Thursday, April 27, 2006
Changes in Attitudes, Chapter 1
Manip by Khyla. Used with permission of the artist.
Season 5, after "Fanatic"
Rating: Adult. If you are under eighteen, please leave this page now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC comics, not to me.
With those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same...
-"Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" by Jimmy Buffett
As Chloe opens the door of her dorm room, Lana storms past her without saying a word. There’s a dangerous, almost homicidal gleam in her eyes. She stalks down the hall and disappears, and Chloe looks after her roommate for a moment, bemused. Then she walks into the room and sees Clark sitting cross-legged on Lana’s bed, a hangdog expression on his face.
“Uh-oh,” she says. “What happened?”
Clark looks up at her with those huge, expressive green eyes that could make any woman melt. Except her, because she’s known him for years, and she's immune to his eyes by now.
Or maybe not. Damn it.
“Lana’s pissed,” he says.
“No kidding, farmboy. I figured that out. The question is, what is she pissed about?”
“Me. Our relationship.” He heaves a big sigh. “Everything.”
“Sex,” Chloe guesses.
“Oh, stop blushing, Clark. For God’s sake. We’ve talked about your sex life before. In fact, as I recall, you’re the one who brought it up last time.”
“It’s just…” He sighs. “I thought nice girls didn’t mind waiting.”
Chloe throws down her briefcase, kicks off her high heels, and sits down on her own bed. She's spent the afternoon and evening at the Daily Planet, after a morning of classes at Met U, and her feet have had it. “News flash, Clark. This is not the nineteenth century. Girls like sex, too. Anyway, I think Lana’s problem is that you didn’t wait. You guys have already done it.”
“Yeah, but I…”
“You didn’t have your powers then. Right. I know. But the problem is that Lana doesn’t know. As far as she’s concerned, you just pulled away from her for no reason. I don’t blame her for being pissed. I’d be mad, too.”
“I just…” He spreads his hands, looking over at her with adorable confusion. His dark brown hair is a little rumpled, and his bangs shadow his eyes more than usual, making him look oddly like a vulnerable little boy. “I’m afraid of hurting her, Chloe.”
“I don’t think you give yourself enough credit, Clark. You manage to walk among us fragile humans without killing us every single day.”
“Yeah, but sex is different. I’m afraid I’ll… I don’t know… split her in two, or something.”
“Hmmm. What a way to go.”
Clark looks at her suspiciously and apparently spots a glint of humor in her eyes. His eyebrows draw down. “This is a serious problem, Chlo. It is not amusing for me to contemplate killing my girlfriend in the throes of passion.”
“I know,” she says, choking back her amusement with an effort. “I understand, really. But you’re going to have to make a decision here, Clark. You’re stuck with your abilities. So you either need to tell Lana the truth and see if she’s willing to risk her life in the pursuit of an orgasm... or just break things off with her. Because she’s not going to put up with this much longer.”
Clark looks at her a moment longer, then flings himself backward on the bed and throws an arm over his face. “I don’t have a clue what to do here, Chloe.”
“You never have a clue, Clark.” Chloe looks him over. He’s wearing a bright blue t-shirt that’s pulled tight over the muscles in his chest, and an old faded pair of jeans that cling to his muscled thighs, and he must have been hanging out with Lana for a while, because his work boots are in the corner and his feet are bare. He has really big feet, even considering what a tall guy he is, and just looking at them makes heat curl in her belly.
Which immediately makes her laugh at herself. Her unresolved issues with Clark are getting really bad if she can’t look at his feet without getting turned on.
Of course, it’s not just the feet. With his arm over his head, the t-shirt rides up a bit, showing an inch or two of the rippled slab of his stomach, and that turns her on, too. But at least that’s not quite as pitiful as lusting after the man’s feet, so she takes advantage of his distraction and stares at the two inches of skin hungrily.
“Even if I told her the truth,” he says, his voice muffled by his arm, “I could still hurt her. I don’t know what to do, Chlo. I really don’t. I probably just shouldn’t get involved with human women.”
“There aren’t a lot of Kryptonian women hanging around Kansas,” Chloe points out. “So, what, you’re just going to go without sex for the rest of your life?”
He lowers his arm and glares at her. “I could do that. I’ve thought about it. It might actually be the best solution.”
