Monday, June 12, 2006
Behind the Mask, Prologue
Clark/Chloe futurefic, angst
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC Comics, not to me.
The face behind the mask
It's a devil's disguise
Angel in black
And I recognize
the shadows from your past...
-Fleetwood Mac, "Behind the Mask"
"Clark? Are you okay?"
Chloe Sullivan Kent paused in the doorway of the spare bedroom Clark used as his office. They'd moved into this apartment about six months ago, right after they got married, and Clark had pretty much filled the small room with a huge, masculine desk. Enlarged photos showing landmarks around Smallville, his home, hung on the walls, and smaller photos of friends and family were scattered on the desk's shining cherry surface.
Clark was seated in a burgundy leather chair in front of his laptop, his long legs sprawled out in front of him, his shoulders slumped. His jaw was set, his eyes shadowed with dark, private thoughts. Chloe had known him long enough to recognize that his posture and expression conveyed unhappiness and sorrow. Perhaps even despair.
"Yeah, I'm fine," he said. "Just busy."
Apparently, Chloe thought, he was so busy he didn't even have time to glance in her direction. All his attention seemed to be focused on the screen of the laptop, which wasn't a surprise. Clark was a writer, just as she was, but while she worked for the Daily Planet, the major newspaper in Metropolis, he freelanced for the Inquisitor, a less well-regarded paper. Although they were the same age, he'd graduated college a year behind her due to family issues, and he was still building his career.
"It's dinnertime," she said, still hovering in the doorway. Ordinarily she would have walked over to him and dropped a warm kiss on the nape of his neck, but today something defensive in his body language warned her off. "Come on and eat. I nuked some leftover spaghetti."
"Maybe later," he said with his gaze still locked on the screen. "Right now I really need to finish this story."
"Later," he repeated, his voice impatient, almost harsh.
Chloe blinked hard, turned around, and walked away, toward the kitchen. She glanced back over her shoulder, seeing Clark staring at the laptop's screen with fierce intensity, as if he was totally riveted on his work.
But the screen was blank.
Read Chapter 1 here.
Posted by Meg at 1:48 PM