Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hopelessly Devoted, Chapter 6

Clark/Chloe
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.

"Mom, can I talk to you for a second?"

"Of course, honey." My mom smiled at me across the butcher block island in the kitchen. "What's up?"

I carefully kept my eyes on the glass of orange juice I was pouring myself for breakfast. "Chloe kind of came on to me last night," I said. "Pretty strong. I'm worried about her."

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Mom's eyebrows shoot up. "Don't worry," I said hastily. "Nothing happened."

I remembered the feel of Chloe's body against mine, the way she'd touched me and kissed me, and the way I'd touched her in return, and I crossed my fingers mentally. Yeah, we hadn't quite gone all the way, but I still had a feeling that if Mom had caught us, she wouldn't agree with the statement that "nothing happened."

Quite a lot had happened.

Mom tilted her head, studying me carefully. I had a feeling she could see more than I wanted her to. "I thought you and Chloe agreed to be friends."

"We did. But then she pulled a one-eighty on me."

Something in my voice must have given away more than I wanted it to, because a slight smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. "How do you feel about that?"

"I'm not sure," I admitted. "I mean, I really like Chloe. I've always liked her a lot. But now..." I sighed, remembering my concerns from last night, which I'd let get buried under a landslide of physical sensations. I shouldn't have let that happen, and I knew it. "I'm worried about her, Mom. I think maybe something isn't quite right with her."

And I'm worried I took advantage of her. That thought weighed heavily on my mind. What if she really was under some sort of alien influence? What if once she went back to normal, she was sorry she'd made out with me? The idea freaked me out, even scared me a little. I never wanted anything to mess up our friendship. Chloe meant too much to me for that.

"I don't know if there's any reason to worry," Mom said gently. "Maybe Chloe's just realized life is too short to bury her feelings. Maybe she just decided to go for what she wants. The question is, do the two of you want the same thing?"

I sighed and took a long swig of my orange juice. "I wish I knew," I said under my breath.

The corners of Mom's mouth twitched. "Don't lead her on if you're not interested, honey. But there's somebody out there for you. I know it. Who knows? Maybe Chloe's the one."

I closed my eyes for a second, thinking again about the way Chlo had felt against me, the way she'd touched me. When I opened my eyes, Mom's mouth was curved in a gentle, wry smile that said clearly she had a good idea what was going on in my head.

"You have to be honest with her, Clark. But first... I think you'd better figure out how to be honest with yourself."

*****

"What the hell did you do to my cousin, Smallville?"

As I jogged out onto the football field that afternoon with the rest of my team, I heard a voice I knew all too well, a grating, irritating voice that reminded me of fingernails on a blackboard. The voice sounded extremely annoyed, and even more grating than usual. I turned to see Lois, Chloe's cousin, glaring at me.

"What?"

"What did you do to her?" she repeated. "She's freaking me out."

"Nothing," I said, doing my best to sound innocent, without much success. "She was hitting on me."

Which was true, as far as it went. Given the dangerous gleam in Lois' eye, I thought it safest to omit any further details. Since I"m invulnerable, Lois can't really hurt me. I think. But the truth is I'm not really willing to test that. Lois scares me.

"Well," she said, glaring at me, "you must have done something to make her think you're interested."

I felt my cheeks flame. "Look, Lois, I have a big game coming up, and I'm trying to make a good impression. Could we talk about this later?"

Just then I heard someone calling my name. We both turned around and saw Chloe bouncing toward us, wearing a cheerleader's outfit and waving pompoms.

"Oh. My. God," Lois said.

That was pretty much my reaction, too. Chloe loathed cheerleaders with every fiber of her being. Nothing in the world that I knew of could have gotten her to wear a miniskirt and wave pompoms voluntarily.

I realized that my first impression yesterday had been right. Something was wrong with Chloe.

And I'd taken advantage of whatever was wrong with her.

I smacked myself in the forehead mentally. Jerk, I told myself angrily. You're a world-class jerk, Kent.

She came bounding up to us. "Hi, Clark!"

"Uh," I said. "Hi. Any particular reason you're dressed as a cheerleader?"

The concern I'd felt this morning, the fear that she'd regret everything we'd done last night when she went back to normal, came back to me. I looked at her bright, smiling face, feeling bewildered. She looked normal enough... if you didn't count the fact that she had suddenly gotten in touch with her inner cheerleader.

Maybe there was a rational explanation. Maybe she was dressed up for a costume party or something.

But she grinned happily. "I found this in the locker room. And I thought, you know, what better way to support my favorite quarterback than to join the cheerleading squad? Now we can be together all the time."

"Uh," I said again. "Great."

Lois shot me a look, an expression that said, Aliens must have abducted her and replaced her brain. I couldn't argue.

All of a sudden Chloe's eyes narrowed, and she glared at Lois. "What's she doing here?"

"Leaving," I said shortly.

"Oh." Chloe smiled sunnily. "Okay. I'll see you after practice, all right?"

"Uh. Sure."

Chloe bounced off, waving her pompoms, and Lois stared after her, looking dazed. "Oh, my God. She's taken the fast train to Stepford."

"Look, Lois," I said, "I need you to keep her away from me."

Lois gave me an accusing glare, a look that said, I know this is somehow all your fault, Smallville. And it probably was, to a certain extent. Damn it. I'd known I shouldn't let myself respond to her last night, and I'd gone ahead and done it anyway. Obviously Chloe had blown my brain's circuits.

Which wasn't a really good excuse, but I was all out of good excuses.

The problem was, I knew if she came on to me again, I'd probably react exactly the same. I'm a guy, after all, which is evidently a synonym for "total moron." I needed to make sure she didn't show up in my loft again, wearing nothing but my jersey and a smile. Because I now realized I was weak where Chloe was concerned. Very, very weak.

"Come on, Lois," I pleaded. "Obviously something's wrong. I just need some time to figure it out, okay?"

"Okay," Lois agreed, and shot me one last accusing look before turning and stalking away.

I walked over to the cooler to get a drink before practice. Near the stands I could see Chloe bounding up and down, waving her pompoms and yelling, "Go, Clark!" I sighed.

It was going to be a hell of a long practice.

Read Chapter 7 here.

3 comments:

sanaazzy said...

LOL! oh i totally loved seeing Chloe in a cheerleeders outfit..hehe

Anonymous said...

It was really awkward actually for me to see Chloe as a cheerleader. Love the regular Chloe I have to admit!

-Anonymous

blackheart_me said...

I love the heart to heart u start off with Clark and Martha. i think it's sweet he goes to her for her wisdom ^_^. LOL i love that Lois scares him here i find it funny and cute. I always did like the protective cousin role she played. aww so he feels guilty now that he knows something is wrong with her. LOL i remember her in the cheerleader outfit, it made me laugh back then :)
but i don't remember how they cured her or if she remembered how she acted.