Season 4, during "Devoted"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC Comics, not to me.
"See you around, Smallville."
I stood in the middle of the football field and watched Lois walking away. After Lex had tried to defend me the other night-- yeah, he'd laughed at me, but he'd also saved me from Lois-- he and I had had a little talk, and gotten back on better terms.
I was still wary, but willing to give him another chance. In response to my cautious overtures of friendship, he'd done me the huge favor of getting Lois into Met U, which meant I wouldn't have to deal with her trying to kill me any more.
Except maybe on weekends.
I turned around and started striding across the field. "Hey," said a voice.
I looked over my shoulder. "Chloe," I said cautiously. I'd tried to call her last night, but she hadn't been picking up her phone, and apparently she hadn't checked her voice mail, either. Or more likely, she'd just been ignoring my messages.
She fell into step beside me. "So," she said, doing her best to keep her voice light. "A sixty-yard pass to win the big game at the last second. You're going to be a superhero around here. I might just have to do an article on you."
I slanted a glance in her direction. "Does that mean you're back at the Torch now?"
"Yeah." She was silent a moment. "And since I'm no good at ignoring five hundred pound elephants... I'm really sorry I made things so ridiculously awkward between us, Clark."
I felt a sinking sensation. Well, what had I expected her to say? I'm truly devoted to you, Clark? Yeah, right. Like she'd given me any reason to believe that any time in the past two years.
"It's okay," I said, carefully not looking in her direction. "I think you looked really good as a cheerleader."
Out of the corner of my eye I saw her make one of her comical faces. "Let's never speak of that again, okay?"
I smiled despite myself. "You were under the influence, Chlo. Not your fault."
She came to a halt and looked at me. "So what was your excuse?"
I stopped, too, glancing cautiously at her. The humor had faded from her face, and she looked pretty pissed. I looked away from the anger in her eyes and studied the grass intently. "Uh..."
"Never mind," she said, her tone full of her customary snark. "I'm not stupid, Clark. I don't suppose most guys would say no to a girl who comes onto them with no clothes on."
Obviously she remembered the whole thing. I felt my cheeks heat up. "I wouldn't put it exactly that way."
"I would. But I always thought you were a little better than most guys, Clark. I never thought you'd... take advantage of me that way."
I wished I could melt into the grass and disappear. "Chloe," I said, lifting my head and looking into her eyes, trying to make her understand. "The first time I wasn't sure there was anything wrong with you."
"So you just figured I was whiling away the evening by sitting around half-naked in your loft?" She snorted. "That's a natural mistake, since I do it so often. Anyway, you knew the second time. Didn't you?"
"Yeah," I admitted. "I knew something was going on."
"I remember you telling me there was something in the Gatorade. You knew... and you didn't stop me anyway. And I got-- I got totally embarrassed in front of all those people. Worse than embarrassed. Humiliated."
Her eyes were glittering with anger and unshed tears. Oh, no, I thought helplessly. Chloe, please don't cry.
"I'm sorry," I said in a soft voice. "I never meant to hurt you, Chloe. I just..."
"Figured you'd take advantage of me. Yeah. I got that. The same way you took advantage of Mandy last night."
"No," I said desperately. "Mandy has nothing to do with this. And I didn't want to take advantage of you, Chlo. I just thought... I thought..."
Oh, hell. I couldn't explain my thought processes to myself, so I couldn't possibly explain them to her. I'm not sure I'd actually had any thought processes, honestly. My brain had pretty much gone offline the moment she showed up in my loft. Both times.
All I knew was that I'd wanted her. I still wanted her, fully clothed and in the middle of the football field. But I didn't have a clue how to get past her anger and humiliation and make her listen, so I could tell her that.
"Never mind," she said, cutting off my sputtering efforts at explanation and turning her back on me. She walked away.
"Chloe," I called after her.
She turned around and looked at me, lifting her eyebrows.
"I'd like to come back to the Torch," I said. I'd quit when I joined the football team, which hadn't made her happy. She was the editor there, and she didn't have a lot of reporters. "I mean, if you'll have me."
She stared at me for a long moment.
"I don't want you at the Torch, Clark," she said at last, with great dignity. "I don't want you around at all."
And she stalked away, leaving me standing alone in the middle of the football field.
Read Chapter 11 here.