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.
"Ick. What are you supposed to do with a used condom?"
Chloe lifted an eyebrow, amused by Clark's expression, which was composed of equal parts bewilderment and disgust. "Well, you know, since it's your first, maybe you want to paste it into a scrapbook. Or you could always frame it."
"Ewwww. Stop it." He stood up, stark naked, and wandered across to the trash can, disposing of the aforementioned item. When he turned back around, she couldn't stop herself from staring. Even satiated, he was incredibly gorgeous. She looked him over, taking in every detail of his body, from his broad shoulders to his big feet, and he shifted uncomfortably, dropping his gaze to the floor.
"Would you mind covering your eyes?"
A startled laugh broke from her. "Clark," she answered, "we just had sex. It's not like I don't know where everything is."
"Yeah, but..." He glanced at her, his cheeks turning red, then hastily bent and retrieved his t-shirt. He held it in front of himself. "I'm just kind of new at this."
She looked at the embarrassment on his face, and a little pain pricked her heart, the fear that maybe he regretted making love to her. "Are you sorry we did it, Clark?"
"Huh?" He blinked at her. "Hell, no."
"Oh. Okay." At the firm note in his voice, the pain melted away. "I just thought maybe..."
He yanked the shirt on, then retrieved his boxers and jeans and pulled them on, too. Then he sat down next to her on the couch and put his arm around her shoulders. "Look, Chlo," he said softly, "I didn't want to say this earlier, while we were... well, busy. Because I was afraid you'd figure I wasn't thinking with my brain again. But the truth is, I think I love you."
She stared at him. "Sex has addled your brain."
"No, Chlo." Amusement curved his mouth. "That's not the right answer. This is the part where you say, I love you too, Clark."
Part of her wanted to believe it, so badly her chest started to ache again. But the relentlessly practical side that dominated her personality knew it couldn't possibly be true. She swallowed, looking away from his brilliant eyes and staring at the floor.
"You love Lana," she said in a whisper. "You've always loved Lana."
He snorted. "Yeah, Chloe, that's why I slept with you. Because of my undying love for Lana."
She blinked, confused, and looked up, and he tugged on her hair in a familiar, friendly gesture. "Moron," he said with affection. "You really think I would have had sex with you just to get off? Don't you think you mean too much for me to treat you that way?"
"You had condoms in your pocket. You told me you were thinking about making love to Lana."
"I was," he admitted. "I've had a thing for her for a long time, Chloe. We both know that. But I think it's been blinding me to my real feelings."
"Uh-huh," she said skeptically. "So your love for Lana was blinding you to the fact that you loved me? Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense."
"I'm not in love with Lana," he answered with a sigh. "That's what I'm trying to tell you. Obviously I thought I loved her. But I think it was more of a crush, a kid thing that never got put away somehow. She was pretty and normal and all the things I thought I wanted. But I didn't love her."
Her eyes went wide. She'd thought that many times before, but she had been uncomfortably aware she was just a little biased, so she figured she'd probably been wrong.
He tightened his arm, pulling her against him. "All this time," he said into her hair, "I've been depending on you. Calling you. Talking to you. Hanging out with you. I don't think I could survive without you, Chlo. And if that's not love, I'm not sure what is."
She felt her own lip quiver and tried to suppress it. God, she was such a sap sometimes.
"So..." he prompted.
She blinked. "So what?"
He looked down at her expectantly. "So this would be a really good time to tell me you love me, too."
She laughed, but the sappiness reasserted itself, turning her giggle into a little sob. "You don't need me to tell you that, Clark," she said, hearing her voice tremble a bit. "You know I love you. I've always loved you."
He pressed his face into her hair again. "Actually, I do need you to tell me that," he said. "A lot."
She managed to hold back another sob. "I think I can manage that."
He held her for a long moment. At last, when she thought she had her voice under control, she lifted her head and looked at him. "So what happens now?"
"I go break up with Lana." He frowned. "I guess I should have done that first."
"Yeah, it's really better to break up with your girlfriend before you screw someone else. But it's a little late to worry about it now."
He frowned, catching her chin in his hand and looking into her eyes, his face very intent. "What we just did wasn't screwing, Chloe. It was making love."
Tears welled up in her eyes again, and she nodded, afraid to speak. She was turning into a world-class sap, damn it. She hated that.
He didn't seem to notice her tears, much to her relief. He sighed. "I messed up, and I have to fix it. But after that, I'm going to come back here, and take you out on a proper date."
"A date. You know. When a guy and girl go out together and have fun. See a movie, or go to a restaurant, or whatever."
"We do that kind of thing all the time."
"Yeah, but we don't ever call it a date." He grinned. "I think it's past time we change that."
"Or we could just..." She wiggled next to him, still naked, brushing her breasts against his chest, and his eyes darkened with lust. But he shook his head.
"Chloe," he said softly. "I need to do the right thing with Lana before I make love to you again. And then I really want to take you out. I don't want you to think I'm using you."
She looked up into his beautiful, sincere eyes, and smiled. "Okay, Clark."
Suddenly she heard someone calling Clark's name. Her head jerked around, and she saw from Clark's reaction that he'd heard it, too. It was kind of strange to hear things before Clark did, but she guessed she'd get used to it.
A look of panic crossed Clark's face. "It's my mom," he hissed.
Chloe dove for her clothes, yanked them on, and finger-combed her hair, all in under ten seconds. Investigative reporting tended to teach a girl to act quickly. She dropped back down on the couch, and Clark grabbed a deck of cards from his trunk and started dealing.
"Up here, Mom," he called.
Martha Kent's footsteps sounded on the wooden staircase, and she smiled as she came into the loft, holding a plate in her hand. "Hi, Chloe. I noticed your car was still here. I wondered if you two wanted some cookies."
