Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Falling

Chapter 2

Clark/Chloe
Season 6, ending to "Fallout"
4000 words
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.

Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.

I keep on
Fallin'
In and out of love with you
I never loved someone
The way that I love you
-"Fallin'," Alicia Keys

Clark Kent blinked, letting his eyes adjust, as he stepped out of the bright fall sunshine into the shadowed darkness of the barn. Instantly he knew he wasn't alone. A light, sweet scent drifted to his nostrils, a fragrance that he had no difficulty identifying despite the stronger odors of hay and manure and horses that filled the air.

He lifted his head, staring into the charcoal shadows. A few rays of sunlight sifted through the dimness, illuminating hair that gleamed like gold.

"Chloe?"

His friend Chloe Sullivan took a step forward into a patch of sunlight and smiled hesitantly. "Clark," she said, her voice soft with concern and something else he couldn't quite identify. "I wanted to come by and see how you were doing."

He'd called her earlier, to tell her what had happened to Raya, but he carefully hadn't asked her to stop by, because he didn't want to seem that needy. Even so, he couldn't help feeling a rush of gratitude and affection that she'd come to see him anyway. A storm of emotion swelled in his chest, and he turned away so she couldn't see the pain in his eyes.

"I'm fine," he said, keeping his back to her and walking toward a pitchfork that hung on the wall. He could hear the light brush of her shoes on the wooden floor as she trailed after him.

"Don't do that," she said, sounding a little impatient.

"Do what?"

"Don't do the macho thing and pretend nothing happened. I know you. You're upset."

He paused, his hand on the wooden handle of the pitchfork, and stared at the planks of the wall. "Okay," he said roughly. "I'm upset. What did you expect? I'd just met Raya, and before I even got to know her she got killed. Saving me."

"I'm sorry," she said again, the words filled with a gentle compassion that made his throat close up. "Really."

"It's just..." He turned around to face her, looking down into eyes that looked dark and mysterious in the dim light. She was only a foot away from him, and he could barely stop himself from reaching out to her. He needed her touch so badly he ached for it. "She's the only real Kryptonian I've ever really talked to. I could have learned so much from her. So much about my planet. And besides, she was... like me, Chlo."

"I know that means a lot to you," she said softly. The understanding in her voice rippled over him like water, washing some of his pain away. If there was one person in the world who truly understood how lonely he was sometimes, it was Chloe. "I'm so sorry she's gone."

He swallowed, remembering how he'd reduced Raya's lifeless body to ash with his heat vision. She'd saved him, saved all of Earth, giving up her life without hesitation, and she deserved the burial of a hero. And instead all she'd gotten was the grief of a single Kansas farmboy. He'd scattered half her ashes in the Arctic, which was as close to Krypton as he could come, and half of them in the Kansas meadow of flowers she'd admired. She belonged neither to Krypton nor to Earth. She belonged to both.

And so did he.

Chloe must have seen the stark sorrow written on his features, because she suddenly stood up on tiptoe and put her arms around his neck. There were times when she understood him so well that it was scary, and this was one of those times. Somehow she'd intuitively recognized how desperately he ached for human contact and comfort.

He wrapped his arms around her waist, almost reflexively, and bowed his head, pressing his face into her shoulder.

Her hand reached up and began to stroke his hair, very softly. A shudder of sorrow racked him, but no tears fell from his eyes. He hadn't known Raya long enough to truly mourn her passing as an individual. More than anything, what he was mourning was the loss of a kindred spirit, and the destruction of yet another connection to his long-distant past. He was tied to Krypton by a few fragile, slender threads, and one by one it seemed as if those threads were being cut.

He'd felt alone at many times in his life, but he'd never felt his alienation and solitude as keenly as he did at this moment. He was now truly the last son of Krypton, the only representative of his species left in the universe, and that knowledge rested like a heavy weight on his shoulders.

His only consolation was that he had ties to this planet, too. He might not be human, but he was loved by humans. Even though his mother was busy with her new position as state senator, she loved him as much as any mother could love a son. And he still had Chloe, his best friend. Chloe was busier lately too, between work and a new boyfriend, but she still managed to make time for him.

And that was a damn good thing, because without Chloe to turn to he wasn't sure he could survive the loneliness beating at his soul.

His face was still pressed against her shoulder, and he inhaled, breathing in her soft vanilla fragrance, and beneath it, the natural scent of her skin. She smelled like warm summer sunshine and crisp fall leaves and fresh winter snow. She'd told him once that Chloe meant "green shoot," and he didn't have any trouble believing it, because to him she smelled like growing things, like new life, like the earth.

She was his strongest connection to Earth.

