Thursday, October 26, 2006

Three Dances


Manip by TW1977. Used with permission of the artist.Clark/Chloe futurefic
(Scenes from "Tempest" and "Spirit")
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.

Perfect Memory

I'll remember you
And the things that we used to do
And the things that we used to say
I'll remember you always
-Remy Zero

"Clark Kent, man of mystery." Chloe Sullivan smiled up at the tall, tuxedo-clad boy dancing with her. She'd been friends with Clark Kent for over a year, but this handsome, grown-up young man was a far cry from the flannel-wearing farmboy she was accustomed to. "Just when I think I have you figured out, you surprise me."

Clark looked surprised. "How's that?"

"The tux, the song, tonight..." Chloe smiled and shrugged, unable to put into words how much it meant to her to be dancing in Clark's arms. She'd fallen in love with Clark the moment she'd met him, but it had taken them a long time to get to this point. He'd always seen her as merely a friend. But tonight, she thought hopefully, that had finally changed.

She remembered the way he'd looked at her when she picked him up at the Kent farm, the awestruck expression in his vivid green eyes. She was wearing a gorgeous pink gown, a gown she'd spent weeks shopping for, and she'd spent hours doing her hair and makeup. Apparently it had all paid off, because now he was looking at her that way again, like he'd never really seen her before. Like she was no longer the asexual, plain buddy he hung out with all the time, but a beautiful, desirable woman.

"And I'm still here," he said softly, looking straight into her eyes.

She'd been worried that he'd run off and abandon her, as he'd unfortunately done more than once in the past. But obviously she'd been wrong, because he was still here. He was here, holding her in his arms, and dancing with her.

She really couldn't believe this was finally happening. She was swaying on a balloon-covered dance floor with Clark Kent, his strong arms wrapped around her waist, while Remy Zero played her favorite song.

It was a perfect moment. A moment she'd never forget, as long as she lived.

"Yeah," she agreed, smiling up at him. "You are."

She hesitated, then leaned forward, against his shoulder. His arms tightened around her, and she felt him bend, pressing his face to her hair. He'd hugged her before, but this wasn't just a hug. They were so close that it almost felt... intimate.

They danced that way for a moment longer. Then he lifted his head, and she looked up into his eyes, seeing something she'd never seen there before, a dawning awareness of desire and attraction, and perhaps even love.

He lowered his head, and she lifted her face for his kiss.

Just before their lips touched, a screech of feedback filled the room, and the music cut off. Clark yanked his head back, smiling shyly, almost apologetically, and they turned to listen, arms still around each other's waists, as one of the teachers announced there were tornadoes to the south of town.

"Lana," Clark said. Chloe could feel his alarm in the way his muscles stiffened under her hand. "The bus station is on the south side of town. Lana's there."

She patted his arm. Even though it hurt her to be reminded of Clark's obsession with the lovely Lana Lang, she had no desire to see any harm come to Lana. But there was nothing Clark could do to help Lana, after all. He couldn't control the wild Kansas weather. "Relax, Clark. I'm sure she's fine."

Despite her reasuring words, he looked for all the world like a nervous Thoroughbred about to bolt, and she smiled, trying to calm him down. "Tell you what. You wait here, and I'll call her on my cell and make sure she's okay. All right?"

She turned away from him, walking toward the ladies' room, where it would be quieter, so she could hear to make the call. But then she heard an odd sound, a sort of whooshing noise. She looked back over her shoulder and realized he'd disappeared.

Rage and fear lit in her chest. Damn it. The teacher had specifically said no one was to leave the building. And yet Clark had left-- had left her-- in order to go off on a crazy, quixotic quest to save Lana.

He'd promised not to leave her tonight, but he'd walked out on her anyway. If he'd left for a good reason, she might be able to forgive him. But he didn't even have a car, so how on earth did he think he could get to the south side of town in time to help Lana? And what the hell did he intend to do, anyway? All he possibly could accomplish by going outside into the storm was to get himself killed.

