Sunday, May 07, 2006

What the World Could Be, Chapter 10

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

Chloe woke up with the afternoon sunlight slanting through the blinds and a heavy weight on top of her. She opened her eyes and discovered it was Clark. Not all of him, or she would have been squished flat by now, but his arm was curled over her, and his leg was draped over hers.

She hadn’t meant to fall asleep again, but Clark had pretty much passed out after they’d made love, and she hadn’t wanted to get out of bed and risk waking him. And since her sleep had been disrupted during the night too, a little nap had been perfectly welcome.

But it seemed to be getting pretty late, judging from the angle of the sunlight. Besides, her legs were going numb. She wiggled, and Clark moaned softly and rolled so that he was more on top of her than ever. Evidently he meant what he’d said… she was his. And he didn’t seem to have any intention of letting her go, even when he was unconscious.

She wondered exactly what he had meant by his words. Was it just something he’d said in the heat of the moment, or did it have something to do with the Kryptonian bonding ritual he kept repeating? When he woke up, she decided, they really needed to have a little chat.

Assuming she could keep him away from her body long enough to talk.

She tried to wiggle out from under him again, with absolutely no success. It was like trying to get out from under a bronze statue. She was well and truly stuck.

“Clark,” she whispered, figuring he’d slept long enough. Anyway, she was about to lose all sensation in her legs.

He didn’t so much as stir.


He sighed, rolled closer to her, and kept on snoozing.

Great. She hoped Clark got hungry eventually and woke up, or she might just spend the rest of her life here.

Just then something rattled. Chloe’s eyes went wide with horror. The doorknob. Someone was opening the door, and all she could do was lie here.

Can’t be Lana, she thought frantically. Lana’s at her Aunt Nell’s for the weekend. It can’t be Lana. Please, God, do not let Lana come in here and find me naked in bed with her ex. Please.

The door opened, and God promptly demonstrated he didn’t listen to prayers uttered by girls who slept with their roommate’s exes. Lana stepped into the room. She instantly stopped dead, and her eyes went even wider than Chloe’s.

Chloe just stared back, bereft of speech. There wasn’t anything she could say. She was naked, Clark was naked, and his body was wrapped around hers like a tortilla around beef. Besides, there was a distinct scent of sex in the room. There was no possible way of explaining this scenario away believably, even if she were any good at composing fiction.

Lana’s purse dropped from her fingers and hit the floor with a thud. Clark stirred, lifted his head, and blinked sleepily.

The sleepiness faded quickly, and he rapidly acquired the deer-caught-in-headlights expression that Chloe suspected was on her own face.

“I just…” Lana stammered, turning red and looking like she didn't know whether to be embarrassed or infuriated. “I forgot my econ textbook. I just…”

Chloe had the horrible desire to respond with something cheerfully snarky, like, Well, isn’t this awkward!, but she bit her tongue. The situation was bad enough without her opening her big mouth and making it worse. And the last thing she wanted to do was hurt Lana any more than she already had.

Lana’s stammers died away, and rage seemed to win out over embarrassment. Her eyes narrowed into dangerous slits. “I guess I know why you broke up with me,” she said at last, in a soft, venomous voice.

“I didn’t break up with you because of Chloe,” Clark said calmly, and Chloe cringed. It was nice to know she hadn’t figured into that decision at all. Just another confirmation that he hadn’t been interested in her till the red K altered his biology. Nice knife through my heart there, Clark. Twist it a little harder, why don’t you?

“Oh, really?” Lana retorted. “Because it sure looks that way to me.”

“I know what it looks like,” Clark said in the even tone of a man refusing to be drawn into a fight. He groped for the sheet and pulled it up to cover them both. “But I broke up with you because we weren’t right for each other, Lana."

"Please. You broke up with me because of her."

"No," Clark answered. "I didn’t realize I was in love with Chloe until later.”

Shocked, Chloe drew in a deep breath. That was the absolute last thing she’d expected him to say. Lana looked shocked, too.

“You never really loved me at all,” she accused.

“I’m sorry, Lana,” Clark said, his voice still very calm. Chloe noticed he hadn’t denied her accusation. Lana must have noticed too, because her eyes brimmed with tears, and her lower lip quivered. Suddenly she bent to retrieve her purse, grabbed a textbook, and fled from the room.

The door slammed behind her.

Chloe suddenly realized all her muscles were tense and her heart was pounding, and she dropped her head to the pillow with a groan. Clark squeezed her gently in a comforting hug, pressing his face into her hair.

