TO FINDING A PATH
Whitney was leaving Lana's house and noticed the light coming from
the Kent Barn. It was his last night in Smallville and he still
had some loose ends to tie up. He knew it was late but he needed
to talk to Clark before he left for the Marines. He walked up the
stairs and saw Clark reading a book on his couch. He cleared his
Clark looked up and saw Whitney standing there, "Whitney!
What brings you here?"
"Can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Yeah, have a seat." Clark sat up and motioned at the
opposite end of the couch. Whitney nodded and sat down.
"Listen Clark, I wanted to apologize to you...for being a
jerk and that whole 'scarecrow' thing. I'm not the same guy I was
then and thinking back ...well, I'm sorry doesn't cover it."
Clark looked at him for a moment, "Accepted and thank you.
"Can I ask you a favor?"
"What is it?"
"Would you watch out for Lana while I'm gone, be there for
her when I can't?"
"Whitney...why are you joining the Marines? It seems kind
"Clark...I don't expect anyone to understand. This has been
an intense year, nothing went right, and I need something."
"How's your mom?"
Whitney paused for a minute, the conversation moving all over the
map with no apparent destination. "She's...upset. She understands
that this is something I have to do but I do feel a little guilty
leaving a month after he died."
"So why are you joining the Marines?"
"Clark...because there is nothing in Smallville for me. I
love Lana but...she needs something that I can't give right now.
I see my dad everywhere I go. I can't pay for college right now
so...I'll serve and see where that takes me."
Clark was silent for a minute then looked at Whitney again, "I
"Clark, I never thanked you for all the times you saved my
ass. You are a truly good person and I want you to know I respect
Clark looked at Whitney and saw what few ever saw before, a young
man with the weight of the world on his shoulders and looking for
something to give him hope.
"I'd better be going...please think about it Clark, I trust
Clark watched as Whitney walked down the steps and heard the truck
speed away. He sat and pondered the visit for a few moments, wondering
if he missed something. Whitney for his part tried not to think
of the 'might have beens' and sped home to get the last night of
peaceful sleep he would see for sometime to come.
Clark and Chloe ran into the school to escape the rain and walked
right into Whitney and Lana.
"Lana, can I have a moment alone with Clark?"
"Sure, I'll go get the truck."
Whitney pulled Clark into an alcove. "Please don't tell anyone
about our conversation last night."
"I would never..."
"I know but I've told you things that I've never told anyone.
I wanted to thank you again for everything. You are an amazing guy
Clark Kent." Whitney leaned over, took a deep breath and kissed
Clark. He did not force it but he felt Clark's lips mold to his
and the kiss deepened slightly. Whitney pulled away. "Good-Bye
Clark, take care of yourself and Lana, I know you will. If I write,
will you write back?"
Clark was still shocked by the unexpected kiss. "Yeah."
Whitney graced him with a smile and bounded down the steps to the
Clark watched and could still feel the kiss and waved at Lana but
really at Whitney as he left to start a new life. Clark tried to
put the year in perspective but couldn't, he knew he was too close
to be honest. He looked as the truck headed off in the distance
and he turned to join Chloe at the dance. All his thoughts centered
on Whitney's requests and a kiss that he never saw coming.
To Part Two, Finding a Path