Damn it, Clark. You promised not to leave me. You promised.

Obviously the thought of Lana in danger had driven all sense from his head, along with the memory of his promise. For the first time, she let herself admit how much Lana meant to him. He loved her so much he was willing to risk his life for her. He loved her so much that Chloe couldn't hope to ever compete.

Chloe blinked back tears, coming to the bitter realization that he'd never love her that much. To him, she was just a friend. Even though he'd noticed she was female, it was Lana he was willing to die for. Not her. Lana.

Clark Kent was everything she'd ever wanted. But he wasn't hers.

He'd never be hers.

*****

You and Me

I don't know why
I can't keep my eyes off of you
-Lifehouse

Being prom queen sucked.

Chloe Sullivan sat at a table alone, watching couples sway to the strains of Lifehouse. She'd come to this stupid prom stag, which ought to be enough to depress anyone, and yet she hadn't been able to repress her feelings of hopeful optimism. Her friend Clark Kent had been the one to suggest to the student body that she should be prom queen (after she'd written a vitriolic editorial denouncing prom royalty as an archaic and elitist concept). Even though he hadn't seemed really interested in going to prom, and even though he hadn't shown any real romantic interest in her since that night three years before, she'd hoped she might run into him here.

She had. He'd been clad in a tux again, looking so gorgeous it made her heart ache, and he'd beamed when she walked into the room, like he'd been waiting for her. But before he could ask her to dance, things had gone to hell.

Apparently the spirit of a girl named Dawn had been lurking. Dawn had been killed earlier today, but the main aspiration of her short life had been to be crowned prom queen, and when Chloe was crowned queen, Dawn had possessed her and tried to use her body to torch the school. Clark had intervened, getting possessed himself, but Dawn had finally been exorcised, and now everything was back to normal. Or as normal as things got in Smallville.

Chloe had washed her face, washing off the streaks of mascara left there by Dawn's tears, then returned to the dance. She was still hopeful that Clark might ask her to dance. After all, they were both here alone, and surely Clark hadn't come with the intention of standing alone all night.

And besides, she was the prom queen, with a glittering tiara perched on her golden hair. Surely Clark would realize he ought to ask the prom queen for a dance. It wasn't right for a girl to be crowned queen, and then left to sit in a corner and watch everyone else dance.

As she sat down at a table, Clark glanced in her direction and smiled, and she felt her heart flutter nervously. But then his head turned, and he stared at the door to the gym.

She followed his gaze and saw Lana Lang standing there.

At the look of longing and love in Clark's eyes, her heart plummeted right to the floor. He was staring at Lana like she was the most beautiful thing in the world. And there was no question that she was lovely, clad in an ice-pink satin gown, her hair rippling loosely down her back. No matter how Chloe arranged her hair, no matter how carefully she applied makeup, no matter how much she spent on her gown, she could never hope to be as beautiful as Lana.

Clark had obviously forgotten her existence entirely, because he turned and walked toward Lana. Chloe watched, seeing him extend his hand to her. She couldn't hear from this distance, but she saw his lips move: May I have this dance?

Lana smiled slightly, and responded, I thought you'd never ask.

She watched Clark pull Lana into his arms, watched the two of them dance the way she and Clark had danced all those years ago, and envy flooded her in a torrent.

Chloe's cousin Lois Lane dropped down into a chair next to her, evidently noticing the stricken look on her face. "You know," she said helpfully, patting Chloe's hand, "a year from now, this'll all seem like a lifetime ago."

"I doubt it." Chloe still vividly remembered dancing with Clark at the freshman dance. She'd loved Clark for years, and she'd desperately wanted to dance with him again, just once.

And once again it had been snatched from her.

She watched Lana lean into his shoulder, watched him drop his face into her hair and tighten his arms around her waist, watched him dance with Lana the way he'd once danced with her, and pain stabbed through her.

Clark Kent was everything she'd ever wanted. But he wasn't hers.

He'd never be hers.

