slipped into the cracks between her and Clark, and widened them. The Kents were right to have kept Lex at a distance, never letting him get a financial claim on the farm. He is dangerous because he--

knows too much

--can't be trusted and is trying to erode her trust in those who can.

She closes the door behind him, then leans against it. Having him in her apartment is too much like having him in her mind, as dark and undermining as doubt.

"Lex scares me," she says later. The words leak out. It's the closest that she'll come to admitting that she doubts anything. Clark holds her more tightly. In the window of his loft, the sunset fades.

"I'm not going to let anything happen to you."

She has never trusted Lex. That's how she's going to remember it. She speaks to shore up the new truth with words. "I look at him now and I wonder why any of us let him into our lives."

Clark stiffens, then pulls back a little. "Lana, don't you think you're being a little hard on him? Lex might be bad news but he's not a monster. In his time, he's helped you out a lot."

"I thought you said that you and he weren't friends anymore." She watches Clark frown and move off to the other side of the loft. His back to her, he puts his hands on the rail and digs a heel into the wooden floor.

"It's complicated," says Clark.

"Oh, hi Lana," says Martha as she pushes open the door and walks into the Kent kitchen. "Clark will be back any minute. He's helping Jonathan unload the truck."

"That's okay, I'm a little early," says Lana.

"How is everything?" says Martha casually, without looking up from the baking on the table.

"Everything?" There's something in the question.

"Between you and Clark."

It's still so new that Lana blushes, her gaze skittering off to the corner of the table. "It's wonderful, Mrs Kent." Smiling. She looks back up at Martha.

Martha is looking at her with something oddly searching in her gaze. It's only there for an instant. It's easy to dismiss. Lana has always had the feeling that Martha was quietly on her side. She has never noticed that Martha leaves everyone with the same impression.

"That's great, honey," says Martha.

It's a strange collection of memories, but her grief isn't coherent, which may be why disjointed images rise when Lana opens the door to the Kent farm.

Clark stands in the hallway, his clothing in shreds, darkened with burn marks, and she sees him standing in the middle of a blasted storm cellar, riding away on a motorbike, pulling open his shirt to reveal a lead vest. She throws her arms around him and years pass in which Lex watches Clark with increasingly careful eyes. He smells of ozone. She holds on as tightly as she can.

Adam, with his yellowing skin and clumsy hands fumbling a syringe, is a memory she can't face. No one's ever cheated death for her before. That's how she's going to remember it. It's a miracle, because if it isn't, it's lies and hurt, years of it, a betrayal so deep it got inside her body.

Clark is something you either believe in or you don't.

"I'm so glad you came back to me," she says.

She doesn't know why she feels like she did after the helicopter fell out of the sky, when she dragged herself to the mouth of the nearest crater and looked down.

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