She scoffs. “Yeah, like that’s going to happen.”
“What, don’t you think I have enough self-control?”
She snorts eloquently.
Clark sits up and glares harder, so hard that she’s a little afraid his heat vision might activate. She’d hate for the sprinkler system to get set off, because that would be hell on her laptop. And she loves her laptop. It's her significant other right now.
Which is so pitiful it isn’t even worth thinking about.
“I have plenty of self-control, Chloe. I could abstain for the rest of my life if I wanted to. I mean, I’ve managed to keep my hands off Lana for the past couple of months, even though she keeps throwing herself at me.”
“Yeah,” she drawls, getting up and walking across the room to her closet. “You’re just a Zen master when it comes to self-control.”
“You’re mocking me.”
“You think?” She pulls off her purple suit jacket and puts it on a hanger. All of a sudden she becomes aware that Clark is watching her with more than the usual intensity. His eyes have narrowed, and his lips are slightly parted.
“Relax, Clark,” she says, grinning because she so obviously freaked him out. She and Clark are casual together, but not so casual that she’s going to strip naked in front of him. “I’m not changing or anything, just taking off my jacket.”
He stares at her a moment longer, and she can’t help but notice the direction of his gaze. He seems to be staring at her white silk blouse, which is kind of low cut. Suddenly he shakes his head and looks away.
“I knew that,” he says.
She looks at him with surprise, seeing his cheeks turn about ten different shades of red, and suddenly it hits her. Seeing her take off her jacket made him... uncomfortable. Maybe even a little hot and bothered. His expression makes it clear that his mind has just gone reeling down some paths he obviously doesn’t consider permissible.
She, Chloe Sullivan, has made Clark Kent think a dirty thought.
“Then again,” she says, turning back to the closet and hanging up the jacket, “I am pretty tired of these work clothes. Do me a favor, Clark. Close your eyes for a minute.”
“Uh…” Clark sounds totally befuddled, like he’s forgotten the basics of the English language. Then he recovers. “I can step out in the hall.”
“Don’t worry about it. I mean, you can see straight through walls anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. Just close your eyes.” She smiles innocently. “And no using your x-ray vision to peek.”
“I would never do that,” he says stiffly, closing his eyes. But she sees his head move slightly, tracking her as she crosses the room to her dresser, and she figures maybe, just maybe, he can’t help himself.
Or maybe it’s all in her imagination, and Clark Kent is really such a Boy Scout he’d never use his x-ray vision to check out a woman changing her clothes. Or at least not her. After all, he’s never looked at her like she was anything other than his best friend. She doubts he knows she’s female, really. She's just Chloe. His buddy.
She pushes the bitter thoughts away and reminds herself of the way he was looking at her cleavage, the heat and intensity in his eyes. The memory of the way he looked at her causes a warmth to bloom in her veins. She pulls the silk blouse off over her head, tossing it carelessly on the floor.
And hears a low moan from the other side of the room.
It’s an incredibly sexy sound, although not one she ever expected to hear from Clark. At least not directed at her. But she likes it. She feels the corners of her mouth tilt up and can’t resist teasing him a little more.
“Did you say something, Clark?”
“Uh,” he says again. “No.”
She pushes off the skirt, steps out of the puddle of fabric on the floor, and stands there mostly naked, taking her sweet time to pick out casual clothes to change into. There’s a kind of energy in the room, an intensity that seems to be radiating from Clark, and a quick glance in his direction shows her that all his muscles are rigid and his jaw is set, although his eyes are still closed.
She can hear the harsh sound of his breathing, and she figures he’s looking right through his eyelids, checking out her ass as she bends over and searches through her dresser. The thought, and the way he sounds like he’s struggling for each breath, sends a thrill right down to her toes.
She pulls on a pair of really short denim shorts, taking her time about it, pulling them up, zipping them, and buttoning them slowly. Then she pulls out a dark green t-shirt that says “Smallville Corn Festival” and pulls it over her head. It’s a short shirt and shows quite a bit of her abdomen, but at least the white lace of her bra is concealed.
Or not, maybe. Because Clark has x-ray vision, and he could be checking her out right down to her skin even if she was wearing a parka. Ordinarily, the thought would bother her a little. Right now, it makes her hot.
