Sunday, April 30, 2006

What the World Could Be, Chapter 2

Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Season 5, after my story "Saving Me," which followed "Void."
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC Comics, not to me.

Chloe’s eyes went wide, and Clark suddenly realized exactly what he’d said. Like so many things did, it had sounded better inside his head than out of it. He wasn’t the most articulate guy at the best of times, and right now he was so tired he could barely string two words together. “I didn’t mean it that way,” he said hastily.

She stared at him a moment longer, then a slight smile curved her mouth, and she blinked at him, the picture of innocence. “What way?”

“When I said sleep,” he said carefully, “I meant, you know, sleep.”

“Yeah,” she answered with a little sigh. “Of course you did.”

He felt his eyes widen, and he gaped at her, trying to get a better clue to what she was thinking. Her blonde hair was tousled, and she wore a fragile-looking thing made mostly out of white lace, with a few scraps of silky fabric holding it together. Barely. In the yellow light from the lamp her eyes looked like molten gold. She wasn’t wearing a speck of makeup, but she was nevertheless the most gorgeous thing he'd ever seen.

Despite his exhaustion, something primal stirred inside him. She was sexy and beautiful and totally appealing... but she couldn't possibly be implying she was interested in him that way.

Could she?

“Uh,” he said, feeling like he’d missed something. He often had that feeling when he talked to girls, particularly when the subject of sex was alluded to. “I mean, that’s what you want... right?”

For a long moment she didn’t say anything. Her eyes studied him thoughtfully. At last she spoke.

“Is it what you want, Clark?”

He stared into her eyes, feeling a strange mixture of emotions boiling up inside of him-- lust, affection, and embarrassment, along with a healthy dollop of confusion. “I’m not sure,” he admitted finally, his voice barely above a whisper. “I’m so tired, Chlo. I just can’t think right now.”

The flirtatious glimmer immediately disappeared from her eyes. “Of course you can’t,” she said sympathetically. “You look totally exhausted. You really haven’t slept for a week?”

He sighed. “The first night after… all that stuff happened with Moira Redburn, I slept okay. In fact, I slept fine. But since then, I’ve hardly been able to sleep at all.”

“Bad dreams?”

Weird dreams. I fall asleep, and then I wake up… thinking about something. Wanting it so badly I can hardly stand it.”

“Red K.”

“Uh… maybe. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure.” He stood up and started to pace. His body was so exhausted that he just wanted to keel over and sleep for a day or two, but he knew from experience that his mind wasn’t going to cooperate with his body. “I want… something… so badly, Chlo, and I keep dreaming about it, but I just can’t quite tell what it is. It’s like my dreams are all covered in fog, and I just…can’t… quite… see it." He growled with irritation. "I feel like I’m going crazy.”

“It’s got to be a reaction to the drug, Clark.”

“I guess so,” he answered, still pacing. She stood up, crossed to him, and caught his hands, so that he had to come to a halt.

“Relax,” she whispered, a soft, reassuring note in her voice. “You’re never going to get to sleep if you let yourself get all worked up.”

“I’m never going to get to sleep anyway,” he said wretchedly. “I’m not sure I’ll ever sleep again.”

“Sure you will. Come here.” She pulled gently on his hands, drawing him toward the bed. “Let’s lie down, okay?”

She stretched out on the bed, next to the wall. He was very conscious that she was wearing hardly anything, while he was fully clothed, in jeans and a red t-shirt. He sat on the edge of the bed and kicked off his work boots and socks.

Feeling uncomfortable and awkward, he stretched out next to her, lying stiffly on his back and trying very hard to maintain a little space between them. Unfortunately, he was big enough that he took up most of a twin-sized bed, and it was impossible not to come into contact with her body.

“Relax,” she said again. “And scoot over this way a bit, or you’re going to fall right out of the bed.”

“It won’t hurt me.”

“No, but it’ll put a Clark-sized hole in the floor. I’ll have a hell of a hard time explaining that to the university.”

Despite his exhaustion, he felt a smile flicker across his face, for the first time in days. He rolled toward her a little.

“Put your arm around me,” she directed.

"You're so bossy."

"And you're just noticing this now?"

Chuckling softly, he draped his arm over her, and she cuddled up against him, her back pressed against his front. He bent his head a little, so that his face was pressed against her hair, and breathed in her sweet vanilla scent, listening to the rhythmic thud of her heartbeat and the even sound of her breathing. Her body was soft and warm against his, and her hair felt like silk against his face. He sighed deeply, and some of the tension went out of his muscles.

“Now,” she said. “Go to sleep.”

“Easier said than done,” he answered, or tried to, but the sentence was interrupted by a giant yawn.

She laughed softly. “Can you reach the light?”

“Mmmm,” he said vaguely. Reaching behind him, he groped at the bedside table, finally finding the lamp and clicking it off. In the pitch blackness of the room, he curled his arm over her again and pressed his face into her hair. She put her arm over his and entwined their fingers together.

Moments later he had tumbled into a peaceful sleep.

Read Chapter 3 here.

1 comment:

Dola said...

This is so poignant; more so because this is how my husband & I sleep!

Elly, you HAVE to become a professional writer. I mean, you should get PAID for all this!!!

This is great. Sweet, romantic, loving...just great.