Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saving Me, Chapter 10

Season 5, post "Void"
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC comics, not to me

The freckled cop was nice enough to drive me back to campus. Once he dropped me off, I ran inside the dorm. Lana had gone to class, but she’d left the door unlocked—a really bad habit she had, which was going to get my laptop stolen one of these days. I was relieved to see it was still on my desk. Fortunately I hadn’t taken it to class with me, or it’d be gone, along with all the other stuff in my backpack. I booted it up, logged onto the Internet, and started pulling up all the information I could find on the address of the old building.

About twenty minutes later, I found what I was looking for, and I grabbed Lana’s cell, which was lying on her desk, and dialed Lieutenant Freckles.

“I think I know where they’re keeping my friend,” I announced without preamble. “And I think I know who’s got him.”

After twenty more minutes of talking in circles and being put on hold repeatedly (but very politely), I’d concluded that the cops weren’t going to get anything accomplished any time soon. I understand about the need for warrants, really. I understand that cops can’t just go charging in, guns blazing, any time someone asks them to. I understand that cops have to follow laws and procedures.

But I also understood what the cops didn’t… that Clark was in serious danger.

The lieutenant was very nice, assured me a warrant would be issued as soon as possible, and asked me to sit tight. “Just be patient,” he said before hanging up.

The memory of Clark shaking in pain due to the proximity of green K didn’t make me feel patient. I sat staring at the cell phone for a long moment, then picked it up… and called someone I’d really never thought I’d call again.


A few minutes later I’d grabbed my spare key, got into my red Beetle, and headed for the address I’d found in my researches. I parked the Beetle about a block away, got out of the car, and decided to do some reconnaissance while waiting for the cavalry to arrive. I walked toward the building, ducked down behind a parked car, and watched to see if anything happened. It was a much nicer building in a respectable section of town, but I had a bad feeling Clark was in even more danger here than he'd been in the old decrepit building.

A moment later I felt something cold shoved up against my ribs. I looked up to see Water Buffalo grinning down at me. He opened his mouth and proved he’d been studying the Lame Lines for Villains Handbook again during his coffee break.

“Nice of you to stop by for a visit,” he said.


I went into the building without argument, since he had a gun pressed to my back, and the oaf shoved me unceremoniously into a small room. I fell to my hands and knees, and the door slid closed behind me.

Standing up, I saw that Clark was stretched out on the floor, near the back of the room. His eyes were clamped shut, his jaw clenched, and his head arched back so that the tendons in his neck stood out in stark relief. He didn’t move at the sound of the door opening, but he looked entirely too tense to be sleeping or unconscious. Puzzled and concerned, I crossed the room, sat down next to him, and stroked his arm gently, feeling the muscles knotted tightly, so taut they bulged beneath his damp skin.

The fact that he was moist with sweat was a little strange, because one of Clark’s oddities is that he doesn’t sweat, at least not from heat. It’s one of the very first things about Clark that registered on my weird radar.

The summer before ninth grade, I biked over to the Kent farm. It was ninety degrees and brilliantly sunny, and I almost passed out before I got there. Mr. Kent and Clark were working in a field, and while Mr. Kent was dripping with sweat, Clark was perfectly dry. They told me they’d been working all morning, and when I remarked that Clark looked awfully unsweaty, considering the heat, they both got identical strange expressions on their faces.

After that, whenever I showed up at the farm during summertime, Clark’s hair and shirt were damp, but I was pretty sure he was just squirting himself with a water bottle, because he didn’t smell right. When a guy’s been doing hard labor out in the heat for a few hours, it’s pretty obvious. Let’s be honest, most guys reek when they sweat. Clark always smelled like hay and apple pie, no matter how hard he worked around the farm.

Clark does sweat when he’s exposed to kryptonite, though. That suggested the cell was painted with kryptonite, and the obvious tension in his muscles probably meant he was in pain.

“Clark,” I said, gently shaking his arm. “I’m here.”

“Chloe,” he whispered. Then a long stream of guttural syllables spilled from his lips.

I didn’t understand a thing he said after my name. Clark had once told me how the cave in Smallville had downloaded him with the Kryptonian language, and I knew he could speak it, so I supposed it wasn’t surprising he’d say something in Kryptonian when he was startled or in pain. But I’d never heard him actually use the language before. I shook him a little harder.

“Hey, Clark. Open your eyes. And speak English, okay?”

Clark’s eyelids fluttered open. I looked into his eyes, and shock made my heart almost stutter to a halt. The pupils of his eyes were dilated, so enormous they’d almost swallowed up the irises. And the thin rim of iris that still showed around the pupils wasn’t the normal pale green.

His irises were glowing red.

I jerked backward in surprise. Seeing his big, sweet eyes suddenly replaced by demon eyes was startling, to put it mildly. “What on earth, Clark?”

