Thursday, September 21, 2006

Clarkmas, Chapter 8

Clark/Chloe/Lois/Jimmy
Season 6 (based on spoilers and my imagination) - based on "Lexmas"
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me

A few minutes later Chloe lifted her head, still sniffling, and dug in her pocket for her cell. She wasn't sure whether to call Jimmy-- she could probably just raise her voice and get his attention, but he might be a little too far away for that-- or an ambulance.

She looked down at Clark's body, and more tears welled up. It's too late for an ambulance.

Then again, with Clark you never knew. He'd been pronounced dead once before, and then come back to life in some mysterious fashion she'd never fully understood. It might not be too late after all. But if she called an ambulance, she'd be betraying his secret, and she'd sworn never to do that.

But what choice did she have? She couldn't just leave him here in the snow.

She reached out and brushed her hand lovingly through his hair, then stopped. Because his hair was stiff with what felt like blood.

She leaned over him and studied his head. Yes, there was definitely a wound there. He'd been clobbered in the head with something. Presumably that had been before the chest wound, because who'd bother to hit someone in the head after stabbing them in the heart?

And when he was hit in the head, he must have already been exposed to kryptonite, because otherwise the "something" would have fared worse than his head.

Hope suddenly swelled in her. Maybe there was a second piece of kryptonite.

She started looking around, and seconds later she found it less than two feet away. It was a big rock, but its green glow was very feeble, which was why she hadn't noticed it in the darkness. She threw it far away, then shook Clark's shoulder desperately.

"Come on, Clark. Quit scaring me."

She thought she saw his eyelashes flutter. Maybe it was only wishful thinking. But when she dropped her hand to his cheek, it didn't feel quite so cold. She sat there, her hand pressed to his cheek, the hope inside her growing so strong she could barely breathe.

And then his eyes opened.

"Clark," she whispered, hardly aware of the tears running down her cheeks. "Oh, Clark. You scared the hell out of me."

He blinked at her and started to sit up, then put a hand to his head. "What happened?"

"You apparently let someone hit you in the head with a piece of kryptonite."

"Oh. Yeah. Not the brightest thing I ever did." He managed to get all the way to a sitting position, and moaned.

"Does your head hurt?"

"No, I think I'm all healed up." He pulled up his shirt and looked at his own chest. Chloe looked too, seeing that beneath the rusty stain of blood, his skin was unbroken, as if she hadn't just pulled a wickedly sharp piece of rock out of his chest.

"I sure wish I could do that," she said.

"It's a good ability to have," he admitted. "Especially if you're going to let people clobber you over the head and stab you in the chest on a regular basis. But for some reason I still feel really... woozy."

"You lost a lot of blood," she told him. "I don't know how much blood loss your body can recover from. Too much might kill you just as fast as it would kill the rest of us. But you were lucky. It's cold, and that probably stopped you from bleeding too much."

He turned around and looked at the dark stain on the snow. When he turned back, she thought he looked green, but maybe it was just a trick of the shadows. Or maybe, just like humans, he wasn't fond of seeing his own blood spilled everywhere.

Suddenly he stiffened alertly, turning his head to the side in a gesture she knew well. "Someone's coming," he said.

"Jimmy," she said. "I had to bring him along." And damn it, she really shouldn't have done that. She'd been worried, and not thinking clearly, but by bringing Jimmy with her, she'd unnecessarily risked exposing Clark's secret. She wasn't sure exactly how she could have gotten rid of an overzealous boyfriend, but she should have tried harder.

And now it was her responsibility to make sure Jimmy didn't figure out anything he shouldn't.

She looked Clark over, seeing the dark stain of blood on his shirt, as well as the ragged hole in the fabric. "Zip up your jacket. That'll hide most of it."

He obediently zipped up his red jacket.

She glanced around at the trampled and bloodied snow. Jimmy wasn't necessarily the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but he had a photographer's eye for detail, and he wouldn't fail to notice that there had been a big fight here. "Okay, come on. Get up. We need to get away from here, or he'll see all the blood."

Clark struggled to his feet, swaying a little, and she put an arm around his waist. He was so much bigger than she was that there wasn't the slightest chance she could keep him upright if he fell, but she wanted to offer him what support she could.

Oh, hell, she was kidding herself. She just wanted to feel his body, warm and full of life, and reassure herself that he was okay.

Clark's steps were heavy and awkward, as if his workboots weighed too much, but he managed to keep on his feet. Together, they made it out into the front yard. Jimmy came trotting toward them.

"CK! You all right?"

"Yeah," Clark said, grinning ruefully. Jimmy's eyes went straight to the blood matted in his hair, which was pretty obvious by the light from the Christmas decorations. Chloe opened her mouth to make up a story, but Clark beat her to it. "I just got into a tussle with some guy. He was breaking into this house, and I tried to stop him. He clobbered me over the head with a rock, and I guess I passed out."

"That's a lot of blood. Maybe we should get you to the hospital."

"I'm okay," Clark said. He let go of Chloe's waist and stood upright. "Head wounds bleed a lot, but it's not as bad as it looks."

"Did the guy get away with their stuff?"

Clark shook his head. "I noticed the window was still closed. Looks like he freaked out after he hit me, and ran for it."

Jimmy looked around. "So where's your truck?"

Clark shrugged. "It's a block or two away."

Jimmy lifted an eyebrow but didn't voice the obvious question-- Why'd you park it a block or two away when you said you just stopped at this house to take on a burglar? Chloe suppressed a sigh. Clark had never been a good liar, and the stories he came up with off the top of his head rarely stood up well to any sort of scrutiny.

