Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Mortal Beloved, Chapter 1
Season 5, during "Mortal"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
"Hold still," Chloe Sullivan said impatiently, dabbing at her best friend's mouth with a wet cloth.
Seated next to her on the old red couch in his loft, Clark Kent winced. An agonized noise rose in his throat, as if she were shoving slivers of bamboo under his fingernails. "It hurts."
"Yeah, well, if you're going to walk into Lex Luthor's study and practically invite him to hit you, what do you expect?"
"I didn't realize it would hurt this bad."
"You're lucky he didn't knock your teeth out," Chloe told him, pressing the cloth to his lips. "You know, the man is trained in martial arts. And without your powers, you're pretty helpless."
"I'm not all that helpless, actually. I guess I was wrong when I said I don't have any useful skills now that I've lost my abilities. I do have some skills, after all." His green eyes lit up with masculine pride. "I punched him hard enough to knock him over. Twice."
"No kidding." Chloe laughed softly, finding his pleasure in his accomplishment oddly endearing. "I wish I'd gotten to see that."
"I just can't believe he endangered my family that way." Clark pressed his lips together in irritation, then winced again. "And Lana. They all could have been killed."
Chloe tried to fight back the unreasonable pain that stabbed through her at the mention of Clark's girlfriend, the lovely Lana Lang. Lana was her friend, and Clark was her friend, and she was glad they'd finally gotten together after all this time. She was happy for them. Really. "I'm sure Lex thought he had it all under control."
"When you're dealing with crazed meteor freaks, you can't assume you have them under control." Clark sighed and lifted his hand, pressing a finger gingerly to his swollen lip. "Damn, that hurts. Do you think maybe ice would help?"
"Maybe. But you know, I think it's going to smart for a while no matter what you do."
"Geez. How do you people live like this?"
She drew away from him, leaned back on the couch, and quirked her eyebrow. "You know, you're one of us now, Clark. You need to stop talking about us like we're a different species."
He sighed. "I just don't like pain."
"Join the club, buddy. No one's really fond of it." She turned her head, looking out the loft window. The sun had set, and the sky was charcoal gray, lightly streaked with pink and golden clouds. She could see a single star glittering in the very center of the window. "I thought you were going over to Lana's apartment tonight."
"I am. But I figured I'd come back home first and try to get rid of this swelling, so I didn't look so much like I'd gone three rounds with Finlay on Smackdown. I didn't realize you were going to stick around for dinner, though."
"Your parents asked me to stay. They said they had plenty of Chef Boyardee to go around." The Kent farmhouse had been all but demolished by the recent meteor shower, and although it was in the process of being reconstructed, the kitchen still wasn't fully repaired. So the Kents were living off microwaved convenience food-- a situation Chloe knew Martha Kent didn't like in the least.
Chloe didn't mind. It was better than the dinners her dad cooked, anyway. Her dad had many talents, but cooking wasn't one of them. At least Chef Boyardee was edible. And besides, she admitted to herself, she'd hung around at least partly because she'd wanted another chance to see Clark.
God, she was pathetic.
She lifted her chin a bit. "Well, you know, if you've got a date, I should probably get going. It's getting late."
"Yeah. I could use a shower, too. I've done a lot of sweating today."
He definitely smelled like he'd been sweating, but she didn't mind. As a Kryptonian, Clark had always smelled good, but not especially... masculine. Not that he'd smelled feminine, either, but his scent hadn't really had much of an effect on her hormones. It had been sort of neutral. But now he smelled so totally male that all her hormones were on red alert. She tamped down her response and shifted away from him slightly.
"Okay," she said, trying to sound cheerful and carefree, like it was no big deal to her if he went off and did the wild thing with Lana all night. "Enjoy your date."
Clark gazed at her a long moment, and his eyes grew serious. "Thanks," he said softly.
"What, for mooching off your parents?" She grinned, still trying to keep things light. "Happy to do it."
"No," he said, his voice still very quiet, but very intense. "For helping me out today. I never would have gotten into Level 3 without you, Chlo. You saved my parents and Lana."
Uncomfortable under his intense scrutiny, she shrugged and offered a slight smile. "I'm not the one that took out three meteor freaks singlehandedly. You did okay yourself, Clark. For a mere mortal, anyway."
"Yeah, but I never would have gotten to that point without your help." He reached out, dropped an arm around her shoulders, and gave her an awkward, one-armed hug. "I really don't know where I'd be without you, Chloe."
Unable to stop herself, she leaned her head against his shoulder for a moment, breathing in his scent, feeling the heat of his body against her cheek. "I'm sure you'd be totally lost without me," she answered, in as snarky a tone as she could manage.
"I'm sure I would be."
His voice dropped into a lower, husky register, and she felt a shiver pass through her. Bedroom voice, she thought, and then laughed at herself. Yeah, right, Sullivan. Clark was about to go off and see Lana, and very probably get it on with her-- so if he was thinking about sex right now, his thoughts sure as hell didn't revolve around Chloe Sullivan.
She just needed to accept her role in his life. She was the sidekick and best friend, not the lover, and that was simply the way things were.
She lifted her head from his shoulder, although she didn't really want to, and discovered that he'd bent toward her a bit. Their noses were about an inch apart. She stared into his eyes, frozen with shock, as well as with some other sensation she couldn't name. Or maybe she just didn't dare name it.
In the dim light of the loft his beautiful eyes looked darker than usual, like jade, and the strong angles of his face were accentuated by shadow. He was the most gorgeous man she'd ever known, and he smelled like pure sex, and his mouth was barely an inch away from hers.
And he belonged to another girl.
Life sucks, she thought, and tried to move away, only to discover his arm was still around her shoulders. He might not be superstrong any more, but he was still a whole lot stronger than she was, and she wasn't moving off this couch unless he allowed it. And right now, he didn't seem inclined to allow it.
What she saw in his eyes made her heart pound. Her hand rose almost automatically, grazing lightly across his cheek, then curling into the depths of his thick, wavy hair. She felt his hand tighten on her shoulder, and he lowered his head just a bit more and brushed his lips over hers.
Instantly tingles shot through every nerve in her body. It's just a friendship kiss, she told herself, trying to stop herself from climbing right into his lap, yanking off his shirt, and putting her hands all over him. Because that could possibly be interpreted as slightly more than friendly. He's grateful that you helped. That's all.
He kissed her again, very lightly, and this time she heard a little sound in his throat, a soft rumble of pleasure that sounded an awful lot like a moan. The noise was so clearly sexual that goosebumps popped up on her arms, and her fingers instinctively tightened in his hair, drawing him closer, as her lips parted.
He didn't fail to notice the invitation. His tongue darted out, tasting her lips, running over the contours of her mouth, then sliding between her lips. He lightly brushed the tip of her tongue with his, the caress so intimate that she felt a rush of heat and moisture between her thighs.
She wondered if he was as turned on as she was. Judging from the rough, unsteady sound of his breathing, she was pretty sure he was.
She tried to hold back, fearful of hurting his injured lip, but he wouldn't let her. The kiss got hotter and deeper, their tongues meeting with more confidence, their mouths fusing together. His arm tightened around her still more, and his other hand moved to the back of her head, holding her so she couldn't get away.
Not that she was even remotely inclined to do that. She wasn't at all sure what was going through Clark's head right now, or how they'd wound up necking on his couch, but she wasn't about to do anything that might make him come to his senses and stop.
Right now, she hoped he'd never stop.
Read Chapter 2 here.
Posted by Meg at 7:36 AM