“Red K,” he said in a hoarse whisper. His breathing was ragged and too fast, his skin felt hot, and I could feel him shuddering spasmodically under my hand. “You need to go. Stay 'way from me.”

“Not really an option,” I answered. “I’m kind of stuck here.”

I understood his concern, though. I didn’t remember his eyes looking like that the summer I’d found him in Metropolis—I’m an investigative reporter, so surely I’d have noticed glow-in-the-dark eyes, right?-- but I did remember he’d acted like a real jerk. He wasn’t a nice person when he was on red K. And I clearly remembered Martha’s words a few months ago: Red kryptonite makes Clark unpredictable… and dangerous.

Great. I was stuck in a locked room with Mr. Hyde. Didn’t that just put the capper on a lovely day?

I checked him over for jewelry—a ring, a necklace, a bracelet—or even a red stone put in a shirt pocket, hoping if I found anything I could get it away from him without too much of a struggle (since in a physical struggle, Clark is always going to win). I didn’t find a red K stone, but I did notice a small red mark on his left forearm. I yanked up his wrist and studied it.

“Jesus,” I said, so angry I thought steam might just come out of my ears. “Did they inject you, Clark?”

“Mmm-hmmm,” he mumbled. His eyes, which were usually so vivid with life, looked horrifyingly vacant, and his voice was barely a murmur. I realized that the tension in his muscles wasn’t from pain, but the opposite.

Clark was on a serious trip. Like in the old song, he was floating in a boat down a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.

Fury at what they'd done to him rose up in my throat, so thick and hot it almost choked me. I hated to see Clark like this. On the up side, it didn’t seem like injected red K made him particularly dangerous. He didn’t seem to want to argue, or hurt me, or do much of anything. He looked pretty much like he wanted to be left alone in his own little Clarkworld.

But I was afraid to leave him there, for fear he’d just sink into it and never come back. “Hey,” I said, shaking his shoulder. “Come on, Clark. Snap out of it.”

He closed his eyes, looking like snapping out of it was the absolute last thing he wanted to do. I ran my fingers through his hair, hoping maybe that would help wake him up a little. His breathing grew faster, and he gave a long, low groan, sounding very much like a guy in the throes of…

Well. Anyway. Let’s just say it was the sexiest sound I’ve ever heard a guy make in my life. The bottom dropped out of my stomach, like I was on an rapidly plummeting elevator. I yanked my hand away, figuring maybe touching him wasn’t such a great idea after all.

“Don’t… stop,” he muttered.

The stark need in Clark’s voice made me melt like butter on a summer day. I’ve never been much good at saying no to him. I mean, let’s face it, when you’ve been in love with a guy for years, hearing him ask you, practically beg you, to touch him is something of a dream come true. I had to remind myself forcefully that he was seriously under the influence, and not capable of making any rational decisions.

“Relax,” I told him, keeping my hands to myself. “It’ll be better soon.”

“Chloe,” he whispered. His eyes flickered open, and he looked at me pleadingly. “Touch me. Please.”

God help me. I am obviously completely lacking in self-discipline, because when he put it that way, I wasn’t capable of saying no to him. Anyway, I told myself, at least his reaction to being touched was preferable to the more-or-less catatonic state he’d been in when I arrived. It might actually help him shake off the effects of the red K. In fact, I thought hopefully, it looked like some of the glow had gone out of his eyes already.

Yeah, I know, I was rationalizing in a big way. But then again, I’m the same girl who’s capable of convincing herself that a half gallon of Rocky Road ice cream doesn’t have any calories as long as it’s eaten directly from the carton.

Lightly, almost hesitantly, I let my hand brush over his. He tilted his head back, closed his eyes, and made a small sound of need in the back of his throat, while his body shuddered violently. My mouth suddenly went dry, and I discovered I didn’t have the strength to stop touching him.

Every time Clark wears a t-shirt, I notice what gorgeous arms he has. I’ve wanted to explore them for years, and suddenly I couldn’t curb the impulse any longer. I slowly ran my hand up his arm, feeling the heavy muscles and the veins etched beneath the skin, feeling the rough hair on his forearm, feeling how very solid he was. His back arched a little, and he uttered another one of those low, sexy groans.

“Chloe. God.”

“Clark,” I said, pulling my hand back. “I really think—“

“Don’t,” he whispered. “Don’t think.”

And he yanked me down on top of him.

Considering he’d been practically comatose when I first found him, I was shocked by how quickly he moved. He just reached out, caught me by the arms, and tugged me right over on top of him.

Clark’s about fifty times stronger than I am, so it’s not like I could do much to fight him, but I didn’t try very hard anyway. Being on top of him, feeling my body pressed against his, was a seriously nice sensation. I wanted to wrap my arms around him, but instead I put my hands on his chest, feeling his heart thudding way too fast, like it might leap out of his chest at any moment. I could feel his ribs heaving with every breath he took, could feel him shivering convulsively.

