Friday, October 13, 2006
Can't Lose You, Chapter 1
Season 6, after "Wither"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
"This girl can't lose you twice." - Chloe Sullivan to Clark Kent
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.
Seated on the floor, Clark Kent bounced the small rubber ball listlessly against the wall in his loft. It had been a hell of an evening. He'd been attacked by a plant alien, who'd impaled him with a big vine right through the chest-- and damn, that had hurt. Fortunately as a Kryptonian he healed quickly, so an injury that would have killed anyone else just closed right up once the vine was removed. But he hadn't liked it in the least. Being impaled was definitely something he planned to avoid in the future.
He'd probably still be out there in the dark forest, entangled in vines, if it weren't for his friend Chloe. She'd figured out how to destroy the vines and hadn't hesitated to run right into the forest to save him. It wasn't the first time she'd saved him, either. He figured he owed his life to Chloe Sullivan about ten times over now.
Once he took care of the alien, he'd wanted to find Chloe and thank her for risking her neck, but she'd already gone to the hospital with her friend Jimmy Olsen, who'd been attacked by the alien, too. Jimmy had been full of seed pods, and he'd die if the doctors didn't figure out a way to get rid of them.
Jimmy's not just her friend. He's her boyfriend.
Clark sighed, bouncing the ball a little harder. Jimmy had called Chloe his girl, and Chloe hadn't seemed to mind. Clark had to admit that bothered him a little bit. He wasn't used to thinking of Chloe as being involved with another guy. Not that he and Chloe had ever been involved, not really. It was just that... well, he was kind of used to having Chloe all to herself. And now she was hanging out with Jimmy.
Not just hanging out with him. Making out with him.
The fact that she'd been up on Makeout Point, macking on Jimmy, maybe even going all the way with Jimmy, for all he knew, bothered him. Not that he was jealous. Not at all. He was just worried she was going into this relationship a little fast. Because Chloe hadn't had a boyfriend in a long time, and now things seemed to be progressing rapidly.
For some reason he couldn't get the image of Chloe kissing Jimmy out of his head, or the memory of Jimmy saying my girl. He caught the ball as it bounced back and flung it again, harder, and it went straight through the wall.
Clark sighed and dropped his head onto his knees.
"Hey," a voice said. "How are you feeling?"
Clark jerked his head up and looked around, startled. He had superhearing that didn't ordinarily allow anyone to sneak up on him, but he'd been so preoccupied with his thoughts that he hadn't heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Chloe stood there on the top step, smiling at him. Her blonde hair waved around her face, a little more wildly than usual, and there were smudges of dirt on her shirt. It had been a rough evening for both of them.
"Hey," he said. "Is Jimmy okay?"
"Yeah." She grinned. "A defibrillator took care of the evil alien spawn. They're keeping him in the hospital overnight for observation, though."
"That's good," he said, and meant it. Jimmy Olsen was slightly annoying, but he didn't want the guy to come to any harm. He seemed like a decent enough sort. Besides, he obviously meant something to Chloe.
"How are you?"
"Me?" He blinked at her. No one ever worried about his health, because he was more or less invulnerable, and Chloe knew that as well as anyone. "I'm fine."
"You sure?" She walked across the loft and dropped down on the tattered old rug beside him, looking into his face. "What the plant lady did to you was pretty brutal."
He lifted a shoulder. "Yeah, it hurt like hell. But it healed up right away."
"Let me take a look."
"Chloe..." He sighed. "I'm fine."
She narrowed her eyes at him. "Let me see, Clark."
He knew better than to argue with that tone of voice. Meekly, he pulled up his blue t-shirt and showed her his perfectly unscarred chest.
"That is so cool how your body does that," she said, reaching out and running her fingers over the place where a scar ought to be, but wasn't. Her hand was warm and soft, and he sucked in a startled breath.
"Does it hurt?"
"Uh," he said, his voice rough. "No."
"You sure?" Her hand stroked over his chest carefully, and he struggled to hold back another gasp. "Because you kind of flinched."
If he'd flinched, it sure as hell hadn't been because of pain. Although he was definitely starting to ache.
Just not in the chest area.
"I'm fine," he said, capturing her small hand in his big one and moving it slightly away from him. He felt the crazy impulse to pull it down and press her palm against his ache, but he managed to repress the impulse. Because Chloe was his friend, and she was dating Jimmy Olsen. He really needed to remember all that.
His t-shirt was still shoved up, and her gaze moved over his chest. "I'm glad you're okay," she said softly. "You really scared the hell out of me, Clark."
When she'd zapped the vines with her Taser, they'd withered away, and he'd fallen to the ground hard. He vaguely remembered her cradling his head in her lap, calling his name. And then she'd whispered, Come on, Clark. This girl can't lose you twice.
He reminded himself that her words only reflected friendship. They'd been friends a long time, and naturally she'd be upset if he got himself killed. But that didn't mean she felt anything for him beyond friendship.
Even so, he couldn't quite get the tone of her voice when she'd said that out of his head. She'd sounded... stricken.
All of a sudden he realized he was still holding her hand in his. He started to pull his hand away, but she intertwined her fingers with his so he couldn't.
