Season 5, expansion/sequel to "Hypnotic"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC comics, not to me
Her voice drifted out of the darkness, slightly more insistent this time, and I sighed. “I’m over here, Chloe.”
I heard her tennis shoes on the wooden planks as she walked toward me. She’s hung out in my loft enough that she can find her way around pretty easily, even in the darkness. A moment later I felt the couch’s cushions shift slightly as she settled down next to me. She reached out, and her hand closed over mine.
“How are you doing, Clark?”
“Not too bad,” I answered gruffly.
“Uh-huh. So why are you crying alone in the dark?”
“I am not crying,” I said with great dignity. It was true. I’m not saying I’m such a macho dude that I never shed tears, but I don’t sit around weeping over my love life, no matter how lousy it gets. I swear.
I heard a faint sigh. “Lana was pretty upset,” she said softly.
“I guess she called you again.”
“Yeah. She wasn’t crying, like last time.” The day before I’d been hypnotized by this woman named Simone, who wanted to make me her personal sex slave, and Lana had had the misfortune to walk in on us while we’d been… well, occupied. This was what had prompted me to break up with Lana permanently. It seems like I’m destined to break the poor girl’s heart.
Chloe had correctly pointed out that being hypnotized by a woman’s bling wasn’t an everyday occurrence, but I swear, I just can’t win. There’s always someone out there trying to get to me. If I’m not being turned into a zombie sex slave, I’m getting turned into a schizophrenic with paranoid delusions because of silver kryptonite, or something else equally hard to explain away.
Anyway, Lana had looked terribly crushed when she’d seen me and Simone together. But tonight she’d looked more angry than sad.
“She looked pretty mad when she left,” I said.
“Yeah, no kidding. She’s pissed, Clark. I warned you she would be.”
“So what are you saying? It’s okay for her to dump me, but not okay for me to dump her?”
“No, that’s not the problem. It’s just that…” Chloe sighed. “She’s been waiting around for an awfully long time for you to spill your guts, Clark. And now she thinks you’d rather dump her than tell her the truth. I can see why that would make her mad. To be perfectly honest, it pissed me off that you wouldn’t tell me your secret, too.”
“But you already knew it.”
“You didn’t know that. And you wouldn’t trust me. It was infuriating.”
I sighed, turned my hand over so our palms were pressed together, and squeezed her hand gently. “I was being stupid, Chlo. I know you wouldn’t tell anyone.”
“But you’re not so sure about Lana, are you?”
“Uh…” I looked sideways at her. Even in the darkness her hair glittered like gold. “I don’t think she’d tell anyone deliberately. But remember when I went through that day twice?”
A month or so before, I’d told my secret to Lana and proposed to her, only to see her die in a bloody car crash less than twelve hours later. I’d begged my Kryptonian father for a chance to turn back time and save her, and he’d allowed it. Of course, no one knew about the first time through except me. I’d had a pretty damn hard time convincing Chloe it had actually happened, but eventually she'd come to believe me.
“Yeah, I remember.”
“I told you what happened. Lana went to see Lex and told him we were engaged, and apparently he realized that if she’d agreed to marry me, I’d told her my secret. He tried to get the secret out of her. She was scared and ran. That’s how she got killed.”
Chloe gave a soft inhalation of breath, a little sound of dismay. “Lana’s never been any good at lying.”
“You’re right, she’s not. And I don’t want to put her in harm’s way. Did Pete ever tell you why he left?”
Chloe paused for a second, obviously puzzled by the apparent change of topic. “Uh… his mom moved to Wichita, and he decided to go with her.”
“Yeah, but it was more than that. I told him my secret, you know. Some FBI agent suspected he knew it and tried to beat it out of him.”
I heard her sharp intake of breath. “Jesus, Clark.”
“It could happen to Lana, too. I can’t tell her, Chlo. It’s not a matter of trust. It’s just common sense.”
Her voice turned wry. “I notice you don’t worry about me being beat up.”
“I worry about you all the time,” I said hotly. “That’s why I never told you. But once you found out, there wasn’t much I could do about it, could I? I try to keep an eye on you as much as I can. I don’t want you to get hurt just because you know about me.”
“You shouldn’t worry so much,” she said with a soft laugh. “I can take care of myself.”
“So could Pete. But I still can’t forgive myself for letting him get beat up. And if anything ever happened to you…”
Just the thought made my throat close up, and I wrapped my fingers around hers and held them more tightly. She sat quietly for a minute, then spoke brightly, obviously trying to lighten the mood.
“Nothing’s going to happen to me, Clark. I know how to watch my back. And yours, too.”
I uttered a soft laugh. That was true enough. It was Chloe who’d pried me out of Simone’s clutches, risking her own life to do it. If not for Chlo, I’d be a sex slave in California right now. Which probably wouldn’t be nearly as pleasant as it sounds.
“I know. And I appreciate the fact that you’re always there to save my ass, Chlo.”
“Someone has to do it. You have a damn fine ass. It needs to be preserved for future generations to admire.”
I snorted. “Like you’ve ever even looked at that particular portion of my anatomy.”
“Oh, I’ve looked,” she answered, her voice low. “Trust me, Clark. I’ve definitely looked.”
Read Chapter 3 here.