“I’m sorry, Chloe. I was stupid to come here. I didn’t mean to put you in this situation.”

“She’s going to hate me forever,” Chloe whispered, feeling tears burning her eyelids. “She’s never going to trust me again.”

“I know,” he said softly. “I’m sorry. She’s going to hate me, too.”

Chloe swallowed. She knew Lana had been spending a lot of time with Lex Luthor, and she had a feeling she’d run right off to him for comfort. Which Lex would probably be more than happy to provide. She remembered the way Lana had taken drugs in order to see her deceased parents after she and Clark broke up, and shuddered. Turning to Lex Luthor would be just about as monumentally stupid, but she was afraid it might happen. “God, Clark. I hope she doesn’t screw up her life again.”

“Me too, Chlo.”

“We shouldn’t have…”

She pulled away from him, got to her feet, and stalked over to her dresser. “We shouldn’t have done this, Clark. This was a huge mistake.”

He sat up and looked at her, his face carefully blank of emotions. She couldn't guess what he was thinking. “Do you really mean that, Chloe? Or are you just freaking out because of Lana?”

“It was a mistake,” she said, yanking on a fresh pair of underpants, shorts, and a tank top as fast as she could. Suddenly she didn’t want to be naked around Clark anymore. It made her feel vulnerable, and she didn’t like feeling that way.

He stood up, crossed to her in two strides, and caught her shoulders gently in his hands, turning her toward him.“You don’t mean that,” he said.

“Yes. I do.” She blinked hard, trying to will the tears away. “What you said, Clark… I know it’s not true. You were in love with Lana.”

“No. I was in love with the idea of Lana. The concept of Lana. Everything Lana represented to me. She made me feel normal, Chlo, and I can't deny I liked that.” He put a finger under her chin and tilted her chin up, so she had to look into his eyes, and continued. “But I was also in love with a real person… named Chloe Sullivan.”

Tears spilled down her cheeks despite her best efforts. “I don’t believe you.”

“Believe what you want, Chlo. But it’s true. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself until recently.”

He brushed away her tears with his fingers and went on.

“What happened between us wasn’t the mistake, Chloe. My mistake was being wrapped up in Lana so long, instead of seeing what was right in front of me."

She swallowed. "But we shouldn't have--"

"Yes," he said firmly. "We should have. Making love to you wasn’t a mistake. Trust me.”

She blinked, looked away from him. Trust me. That was what he had said the Kryptonian words he'd been saying to her meant, that he trusted her. She wanted to trust him, too, but she wasn't sure if she could. He'd been obsessed with Lana for so long. It was hard for her not to feel certain she was his second choice.

"Clark," she said softly. "Right now, I'd like to be alone."

He studied her for a long moment. "We said we were going to communicate from now on, Chloe."

"I know. Come by for dinner, and we'll talk. But right now... I really need to think about things for a while."

He looked at her for a moment longer, then dropped his hands away from her. "Okay, Chlo. I'll see you this evening, then."

He suddenly zipped away from her, so quickly her eye couldn't follow his movements. He must have grabbed his clothes and donned them in superspeed, because a second later the door opened and he was gone.

Chloe blinked. Having Clark around was weird in some ways, but she'd grown used to his sudden disappearing acts. She walked slowly across the empty room and sat down heavily in her desk chair.

There was a paper on the desk that hadn't been there before.

Clark had obviously written it on the way out, because it was scrawled in his masculine, barely legible handwriting. It read:

I trust you
To come to me
To find me when I am lost
To save me when I am in peril
To always
Be there for me.

Trust me
I will always come to you
Protect you from danger
Guard you from enemies
And always
Be there for you.

The Kryptonian life-bonding ceremony, she realized. The words Clark had been saying to her, over and over again. She read them through again, and thought of all the times Clark had saved her. And of all the times she'd saved him.

Trust me.

She trusted him to save her life, she thought slowly. She always had.

But she wasn't sure she trusted him to love her.

Read Chapter 11 here.


Anonymous said...

i just wanted to say that this is one of my favorite chapter in your 'trust me' series fic.

awesome angst with so much hotness before all of that =)!


Anonymous said...

Oh Elly! I think I read this series about every 3 months, or parts of it when I just really want some fabulous Chlark. I love love love this story. And I just adore the pair of them that you have created.

You are a goddess.


Anonymous said...

That bonding ceremony is perfect and beautiful!