And then she leaned toward him, bent, and brushed her lips over his bare chest.
He gave a startled jolt, and his ache suddenly got a whole lot worse. "Uh, Chloe," he said. His voice seemed to have dropped about an octave, and his mouth felt dry.
He felt the soft puff of her laughter against her skin. "Is there a problem, Clark?"
"Um, well, no, not a problem, exactly..."
Her lips moved against his chest again, and his words died off into a rather undignified gurgle. Her hand tightened around his, and her lips moved over his bare skin, and he dropped his head back and closed his eyes.
The touch of her lips sent a firestorm of heat through him. Part of him wanted just to lean back and enjoy this, to revel in the physical sensations she was creating, but he'd never been able to leave well enough alone. "Chlo," he said softly. "I thought you and Jimmy were, you know, an item."
"Yeah," she said softly. "I thought so too."
"I mean..." He struggled to get his scattered thoughts into a coherent state. "The two of you were macking at Makeout Point. Weren't you?"
"Uh-huh. But the thing is..." She lifted her head and looked straight into his eyes. "The whole time we were kissing, I was thinking of you, Clark."
He stared back at her, stunned.
"Besides," she said softly. "When I found you in the woods, I thought... I thought you were going to die, and I..."
She blinked hard, but he saw a tear trickle down her cheek anyway. "Chloe," he said softly, and put his arms around her, pulling her against his chest. He heard a muffled sob.
"Take it easy, Chlo," he told her, stroking her hair. "Everything's okay. I'm all right, and so is Jimmy."
Her voice was a choked whisper. "I thought you were going to die, Clark."
He spoke lightly. "Takes more than being impaled through the chest to kill me."
She was so close that he couldn't quite resist dropping his face against her hair. She smelled good, like flowers and sunshine and summer, and a little shiver ran through him. His arms tightened around her.
"Chlo," he whispered. "Thanks for saving me tonight."
She sniffled against his shirt. "I'm just glad you're all right."
He was all right because of her, and he knew it. He squeezed her a little tighter, being careful not to hold her too tightly and crush her. She lifted her head and looked at him, and the next thing he knew he was kissing her.
He wasn't quite sure how it happened. One minute he was looking down into her big eyes, and the next he found his lips on hers. His hand slid gently into her hair, and he kissed her long and hard. Her arms went around his neck, and he tugged her gently, lifting her right into his lap. And still he didn't stop kissing her.
She didn't seem to mind. Her hands were all over him, running through his hair, sliding over his shoulders, slipping up under his t-shirt and stroking the bare skin of his back. He wondered vaguely if she'd touched Jimmy this way, then tried to shove the thought out of his mind. Thinking about her and Jimmy was the surest way to totally screw this up before it even started.
Whatever this was.
Even so, he couldn't quite get the thoughts out of his head. He didn't want to stop kissing her, but he finally lifted his lips away from hers, just enough that he could talk.
"What's it like to make out in a car?" he asked hoarsely.
She blinked at him like she was coming out of a dream, then gave him her blinding smile, the one that meant she was genuinely amused.
"Cramped," she answered. "Haven't you ever made out in a car, Clark?"
He shook his head. Somehow he'd managed to get through adolescence without that particular experience. Although strictly speaking, he'd made out in the back seat of a car with Chloe once. But she didn't remember it, and he'd been high on red kryptonite, and it had only lasted about five minutes. The whole experience was a blur in his mind-- a pleasant blur, but only a blur nevertheless.
"I think everyone should try it at least once." She stood up, still smiling, and offered him her hand. "Want to give it a shot?"
He stared at her hand for a long moment. Now that she'd stepped away from him, his mind was beginning to clear, and he didn't have the slightest clue what he should do. This entire situation confused the hell out of him. He'd thought she had a thing for Jimmy, but now it appeared she didn't. Or maybe she did, but she was just suffering from the aftereffects of an adrenaline rush. If Jimmy were available, maybe she'd be throwing herself at him. Or maybe she really wanted him. He wasn't at all sure what was going on in her mind right now.
He sat there looking at her hand, petrified with confusion and indecision.
At his hesitation, her bright smile wavered. "Forget it," she said softly, looking away from him. "I'm sorry I came over tonight, Clark. I just wanted to see how you were. I really didn't mean to make things... weird."
She turned around and headed for the staircase. He watched her go, still frozen with shock and bewilderment.
What was wrong with him, anyway? It had felt so good to have her in his arms. It had felt so right, like he'd been waiting to kiss her that way for years and years. And now he was sitting here on his ass and watching her walk out. Letting her walk away from him.
God, he was stupid.
He got to his feet and went after her in a rush of superspeed. A second later, they were both in his truck.
Chloe yelped with surprise and looked around wildly. He'd picked her up and dropped her in the truck faster than her human brain and eyes could follow, and she was obviously still trying to figure out what was going on. Her startled gaze finally fell on him, and her eyes narrowed dangerously.
"What the hell are you doing, Clark?"
He put the key in the ignition, turned it, and threw the truck into gear.
"Taking you someplace where we can make out," he answered.
Read Chapter 2 here.
Posted by Meg at 7:30 AM