He put a big hand on either side of my face, pulled me down to him, and kissed me.

This was definitely not a Clark kiss. It was hot and hungry and almost desperate. And it was incredible. He seemed to think so, too, because he gave a low, animal growl deep in his throat and intensified the kiss. His mouth was forceful, demanding, almost aggressive. He didn’t ask-- he just took. Clark and I haven’t shared nearly as many kisses as I’d like, but I was fairly certain Clark would never have kissed me that way.

It seemed that red K had unleashed his inner alien.

I was pretty much lost in a sensual haze by that point, but the thought made a faint warning go off in the recesses of my brain. The more sensible part of me issued a reminder that he could crush my skull between his hands like an egg if he wanted to. I trusted Clark not to hurt me, but I wasn’t so sure about “Kal.”

And then he brushed his thumbs over my cheekbones in a gentle, sweet caress, the touch so thoroughly Clarklike that it made my eyes sting with tears.

I told my sensible self to take a hike. I slid my arms around his neck, buried my hands in his hair, and kissed him back with everything I had.

I’m not sure how long that kiss went on, but it just got hotter and sweeter, until it was so overwhelming that I could hardly draw a breath. At last I pulled my mouth away, sucked in some badly needed oxygen, and pressed my lips to the side of his neck, listening to the ragged sound of his breathing, inhaling the scent of him.

He didn’t smell quite like he usually did. He smelled faintly of sweat and male musk, and beneath my lips his skin was salty. I flicked out my tongue against his neck and took a taste, and he arched his head back, clenching his fists in my hair and making sounds like I was killing him.

Suddenly he rolled me over and pressed his lips to the sensitive skin of my throat. “Chloe,” he whispered, and then another torrent of guttural words came pouring out. I felt his hot breath against my throat as he spoke, felt every movement of his lips, but I couldn’t understand a thing he was saying. Apparently the inner alien was making another appearance.

The fact that he was speaking in Kryptonian again reminded me that he really wasn’t in his right mind, and that things were getting out of hand rapidly. The last thing I wanted was to take advantage of him, no matter how damn sexy he was, and no matter how desperately he craved my touch right now. I didn’t want him to hate me later.

“Clark,” I whispered, trying to push him away. “We need to stop. Now.”

“Can’t stop,” he muttered against my throat.

At least he’d switched back to English. “Clark,” I said more firmly, trying to sound like I was in control of the situation, rather than squashed between a two hundred and twenty pound Kryptonian and a hard concrete floor. “Help is coming, okay? We’re going to get out of this very soon.”

He lifted his head and looked at me. I saw with surprise that his pupils were shrinking, and that the irises had reverted almost to a normal shade of green. Apparently he was coming down off his high. I don’t know if all the movement had helped his metabolism kick off the drugs, or if the drugs had just run their course, but his high was obviously ebbing.

He seemed to notice it too, because he blinked like his mind was starting to function again, and the look of stark need on his face slowly faded. Exhaustion settled visibly onto his features, and he dropped his head against my shoulder.

“I don’t feel so good, Chlo,” he said into my shoulder, his voice muffled.

I ran my fingers through his hair, trying to comfort him. I’ve never done illegal drugs—well, if you don’t count a little Budweiser—but I know that when you experience a high, sooner or later you’ll have a corresponding low. And Clark had been flying pretty high, from the look of things.

“It’s okay,” I told him. “You’ll feel better soon. We’re going to get you out of here.”

“Don’t want to go anywhere.” He shook his head against my shoulder, and all of a sudden I noticed how heavy he was. “I feel terrible.”

“I know. It’ll be okay, Clark.” I shoved at his shoulders with all my strength, and he slid off me and rolled over onto his back, covering his eyes with his arm like the light hurt them. I sat up next to him and started to stroke his hair again, wondering where in the hell my cavalry was.

God, I hoped I hadn’t been abandoned here. Because Clark needed help, very soon, or we were going to be in serious trouble.

As if to underscore the point, the door opened. I looked up hopefully, but instead of my hoped-for help, I saw a disgustingly beautiful, redheaded woman with breasts that would make Dolly Parton look flat. I narrowed my eyes, recognizing our captor from the research I’d done on the Internet.“Moira Redburn, isn’t it?”

The door slid shut behind her. “Call me Red. Everyone does.”

“Thanks,” I responded, standing up and facing her, “but I’m really not interested in being on a first-name basis with a mob boss. You took over Morgan Edge’s operation last year, didn’t you?”

The corners of her mouth turned up in a cold smile. “You’re a clever little girl, aren’t you?”