His arms tightened around her as longing and need and sorrow all entwined inside his chest, a painful, tangled knot of emotions. Moments before, he'd felt like he was freefalling through the air, unable to grab onto anything to stop his fall, but holding onto her made him feel grounded, giving him a sensation of security and belonging. At the pressure of his arms, she turned her head and looked at him, and he lifted his head and looked straight into her eyes.

He suddenly realized their mouths were only inches apart, and his heart began to thud in a heavy, rapid rhythm.

She'd known him too long to be oblivious to the sudden shift in his emotional state. Besides, her body was pressed right up against his, and he had a feeling his "emotional state" was pretty damn obvious. Her eyes went from soft, liquid sympathy to wariness in an instant.

"Clark," she said softly. "I know you were falling for Raya, but..."

"Falling?" He blinked at her for a minute, then frowned. "You mean you thought she and I--"

She lifted her chin a little, looking oddly defiant. "She was beautiful, Clark. And she was Kryptonian. I saw the way you looked at her."

He supposed Raya had been beautiful, but he hadn't really noticed all that much. The only real thought he'd given to her appearance was the stray thought that her hair wasn't quite as golden as Chloe's. And comparing Chloe to other women was kind of weird, now that he thought about it.

"She was my father's assistant," he said. "She kept talking about helping my father pick out my baby blanket."

She stared at him for a moment, then the corner of her mouth quirked up. "You're kidding."

"I'm serious," he said. "And she kept lecturing me on the need to accept my destiny. I'm pretty sure she was thinking of me as a five-year-old, Chlo. She wasn't interested in me that way, and I wasn't interested in her that way. She was more like, I don't know, a mentor."

In a way Raya's attitude had seemed almost maternal, but he wasn't going to go there. She wasn't his mother. Martha Kent was his mother. And he'd had another mother, a Kryptonian woman named Lara, whose face he still sometimes saw in his dreams.

"I see," she said slowly. "I just sort of thought..."

"Chloe." He couldn't resist the smile that tugged at his lips. "Were you jealous?"

"Of course not." She drew herself up to her full height-- which wasn't very high-- and looked up at him with an air of great dignity. "I mean, yeah, maybe I was just a little envious. I'm used to being the only one who knows your secret, and it's not so easy to share that with someone else. But I certainly wasn't jealous. Not the way you're thinking, anyway."

The color was high in her cheeks, two flags of crimson against her pale skin, and he was pretty sure she was lying to him. Or maybe to herself.

Chloe had been jealous of him and Raya.

No, that was stupid. Because Chloe had a boyfriend, Jimmy Olsen. Nice, geeky, unremarkable. Maybe there had been a time when she was interested in Clark, but that time was in the past.

At least that was what he'd thought. But the scent of summer sunshine grew stronger, and he recognized the sweet smell of her arousal-- a scent he'd noticed quite a few times in the past when they were alone, and done his damnedest to ignore. But he couldn't ignore it this time. He imagined her body growing soft and wet and slick, and a violent hunger struck him, a hunger that was somehow sexual and base yet at the same time spiritual and pure.

He'd been hard, just as a normal reaction to being pressed up against a soft, warm, feminine form, but now he wasn't merely hard-- he was rigid, and pulsing with desperate, aching need.

He needed to remind himself of his connection to this planet and its people, so he didn't feel so painfully alone. He needed to remind himself of his connection to her.

He needed to make love to her.

He leaned down, just an inch or two, and touched his lips to hers.

Read Chapter 2 here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Exquisite. I also liked how pointed out Clark's take on Raya to Chloe. Anyone who picked out your baby blanket might be a scosh too old to date.

MonicaOP said...

Yeah!!! Another fic!!! And this fic!! This story!! Yes!!! :D.

Okay... I loved it, I like that Clark acts with such incredulity about a posibility of him and Raya and how Chloe is always there for him :), can't wait for more, thanks!! Be well and take care.

SelfAppointedCritic said...

Ah Elly, another masterpiece! I swear, no one can capture the essense of Chlark like you do. You bring these characters to life; its amazing how well you right them. Yes, you are the BEST!

blackheart_me said...

aww I feel for Clark in the beginning, so sad. U kno i wonder wat it'd feel like to b the last of ur species around another. that's so weird and lonely :( oh i remember the clip i saw when Chloe met Raya n her being all defiant and "i saw how u looked at her" makes it obvious :) haha. AHH the reaction begins (in reference to the end)

DeeDee said...

Go Clark! Man, I love it when he mans up and grabs Chloe.

One of the nicest things about the episode 'Fallout' was the way Raya looked at Chloe when Clark introduced them; it was genuinely welcoming and friendly, unlike every other Kryptonian we've had on the show.

I'm off to read the rest! Trust you to grab my attention right from the first page, Elly!

Regards,
Dee.

AV said...

Poor heart broken Clark! Hopefully Chloe can make him feel better... :-) Something tells me she will.