“Okay,” she says. “All done.”
Clark opens his eyes, and she can’t miss the heat in his gaze as he stares at her. Not heat vision heat, but ordinary, run-of-the-mill, everyday sexy heat. Which isn’t so ordinary and everyday when it’s in Clark’s green eyes, because she’s never seen that expression in his eyes before, at least not aimed at her.
She crosses the room and sits down next to him, a couple of inches too close. She’s very much in his personal space, his denim-clad thigh pressed right up to her bare one. His gaze drops to her leg, and she hears an audible gulp as he swallows.
Chloe knows she’s being a bad girl, but she can’t quite help herself. She’s loved Clark forever, and the fact that he and Lana are now officially An Item hasn’t changed that, despite her best efforts.
In her mind, Clark is hers—he just hasn’t figured it out yet. Yes, Lana is her closest friend next to Clark, and she loves the girl to death, but it’s obvious to her that the two of them just don’t belong together. She’s around them enough to notice the awkward silences, the fact that they rarely have anything of significance to say to one another, the way they tend to verbally circle around one another, talking past one another rather than actually conversing.
She can’t help but contrast it with her relationship with Clark, which is as warm and comfortable as one of Clark’s old flannel shirts. She and Clark can talk for hours about anything, and they often do.
Yes, Clark’s a dork, but she loves him in spite of it, or maybe because of it. She even loves his horrible plaid flannel shirts, because they’re part of who he is. She’s loved him forever, but he’s never looked at her the way he looks at Lana, as if she’s precious and fragile and should be kept up on a pedestal behind glass, like a piece of easily shattered china.
But right now, the way he’s looking at Chloe is better. He doesn’t look like he’s worried about breaking her, not at all. He looks like he’d like to push her over onto the bed, strip off the clothes she just put on, and run his hands all over her naked skin.
Which is a fabulous idea, as far as she’s concerned.
Clark obviously doesn’t think so, though, because he drags his gaze away from her leg and stands up. He paces across the room, looking a little nervous and uncomfortable, like noticing Chloe was female was an unsettling surprise.
“You okay?” she asks.
“Yeah.” He stops at the window and looks moodily out into the night at the twinkling lights of Metropolis, but she can see his reflection in the glass. His forehead is wrinkled, which is a sure sign that he’s worried about something. “I guess I’d better get going, though.”
The smart thing to do would be to let him walk out of this room and pretend he never actually watched her change, that he wasn’t turned on by the proximity of her bare leg, that he hadn’t noticed she was female. Clark’s perfectly capable of convincing himself of these things, because he’s got a remarkable capacity for self-delusion. If he leaves now, she’s bleakly aware that by morning he’ll have managed to convince himself none of it happened.
And none of it should have happened. She loves Lana too, thinks of Lana as her sister, and she hadn’t meant for things to get out of hand. She just intended to tweak him about his supposed self-control a bit. But now her skin is itchy and she feels restless and feverish.
If Clark leaves this room without touching her, she’s not going to be able to survive it.
“Okay,” she says, standing up and walking toward him. His gaze meets hers in the glass, and she sees wariness on his face, as if he’s worried she might attack him or something. Like she’s strong enough to force him to do anything he doesn’t want to do. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”
She stops behind him, just inches away from his back. He turns around automatically, and all of a sudden she’s only inches away from his front.
He’s a big guy, so big that he looms over her. Her head barely reaches his shoulder, and from her perspective his chest looks as hard and unyielding as a brick wall. Her breath catches in her throat, and her heart pounds.
His size has always attracted her. Not just the height, but the solidity and heaviness of him. He’s inhumanly strong, and he looks it. His body is bulging with muscle, without an ounce of fat anywhere. He was a cute boy in high school, and he’s grown into a remarkably sexy man.
And he’s standing two inches away from her.
She looks up at him, and her tongue darts out to wet her lips, which are suddenly dry.
Something ignites in Clark’s gaze, something she hasn’t ever seen in his sweet, gentle eyes before. Something that’s so dark and intense it almost looks dangerous. His hands suddenly reach out and wrap themselves around her upper arms, holding her so tightly it almost hurts, and he yanks her up against him.
Read Chapter 2 here.
Posted by Meg at 7:51 AM