“I know how to read,” I answered, annoyed by her condescension. “And it wasn’t hard to put together the bits and pieces I’ve read about you in the Daily Planet over the past few years. The question is, what do you want with Clark?”

Her smile grew even colder. “What do you want with him, Miss Sullivan?”

To my horror, I felt my cheeks turn red, and she laughed softly. Her laughter was every bit as icy as the rest of her. “Poor romantic child. You do realize he’d have reacted that way to any woman, don’t you? He isn’t really interested in you. It was merely a reaction to the red meteor rock. He’d respond to me just as readily. Probably more so, since you’re so… plain.”

I flinched, feeling her words slash right into my heart. Of course I knew she was right. I’m not beautiful like Lana Lang, and Clark’s never been interested in me as a female. When he’d kissed me, when he'd begged me to touch him, he’d simply been responding to the chemical in his bloodstream, not to me. If I’d had any sense, I would have stayed clear of him and never let him grab me in the first place.

But I’ve never had any sense where Clark is concerned.

I was irritated by her words (probably because they were for the most part true), and I didn’t see any reason to keep my claws sheathed. “I may be plain,” I answered, “but at least my boobs aren’t a blue light special from K-mart.”

Her smile faded, and the nasty expression on her face transformed her, making her look almost ugly. “You little bitch,” she snarled. “You’re going to pay for what you did to Morgan.”

“Is that why you captured us? To make us pay for Morgan’s death?”

“That’s part of the reason. But I also have big plans for our friend Kal.”

I looked at the syringe of red liquid she held in her hand, and for the first time I noticed the bracelet of green stones on her wrist. No wonder Clark hadn't been able to defend himself against her. “You’re trying to control him,” I accused.

“Of course I am. Morgan saw the potential in this young man, but he foolishly tried to take advantage of all that strength and power without a plan in place to control it, and he paid for his error in judgment with his life. I won’t make the same mistake.”

“You’re planning on controlling him by… addicting him?”

She held up the syringe. “Precisely. And I must say, it’s working better than I expected. His response to the first dose was more than I’d hoped for. In a few days, he’ll do anything I ask him to do. He'll be quite happy to throw his own mother off a cliff in order to get a hit.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Clark struggle to his feet. He stood beside me, swaying unsteadily, and Red shot him a really unpleasant smile.

“Your metabolism is very impressive,” she said to him. “I didn’t think you’d shake it off so quickly. But you don’t look like you feel well, Kal.”

I stole a quick glance at Clark. His skin was pale and clammy, his shoulders slumped, and there was an unhappy cast to his features. But at least his eyes were back to normal.

“Here,” Red said. “This will make you feel better.”

She tossed the syringe at him, and Clark snatched it out of the air. He stood staring at it, and the terrible look of anguished longing on his face caught at my heart. God, I hoped rescue was coming soon, because the last thing I wanted was to stand here and watch this woman make an addict of my best friend.

Assuming she hadn’t succeeded in that already.

“Go ahead,” Red said, her voice soft and seductive, dripping with temptation. “Just slide it into a vein, and you’ll feel better. That’s what you want, isn’t it? To feel good?”

Clark lifted his gaze from his contemplation of the syringe and looked at her silently, a question in his eyes, and she nodded. “Yes, Kal, it’ll go into your skin. There’s enough of the green meteor rock in the paint in this room that your skin isn’t invulnerable right now.”

I realized that was true, because the first little mark on his arm still hadn’t healed. The paint on the walls in the first building hadn’t seemed to affect Clark’s abilities, but here the floor and ceiling were painted too, and I guessed that made the difference. Or maybe it was just a matter of prolonged exposure. Either way, the presence of green K was probably contributing to his feeling of illness.

And it ensured that he could stick the needle right into his skin if he wanted to.

Clark’s outstretched hand shook, and when I looked at him more carefully, I saw that he was trembling all over. I could only imagine how awful he must be feeling right now, and how much of a temptation that vial of liquid represented. I took a quick step toward him, but he backed away, still clutching it in his fingers, and I stopped, knowing I had no hope of getting it away from him anyway and not wanting to panic him into doing anything stupid.

"Clark," I said softly. "Don't."

Read Chapter 11 here.

1 comment:

blackheart_me said...

Man! I hate that woman! she knows Chloe to well...she's good at her job! Hmm. Did she call Lex? The way u described his eyes was BEAUTIFUL! i could just picture it and wow! I didn't kno that being shot with Red-K was gonna make him like he's lietrally on drugs. And the fact her touching him is turning him on makes me grin :D." He didn’t ask-- he just took." I love ur way of characterizing Kal. I think it's so right :D The red-k unleashes his inner alien hu?? xDxD.OMG THAT'S EVIL! well now we have a name for the b!tch. But she's planning on addicting him? she rlly is good.this breaks my heart :(