All of a sudden Chloe remembered the condom in the wastebasket. They didn't want Martha to see that. She jumped to her feet and trotted over to Martha, taking the plate out of her hand. "Thanks," she said, noticing they were store-bought cookies-- Oreos. It was absolutely unheard of for Martha Kent to offer guests something she hadn't baked personally, and Chloe was sure that Martha hated the necessity.
Martha smiled at them. "Are you two playing cards?"
"Yeah." Clark did his best impression of a careless smile, but as usual, he might as well have held up a sign that announced, I'm lying through my teeth! Clark had never been a good liar, and besides, Martha Kent had a lie detector in her head that was second to none. She narrowed her eyes at him, and then her gaze dropped to the floor.
Chloe followed her gaze, and all of a sudden her heart plummeted. Oh, no. The first condom, the one that Clark hadn't managed to get on, was still lying there on the floor. It was still rolled up, but even so, Chloe didn't think there was the slightest chance that Martha wouldn't recognize it for what it was.
Martha looked back at Clark and lifted one eyebrow, in an gesture that said unmistakably, You're in very big trouble, young man. Then she turned without a word and went down the stairs.
Chloe stood there and watched her go, her heart thudding. At last she turned around and found Clark standing right behind her.
"I'm sorry," she said, putting her arms around his waist and pressing her face into his chest. "Now you're in deep shit, and it's totally my fault."
He wrapped his arms around her, and she heard the deep sound of his laughter against her ear. "Yeah, Chloe, it's all your fault. Because I had absolutely nothing to do with all this."
"I seduced you."
"I didn't put up much of a fight, did I?"
She couldn't help herself. She laughed. "Okay, so it wasn't totally my fault. But you're still in trouble."
"My parents'll get over it. They probably won't even make me live in the storm cellar. They've always liked you, you know."
"Really. They'll probably yell at me, but they won't try to stop me from seeing you again or anything. They know I can't live without you."
Those words, spoken with gentle sincerity, made more tears prick at her eyes. "Still," she said, rubbing her closed eyelids against the soft fabric of his t-shirt in an attempt to get rid of the tears. "I hate that I got you in trouble."
He squeezed her. "Believe me, Chlo," he said softly. "There's no one else I'd rather be in trouble for."
"So where are we headed?"
Clark's big hands rested on the steering wheel of the Kents' old red truck. Chloe shot a look at him, admiring the strong planes and angles of his face, lit by the headlights of oncoming traffic. "You'll see," he said with a mysterious smile.
"I guess your parents didn't ground you."
"No. They just embarrassed the hell out of me. I got, you know, The Talk."
"Oh, God, the horror." She giggled. "Surely you've had The Talk before."
"Yeah, although we were never really certain I could get a girl pregnant before. I guess we're still not, but I sure don't want to find out the hard way. And neither do they, apparently. I got a serious lecture on birth control." He heaved a long sigh, sounding extremely disgruntled. "Talking to your dad about condoms is embarrassing."
"They just want to protect you, Clark."
"At least they weren't really mad." He slid a sideways look at her. "I told them I'd talked to Lana and broken things off with her. She wasn't real happy, but I think she knew things were going bad between us. I think my parents had figured that out, too. Anyway, they told me you're a levelheaded girl, and they thought I'd made a good choice."
Chloe thought about that for a minute, then smiled. The Kents were good, solid people, and their approval meant a lot to her. "No kidding."
"No kidding. That's exactly what they said. Although they did say they'd rather we put off sex till we were married. Or until we're forty. Whichever comes first."
She laughed again. "They don't seriously expect you to embrace celibacy, do they?"
"I don't think so." He steered the truck off the road, onto the shoulder, and put it into park, leaving the engine running. "Hop out and take a look."
Curious, she climbed out of the truck. He scrambled up onto the hood, and from there to the roof, then leaned over and picked her up, pulling her onto the truck's roof as if she weighed nothing at all. He might not be superpowered any more, but he was still pretty damn strong.
He pointed, and she looked in the direction he indicated. On the distant horizon, she could see lights sparkling like diamonds. The lights of Metropolis.
She gazed at the distant lights. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"
"Yeah," he agreed, staring raptly at the skyline. "It is."
She was a little surprised by his enraptured tone. She'd always loved the big city, of course. In a few weeks, she'd be heading off for Metropolis University. And she'd been born and raised in Metropolis, living there until she was fourteen.
Clark had almost accepted a football scholarship to Met U, before he'd decided he had an unfair advantage and quit playing the sport. But it had never occurred to her that he had any particular affection for the city, or that he might have any aspirations of eventually going there. He was a smalltown boy, and she had a hard time imagining him any place other than Smallville.
But looking at the expression on his face, she began to wonder if she was wrong. Maybe both of them had a destiny outside of Smallville. Maybe both of them would wind up in the big city someday. And who knew, maybe they'd still be together.
She hoped so. She couldn't imagine her life without Clark, any more than he seemed able to imagine his life without her.
At last he looked away from the skyline. "That's where we're headed," he told her. "I figured I'd take you out to a nice dinner. My parents gave me the name of a restaurant they like."
"It's kind of late, and it's a long drive," she said. "We won't get back till past midnight."
He shrugged, and she saw the white flash of his teeth in the darkness. "I don't mind a long drive. It'll give us a lot of time to talk." He looked at her. "So are you ready to go?"
"In a minute." She stole one last look at the skyline. Clark turned his head too, gazing at the distant city. A quiet, companionable silence fell between them.
At last she looked away from the city. Clark was still staring into the distance, the glow of Metropolis lighting his face, casting his features into deep, mysterious shadow.
That's where we're headed.
She wasn't sure why, precisely, but for some reason, those words sounded exactly right.