*****

The Last Dance

It's the last dance, we've come to the last dance
They're dimming the lights down, they're hoping we'll go
It's obvious they're aware of us, the pair of us, alone on the floor
Still I want to hold you like this forever and more...
Till we leave, keep holding me tight
Through the last dance, each beat of the last dance
And save me the first dance in your dreams tonight
-Frank Sinatra

"May I have this dance?"

Chloe rose to her feet and accepted Clark's outstretched hand. "Of course," she said softly. She'd been waiting for him to ask her to dance for years and years, after all.

He wrapped an arm around her waist and escorted her to the dance floor as the singer crooned an old Frank Sinatra tune. His arms went around her, and she leaned into his shoulder, the way she had all those years ago at the freshman dance. He lowered his head, pressing his face into her hair, and his arms tightened around her waist.

They danced that way for long moments, an eternity of quiet intimacy that seemed to last forever, and yet somehow not be long enough.

At last the music died away. Chloe looked up, into Clark's beautiful green eyes, and he lowered his head and kissed her, right in front of three hundred people.

Applause rang out. Over the sound of clapping, Chloe could hear their friend Pete Ross yelling, "Get a room!" She couldn't resist the smile that curved her mouth. She grinned up at Clark, and he smiled back.

"Getting a room sounds like a plan," he said softly.

"Clark." She smacked his shoulder. "You can't walk out of your own wedding reception after an hour."

"Why not?" He grinned at her. "I've been waiting for this for a long time. I've been waiting for you for a long time."

Not as long as I've been waiting for you. It had taken years for Clark to realize he felt more than friendship for her. She'd waited patiently, not wanting to ruin their relationship. She'd kept his secrets, supported him as he fought to protect the world and its people, and stood by him through strange crises and everyday moments alike, hoping that sooner or later he'd realize that she was the right woman for him.

And miracle of miracles, at long last he had.

"It won't kill you to wait another hour or two," she answered, smiling. "Anyway, you've owed me a dance since our freshman year. Don't think you're going to get out of this reception with only one dance."

The singer began crooning again, and he smiled back at her. "Okay. Let's dance some more." He wrapped his arms around her and looked down at her, an expression of awe lighting his eyes. "Have I told you how beautiful you look in white?"

"Yes." She grinned. "But frequent reminders are always welcome."

Their friends and family walked out and began surrounding them, swaying to the music, but Chloe was barely aware of them. As far as she was concerned, the two of them might as well still be alone on the dance floor. She was scarcely aware of anything except Clark's arms around her, his big, strong body next to hers. She'd waited a long, long time for this moment, and it was every bit as perfect as she'd imagined it would be.

Clark Kent was everything she'd ever wanted. And he was hers.

He'd always be hers.

-The End-

5 comments:

sally said...

Awe! This is so sweet.

Anonymous said...

Ellen,

Such a sweet and long awaited dance...

Kudos to you, you really know how to pull my heart strings.

Beautifully written :)

Take care,

Ana (AMPVT - K-Site)

Anonymous said...

gosh Ellen...this is so sweet! I loved the last line that he would always be hers :)
-a

SelfAppointedCritic said...

*sniffle* "He'd never be hers", "He'd never be hers", "He'd always be hers"....Wow. Beautiful written Elly. I do so love a happy ending!

blackheart_me said...

The pic used for this story Elly is GORGEOUS! It made my jaw drop when i saw it :P. AWW the Tempest dance scene was beautiful and then the end was heart breaking just like the episode. I really love how you get into her mind though and write how she was feeling. it was so confusing for her and just painful."No matter how Chloe arranged her hair, no matter how carefully she applied makeup, no matter how much she spent on her gown, she could never hope to be as beautiful as Lana." Those are the most sad lines ever :(. I just wanna go into your story and hug Chloe Elly, and tell her how wrong she is :(. AWWW the last dance almost brought tears to my eyes. SO SWEET. oh so sweet. Beautiful writing Elly, just beautiful ^_^