DISCLAIMER - Not mine, I couldn't afford the motor and household insurance bills. I promise I'll scrub them down and give them back to DC comics, the WB and anyone else who does own a slice of them when I'm done with them. Story, such as it is, copyright Karen Colohan, September 2003.

Author's notes - Inspired by the Wednesday100 challenge - it's time for the kids to go back to school - but this came out too long to be a drabble. Spoilers for Exodus.



The first day of school, and so much had changed since she last walked through the doors of Smallville High.

Lex, her business partner, was missing, presumed dead. It was all over the newspapers and the television news. The LuthorCorp jet had crashed before reaching the island that was to have been his honeymoon destination. So far, they had discovered the wreckage of the plane, but no sign of Lex's body. Lana knew it was selfish of her to be thinking of it, but she couldn't help wondering what would become of the Talon now.

Chloe, her best friend and room mate, had changed in a way that Lana didn't understand. She had become distant and secretive and didn't seem nearly as excited as Lana would have expected over her new column in the Daily Planet. Lana was sure there was more to it than simply her falling out with Clark, but whatever was troubling her, Chloe refused to talk about it. It made things tense and uncomfortable in the Sullivan house.

Finally, Clark, her... Was he her boyfriend now? Lana still wasn't entirely sure of her feelings, but at the very least, Clark was a dear friend. And he was gone too, hiding somewhere in Metropolis, also changed. She'd felt his grief and guilt over what had happened to his mother before he'd turned into the brash, arrogant stranger she'd seen him become twice before now. The transformation scared her, but she was sure the Clark she knew was still inside, hurting.

Lana hesitated on the threshold of the school buildings. She knew there was nothing that she could do for Lex and Chloe seemed out of her reach right now. Clark, though... Determined, Lana decided that she couldn't abandon him. She was going to find him. She'd go to Metropolis and she would bring him home.


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