The moon shined brightly in the night sky, cascading over the small-town of Kansas. The farm animals were resting, soundlessly in the darkness that surrounded them. The cool breeze brushed throughout the trees and corn fields.
It was a clear night like so many others. There wasn't a single cloud in sight, and it seemed to be just a normal night in Smallville.
The ambience in one household was anything but normal.
There was a yellow farmhouse miles and miles away from the town square shrouded in complete and utter darkness.
What was once a happy, loving, high-spirited household was now filled with nothing...Nothing but the pain, guilt, and sadness of one loving couple.
A husband and wife were in complete and utter, turmoil.
They were grieving for the life they lost, but most of all they were grieving for their only son. Their son, who was now gone—gone from their lives, and they just wanted him to come home.
They were sheathed in darkness, as they sat on the kitchen floor, drowning in their sorrows.
Jonathon held his trembling wife, cradling her body into his chest, whispering soothing words in her ear, but he knew it was going on deaf ears. She had lost hope. He knew that, but he wouldn’t believe it. Not for a second.
He softly kissed her forehead, “It’s going to be okay, Martha.”
“No. No, it’s not. J-Jonathon our boy—our baby boy, is gone. He left. Why? Why did he do this? Why did he leave?” Her words barely croaked out, her voice filled with so much pain, as she spoke into his chest.
He breathed deeply, in and out, in and out. He felt the burning sensation behind his eyes and willed himself not to let the tears fall. His wife needed him. He had to be strong for her, for their son, and for himself.
“He will come home,” he spoke with such confidence, way more than he was actually feeling.
She heard the conviction in his voice, and slightly pulled away from him before gazing into his beautiful blue eyes. "How do you know?"
He swallowed, roughly, at the expression on her face. He didn’t know how to answer that. He didn’t know, but he believed, and that’s the only thing that was keeping him together. “I don’t know. I believe our son will come home. He will, Martha.”
She shook her head, vehemently with tears pouring down her cheeks. “No, he won’t. He’s gone. He blames himself, Jonathon. Why would he ever come back?”
He remained silent. Whatever he said, would fall on deaf ears, and he didn’t know how to soothe her. He wanted to be there for her, but, how could he? He didn’t know where he was, what he was doing, or if he was even alright.
As the night rolled on, Martha fell asleep in his arms, and he carried her to bed before staring down at his wife. “He will come home,” he whispered before walking out of the room.
As he sat in the living room with his head in his hands, and eyes closed, he thought about that horrendous day. The day his son left. Their last words to each other ringing in his ears…
He was visiting his wife, who was now in the hospital, when Clark showed up.
“How is she?” “Doctors don’t know yet…What did you do, Clark?” “I stole Lionel’s kryptonite key. I put it in the ship.” “And why did you do that?”
“Dad, I lied about the voice…it did come back. It told me I had to leave by noon. I didn’t have a choice, dad. I had to destroy the ship.” “Why didn’t you tell us?”
“I knew you wouldn’t agree with what I did. Dad, I didn’t want it to take me away from you. I’m so sorry for what I did.” “Your actions have consequences, Clark! Didn’t your mother and I ever teach you that?” “Yes, but—”
“There’s no time for excuses, Clark. It’s too late. You didn’t think this thing through! You had no idea what was going to happen, and now…now your mother is lying in a hospital bed.”
He heard, as his son tried to explain, tried to make him understand, tried to say anything that would have helped, but he couldn’t listen. He turned away from him, going back to his wife, and slammed the door behind him.
If he would have looked back, he would have seen the hurt expression that was plastered on his face. He would have seen the pain and guilt that consumed his son, but he didn’t, and without knowing, he lost his son that day.
He shook his head, not able to stop the tears falling down his cheeks. It was his fault. His son left because he was so wrapped up in his own grief that he couldn’t see that his son was hurt—was in pain—was blaming himself.
And it was all his fault.
He slumped against the couch cushions, staring up at the ceiling, and thought to himself... Please. Please, come home son.
Pete pulled up to the Kent farmhouse, stopping his truck outside of the barn, and quickly rushed inside, grabbing what he needed for his plan to work.
Over the past week, he had spent his time searching for anything that could help him find his best friend, and what he found chilled him to the bone. He knew.
As soon as he read the article, he knew that he had to be on Red Kryptonite. It was the only answer.
He made his way out of the barn, and contemplated on telling Martha and Jonathon, but decided against it. They were in so much pain already, and he didn’t want to add to it.
He needed to do this alone.
It was better for everyone.
Pete was seconds away from getting into his truck when Jonathon’s voice rung out from behind him, “Pete? What are you doing here?” He slowly turned towards him, pocketing what he took in the process, “I, um, was looking for something that could help me find Clark.”
“Did you find anything? We searched the whole loft, and found nothing amiss, except my motorcycle.” Obviously not everything, he thought to himself, knowing that Clark had Red Kryptonite on him.
“Thank you, Pete. I know you’ve been looking for him. Have you found anything? Anything that could help me find my son?”
He knew he deserved to know, but he couldn’t risk it. He couldn’t allow Clark to hurt anyone, but maybe he could give him a half truth. “I think-I think he’s in Metropolis, sir.”
He smiled, the first smile in a week, “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go get my son.”
He sighed. He would have to tell him more than he wanted to. “We can’t, or you can’t, but I want you to know that I’m going to bring him home.” “What do you mean I can’t?” He sighed. “He’s on red kryptonite.”
His face turned pale white. His eyes widened to the size of saucers like he was realizing something, and he darted into the barn.
He followed him, and watched as he rummaged through Clark’s drawers until he banged his fists onto the table. “DAMMIT!” “What is it?” He turned towards him. “The class ring. It’s gone.”
Well, that made things easier, he thought to himself. “I’m coming with you. It’s time I bring my son home.” “No! No, I can’t let you do that.”
He glared. “Why the hell not? This is my son we are talking about! This is my fault! If he’s in Metropolis then I’m going with you, and dragging his ass back to Smallville!”
“I’m sorry, but that is not a good idea. You know what he’s like on red meteor rock. He will say things, do things that will hurt you, and I can’t let that happen. I’m going to bring him home.” He seemed to be contemplating that. “No! What if he hurts you? No. I’m coming with you.”
He stood taller, his tone holding no exceptions, “He won’t, sir. I know that he is your son, but I’m his best friend, and I need to do this. I knew. I knew he was behaving weird after…” he let the sentence finish itself before continuing, “I promise I won’t leave Metropolis until I’ve found him.”
He stared at the kid he has known for years—the kid that has been so supportive of Clark, and knew he could do this. He nodded.
Pete started walking away, but stopped, “I promise. I’ll bring your son home.” And with that he left the Kent farm.
As Pete drove down the streets of Smallville, he wondered if he should have told Mr. Kent his plan. He shook his head. No. He would have tried to either stop him or come with him, and he couldn’t have that.
This was the only way.
He accelerated his speed, a new determination surging through his veins. He was going to bring his best friend home, back to where he belongs.
Jonathon walked back into the house, and restarted the dying fire. He knew Pete could do this, if there was anyone that Clark trusted more than anyone, it was him. He just hoped Clark didn’t hurt him, he would never forgive himself if he did.
He sighed. He still had hope. He knew Martha didn’t, but that would all change by tomorrow—tomorrow his son would be home, and they would deal with this as a family.
He stared into the roaring fire, and waited, waited for the moment that his son would walk through that front door.
To be continued...