Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Close Encounters, Chapter 1

Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7

9000 words
Late season 5

Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC Comics, not to me

"I can't believe you've never seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

Crouching in front of the TV, Clark Kent drops a DVD into the player, then looks over his shoulder at his friend Chloe Sullivan. She's perched on the couch, eating handfuls of popcorn from a big bowl, and she grins at him.

"Obviously my geek education has been sadly neglected lately."

"No kidding." He and Chloe used to watch science fiction movies all the time in high school, but now that she's attending college at Met U she's not around as much. Besides, until recently he was dating Lana Lang, which left him less time to hang out with Chloe.

But he's not dating Lana any more, and he's grateful Chloe was willing to come all the way out to Smallville tonight. Chloe is the only person he really feels comfortable in indulging his love of sci-fi movies with, because Chloe is the only person besides his mom who knows he's an alien.

It seriously freaks him out to watch movies about aliens with other people. He remembers seeing "Alien" with Lana, and how he had this horrible feeling she was going to look at him and scream afterward. Chloe, on the other hand, just gets snarky and refers to him as ET or Mr. Spock, or makes absurd comments about how he's going to reproduce and take over the world. Chloe never takes him too seriously, which is why he likes hanging out with her.

Sometimes he watches science fiction movies with his mom, too, but right now she's out of town. She recently became a state senator, and she's in Wichita about half the time now. Since a lot of his friends left town when they graduated from high school, and he had to drop out of college to take care of the farm when his dad died, he feels kind of lonely and isolated. He's been stuck here alone on a hundred acres, with only cows and horses for company, and he's grateful Chloe came over tonight. Another Saturday night of lying in his loft and staring at the beams overhead is not what he needs.

The DVD starts to play, and immediately there's a long growl of thunder outside.

"Crap," he says. "I think it's going to storm."

The wind picks up, rattling the windows. "I think you're right," she answers. "But maybe the power won't go out."

"The power always goes out," he grumbles. It's the downside to living in the country. One good gust of wind and all the power lines go down.

Damn it. He loves this movie.

He gets up anyway, comes across the room, and drops down beside her on the couch. They're just friends, so there's a certain space he maintains between them, almost automatically. It doesn't occur to him to try to move closer, or if it does, he quickly suppresses the impulse. Chloe's his best friend, and she's been his friend forever. She may be female, but he has her firmly categorized in his mind as Just A Friend.

There was a time when he thought maybe they could be more than friends, but that was a long time, clear back in their freshman year of high school. And after one date, she made it very clear she wasn't interested in him that way. He doesn't enjoy rejection, so he's cautious to respect the boundaries. He has the occasional late-night thought about what it might be like to be slightly more than friends, but he keeps those thoughts to himself.

The movie starts, and almost instantly there's a gust of wind that's so strong it howls around the corner of the house. The TV flickers out and the lights go off.

"Crap," he says again, irritably. "I was really looking forward to this."

"Chill out, Clark," she says, and he can hear the smile in her voice, even though he can't see her in the darkness. "You own the DVD. You can watch it when the power comes back on."

"But I wanted to see it with you," he complains. And yeah, there's a whiny note in his voice, but he doesn't much care. Goddamn unpredictable Kansas weather. How come it has to storm on Saturday night, the one day of the week he can hang out with Chloe and relax? Why the hell couldn't it storm some other day?

"Poor Clark," she says, reaching over in the dark and patting him. He guesses she meant to pat his hand, but instead her hand is on his jeans-clad thigh. Kind of high up his thigh, too, which is a definite violation of the unwritten Space Between Friends Pact. But only an inadvertent violation, he's sure.

That theory is confirmed when her hand suddenly freezes. He realizes with amusement that she's just figured out where she's touching him.

"Well," he says, trying to gloss over the awkward moment, "at least we got the popcorn made before the power went out. We can have popcorn."

"Popcorn's good," she agrees. Her voice is soft, but oddly husky, almost sexy, which strikes him as kind of a weird tone for talking about something as mundane as popcorn. He notices with a touch of surprise that she hasn't removed her hand.

It's not moving, but it's still resting on his thigh, and all of a sudden he can feel heat radiating from the palm of her hand, right through the jeans, burning into his skin and muscles, searing him right to the bone. His body reacts in a normal masculine way, and he shifts uncomfortably.

"Um. Chloe. Maybe I should go find the flashlight."

"We don't need it."

"Well, I can light the fire or a candle or something." One of his alien powers is the abiity to start fires with his eyes. His mom can never remember where she put the matches, so it comes in handy to have a son with heat vision around the house.

"Clark," she says softly. "Don't worry about it."

Her hand moves up his thigh, very slightly, and he inhales sharply, startled. She is definitely violating the Space Between Friends Pact now, and even though he's fairly dense when it comes to girls, he's pretty sure she's doing it intentionally.

But her hand feels really good on his thigh, even through denim, and he can feel his body responding with a flash of heat that echoes the lightning outside. He holds himself very still, because he's afraid if he moves at all he's going to try to grab her, and he doesn't want to make an idiot out of himself, just in case he's totally misinterpreting her intentions here. The last thing he wants is to make a move on her and get shot down again. He hates that.

But then her hand moves still higher, and brushes very lightly across the front of his jeans.

Okay. He's definitely not misinterpreting that. He may be dense, but he's not that dense.

The soft touch of her fingers feels seriously good against his hard-on. His breath hisses between his teeth, and that makes him realize he's clenching his jaw. He tries consciously to relax his tense muscles, but it's not easy. Being touched by her in the darkness, while thunder rolls outside and wind lashes the house, is oddly exciting.

He really likes what she's doing, and part of him wants to capture her hand, press it against him harder, and make sure she doesn't stop. Ever.

But she's his friend, the one person in his lonely life he can depend on, and he isn't sure he wants to take the chance of screwing things up between them. It would probably be safer just to stop now, before things get really... weird.

"Chloe," he says softly. "When I asked you over for Close Encounters, this isn't exactly what I had in mind."

Read Chapter 2 here.


Anonymous said...

i like that last sentence - "....close encounter....not what i meant..."

just hilarious =)!

great beginning,
joanna / kidkarmina

blackheart_me said...

"the unwritten Space Between Friends Pact" lmao. I wonder when they signed that pact. I'm sure Chloe didn't considering she is violating it. Can't wait to move on to the next chapter, and I second Joanna again. loved the last lines ;)

DeeDee said...

Chloe, you naughty girl, taking advantage of Clark in a blackout! *I totally would!*

Awesome start. Heading straight to chapter 2!