Season 5, deleted scene from "Tomb"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Chloe looks pale and fragile in the hospital bed, dark circles marring the pale skin under her eyes, her normally sleek hair disheveled and uncombed. Clark stands for a moment and stares at her, seeing that they've restrained her, tying her to the bed. He knows it's supposedly to protect her, to make sure she can't hurt herself again, but a spike of rage goes through him anyway. He hates seeing her tied down like some sort of rabid animal.
He heard a description of her behavior from Lex, and he knows something's very wrong with her. She never would have cut her wrists otherwise. Since he knows her mother was diagnosed with some sort of mental disease years ago, and since it's supposedly hereditary, he knows it's a reasonable deduction that she's simply gone insane.
But he just can't believe it.
He dropped by the Daily Planet yesterday and had lunch with her, and she seemed perfectly fine then. Happy, even. Besides, they've been close friends for over five years now, and he can read her moods better than he can read anyone else's. If she'd been contemplating suicide, he would have known, damn it.
Something has changed, and he's not sure what it is, but until he knows for sure what's going on, he's not letting Lex send her off to Belle Reve. He's pretty sure Lex's motives are benign-- although with Lex Luthor, one never really knows for sure-- but he knows well enough what goes on in Belle Reve, how easily the doctors there can be swayed to do evil things. He almost lost one friend in that place, and he's damn well not losing another.
His mind made up, he reaches down and begins unfastening her restraints. With his superhuman strength, it would be an easy enough matter to snap them, but he doesn't want to leave behind any sort of clue as to his abilities. So he takes the time to remove them the slow, human way, even though he really hates seeing her tied down this way.
She stirs, her lashes fluttering as if her eyelids are very heavy. He knows they've just drugged her, and she's obviously barely conscious. She struggles to lift her head and looks at him, her eyes bleary and unfocused.
"Shhhh," he says gently. "I'm getting you out of here."
"You believe me." Her head drops back onto the pillow, and her eyelids flutter half-closed again. "I'm not crazy, Clark. I'm not."
He looks at the bandages on her wrists, a chilling reminder that she slashed her own wrists last night, and a little flicker of unease passes through him. She could have died of blood loss, and he doesn't want anything like that to happen to her again. He doesn't want her to get hurt. Maybe he should just let them take her...
No. He won't let anything happen to her. She's far better off with him than in Belle Reve.
He bends toward her and looks deep into her eyes. "Lex wants them to take you to Belle Reve," he tells her, trying to somehow convey how important she is to him. How much she means to him. "I'm not going to let that happen."
"Of course you're not." Her voice is barely a whisper, but her eyes open wider as he picks her up, as easily as if she were weightless. He turns toward the door, Chloe cradled in his arms, and she lifts her head and looks straight into his eyes. Her voice drops even lower, so that if he didn't have superhearing, he's pretty sure it wouldn't be audible at all. "You're my hero, Clark."
The softly spoken words take his breath away, and he stares at her for a long moment. Her mouth is so close to his he could bend just a little, only an inch or so, and kiss her. Of course he'd never do that, because Chloe is just his friend. His best friend, but only his friend.
But somehow he finds the idea of kissing her very appealing.
There's a tightness in his chest and a heat in his veins that he can't quite explain, and he does his best to ignore the odd sensation, because he doesn't have time to think about it just now. Right now, all that matters is getting Chloe out of here.
Her eyes begin to drift shut, and her head lolls, falling onto his shoulder again. He tightens his arms around her, feeling a fierce protectiveness he's never felt for anyone else on the planet. She looks very small and frail in her hospital gown, and she feels so fragile, like she might break apart at a rough touch. Suddenly he's grimly determined to protect her.
Not just from Lex, and the doctors at Belle Reve, but from everything.
He bursts into superspeed, Chloe still held carefully in his arms, and runs, taking her away from this place. Taking her to safety. Because he's Chloe's hero, and he won't let anything happen to her.