She put a hand on his arm, hoping to put an end to Jimmy's questions. "I'll walk you to your truck," she said.

"Should he really be driving?" Jimmy asked.

"I'm fine," Clark said. "Honest. I can make to Chloe's house with no problem."

Chloe looked at Jimmy, seeing the doubt and suspicion in his eyes-- eyes that were normally trusting to the point of naivete. "Why don't you get the car warmed up for us?" she suggested. "I'll be back in a couple of minutes."

"Well... okay," Jimmy said dubiously.

She tossed her keys to Jimmy, who gave them both an odd look, then started walking for the Beetle. She and Clark started down the road. Usually she had to trot to keep up with Clark's long legs, but for once, she had to adjust her pace and walk more slowly, because Clark was still walking like it was an enormous effort.

"He suspects something," Clark said softly.

"No kidding. The problem is, you're a lousy liar. You might as well have a big neon sign over your head blinking the word Liar! every time you come up with a story. That would be just about as convincing."

"Sorry," he said, sounding a little grumpy. "You try coming up with a good story when you've just been killed. Being killed makes me dizzy."

She smiled a little. "Are you going to run home and get changed? Do you think you can superspeed?"

"I think so, yeah. Then I'll come straight to the party. I won't stop for any burglars, I promise."

She glanced him over, noticing for the first time that he was empty-handed. Maybe he'd left the cookies in the snow somewhere. "So what happened to my cookies?"

His eyes went wide. "Crap. I forgot them. They're still sitting on the kitchen counter."

"Probably just as well you forgot them. The burglar would have made off with them."

"Yeah," he agreed. "Decent people will fight for my mom's cookies. A guy like that wouldn't hesitate to kill for them." He lowered his eyelashes, looking abashed. "I'm really sorry I forgot them, Chlo. I'll bring them along this time."

"Don't forget," she said, shaking her finger at him. "Or you'll regret it."

"You're terrifying me," he said with his lazy grin. He looked at her, and his smile faded. "Chloe..."

"Don't bother to thank me," she said perkily. "Saving you is just something I do."

He looked down at her, and a corner of his mouth curved up. "You're my hero, Chlo."

Even though he said it lightly, something in his eyes made her throat tighten. She was struck by a sudden wild impulse to throw her arms around his neck and kiss him, but she was very aware of Jimmy just down the street, doubtless watching them from the warmth of her car.

Anyway, she couldn't kiss Clark. Clark wasn't her boyfriend. Jimmy was.

They turned down another street, so that Jimmy wouldn't see Clark suddenly vanish. Now they were out of Jimmy's line of sight, and she paused and looked up at him. He was staring at her, his gaze very intense.

Kiss me, she thought.

She must have transmitted the thought to him somehow, because his eyes suddenly went smoky and dark. He lifted his hands and put them on her upper arms, and his head lowered until their mouths were only an inch or two apart.

*****

Clark had never wanted to kiss a woman so badly in his life. He could smell her faint vanilla fragrance, could hear her heart beating, could feel the warmth of her body, and his lips tingled. In fact, he tingled all over. He felt dizzy again, but he was pretty sure it wasn't from loss of blood.

Jimmy, he reminded himself. She has a boyfriend. Jimmy.

Given the way Chloe was looking at him, he was pretty sure she wouldn't mind being kissed. But he discovered he was frozen with indecision, the same way he always was when it came to women. He never had much of a clue what he should do when it came to women, and now it was ten times worse than before.

Because he knew he'd done something wrong that led to a bad future, and now he wasn't sure what the right path was. All he knew was it wasn't Lois. But that didn't mean it was necessarily Chloe, either. Chloe seemed happy enough with Jimmy, and he didn't want to mess that up. He sure as hell didn't want to ruin Chloe's life the way he'd somehow ruined Lois'.

He reminded himself that his vision might have been nothing more than a dream, but he didn't really believe it. His Kryptonian senses knew the difference between a dream and reality. The future he'd seen had been real. His father had been real.

His screwups had been real.

He didn't want to screw things up that badly.

He hesitated, looking into her eyes, and Chloe stiffened, then pulled away.

"I've been away from my guests long enough, Clark," she said, her voice carefully void of inflection. "Get going, and don't forget the cookies this time, okay?"

He had to swallow before he could trust himself to speak without warbling. "Okay," he answered. "I'll be back in a couple."

"Great," she said, and turning, strode away from him.

He watched her walking back to Jimmy and wondered what the hell he was supposed to do.

Read Chapter 9 here.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh evil of you to leave it there

love the story .. I never did get to see Lexmas because a plane skidded off the runway and into traffic here, so I don't know if you're following the plot or just taken off on your own .. but keep it up !!

simone

monicaop said...

Oh!!! She's always been his Hero :), now.. kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss :D, Hugs and please write more soon, 'cause.. you are my Chlark hero ;) hugs, be well and take care.

unique_kiwi said...

Ack!!! So close, and yet so far!!!! Eeeek!!!

This is so awesome Elly!!!

Oh and before i forget, Jonathons appearence to Clark, beautiful!! I almost whispered it when i read it...dunno why....Lol!!

blackheart_me said...

GO AFTER HER U BIG DUMB ALIEN! :sigh: some one has to push those two together. I'm glad he's fine. Loved this line: ""No kidding. The problem is, you're a lousy liar. You might as well have a big neon sign over your head blinking the word Liar! every time you come up with a story. That would be just about as convincing.""