Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Author's Note: This is an AU in which Clark and Chloe are both still virgins and unattached. Title suggested by red_dwarfette and used with permission... thanks!
Chloe awakened to find red light shining into her face.
She blinked sleepily and stretched a little, and her hand brushed against something solid and warm. A male chest.
A naked male chest.
She sat up with a startled jerk, seeing Clark sprawled out on the bed next to her, bathed in the crimson light of sunrise. He was totally naked, and hadn't even bothered with a sheet. The sunrise tinted his dark hair with glimmers of copper, and the red light cast dark shadows, accenting the powerful muscles of his chest and arms, and emphasizing the sharp angles of his face.
He looked magnificent, and she just wanted to stare at him. But instead she scrambled hastily out of bed, casting a quick glance at herself in the mirror. There were bite marks on her throat and breasts, reddish-purple marks on her thighs and ass where he'd held her, and a few streaks of blood on her inner thighs. Her hair was tangled, and she looked pretty much exactly like what she was-- a woman who'd rolled around in bed all night having wild passionate sex.
How the hell had she let things go so far? She'd wanted to do the right thing, but somehow she just hadn't been able to. She'd had good intentions, but they'd just melted away like snow in the sunshine the moment he'd kissed her.
After they'd made love, she'd simply surrendered to him, letting him do anything he wanted to do to her. He'd picked her up as if she didn't weigh anything and carried her upstairs to his bedroom, Glam Girl in his hand. He'd announced he wanted to have sex standing up, in front of his dresser mirror, and she'd only put up a token objection as he lifted her up, his strong hands cradling her rear, and pulled her against him.
She'd clung to him, her arms around his neck, her legs locked around his hips. Watching his hands move reverently over her body, watching his lips caress his breast and his teeth bite gently into her throat, watching as his body entered hers, had been simply amazing. She'd never dreamed of anything so sexy in her life. And he'd seemed to like it, too.
After that, he'd insisted on trying a few other ideas from Glam Girl, and they'd made love until they'd both passed out around three in the morning.
But she was unhappily aware that the Cherry Red had probably worn off by now, and her naive, shy farmboy would be back this morning. And he would be terribly embarrassed by everything they'd done together.
She wondered if he'd ever be able to look her in the eyes again. She was pretty sure she wouldn't be able to look him in the eyes again, because she was uncomfortably aware she'd taken advantage of him. And he was going to hate her for it.
She'd experienced some incredible pleasure last night, but she didn't think one night of hot sex was a good trade for the most important friendship in her life.
She wondered where the hell her clothes were. Downstairs near the kitchen table, she thought. Thank God Martha was in Topeka for the weekend. She was pretty sure Martha Kent wouldn't be thrilled to find her bra hanging over the chandelier, or wherever it had wound up.
She walked toward the door, padding as silently as she could. But he stirred, and one eye opened. She noticed the iris had reverted to the normal green.
His voice sounded muffled, and he winced at the crimson light like he had a hangover. Maybe he did. She didn't know if red K gave him hangovers or not. She turned toward him, then backed slowly toward the door. He sat up, blinking vaguely, like he was trying to clear his vision.
He looked at her again, and the sleepy vagueness immediately vanished from his expression. He suddenly looked very alert... and very interested. She wanted to think that meant something, but probably all it meant was that Clark was a normal teenage boy, and not oblivious to the sight of a naked woman.
"I have to get going," she said softly, looking away from his brilliant gaze.
"Chloe." He stood up, and she couldn't quite help glancing down. Yes, he was definitely interested. Although after last night, she couldn't imagine how he could possibly be. She felt a distinct soreness between her thighs when she moved, and she was pretty sure it'd be a week before she could even think of having sex again. She wondered if guys got sore too, then scoffed at her own thoughts. Maybe human guys got sore, but Clark was invulnerable... everywhere.
"Chloe." His voice was soft and intense. "We really ought to talk about this."
"It's okay." She tried to force a bright smile, but she was pretty sure it came out as a grimace. "I understand. You were on red K, Clark."
He tilted his head and considered her. "How do you know about red kryptonite, anyway?"
"Your mom mentioned it once. And I was able to kind of piece things together last night. You were on it that summer in Metropolis, right?"
"Yeah." A shadow darkened his eyes. "I was wearing a red K ring, I mean. I never drank it before, but I think you're probably right-- there's red K in the Cherry Red. But I didn't realize it right away, because Kal is usually more of an jerk."
His mouth curved in a rueful smile. "That's what I called myself that summer in Metropolis. When I'm on red K, I'm Kal. And Kal is kind of an asshole, to be perfectly honest about it."
She remembered the two times she'd met "Kal" in Metropolis. Yeah, he'd definitely been an asshole. Bossy and obnoxious and vulgar, and balanced precariously on the edge of violence and rage.
Clark hadn't been quite like that last night. He'd been alpha, commanding, demanding... but he hadn't been angry, and she hadn't been scared of him, the way she'd been scared of him in Metropolis.
"Maybe drinking it affects you a little differently than wearing it," she suggested.
"I guess maybe." He sighed. "Look, I'm really sorry you got dragged into this, Chlo."
"Me?" She gaped at him. "You were on drugs, Clark. Not your fault. I'm the one at fault. I..." Her voice quavered, and she fought to steady it. "I took advantage of you."
A wry smile touched his beautiful, full lips. "Oddly enough, I don't really mind."
"You should." Her throat felt tight, and her eyes filled with tears. "Having sex with someone who isn't in control of himself... it's like rape, Clark."
"Hey." He stepped toward her, put a big hand on either shoulder, and looked down into her eyes. "Don't do that to yourself, Chlo. You didn't rape me."
"Yes, I did. I..." Her voice broke, and she tried to pull away. But with Clark's superstrength, she didn't have much chance of getting away unless he allowed it, and he didn't seem to want to allow it right now.
"No," he said softly. "I didn't give you much of a chance to say no. If anyone was hurt by what happened last night, it was you. Physically, even. I mean, look at this." He lifted one hand, his fingers brushing over her throat, and his eyes went dark with dismay. "I left marks on you, Chlo. These are teeth marks."
The light caress of his fingers sent sparks through her, which she tried to ignore. She looked up at his face. The crimson sunrise had given way to the brighter light of morning, and golden light shone around him like a halo, making him look like a very masculine angel.
"You didn't really hurt me," she whispered.
"I was pretty damn rough. There are bite marks all over you." His voice was full of self-disgust, and his hand moved down and gently caressed her thighs. "You're bruised here where I was holding you, too."
"It doesn't hurt."
"It could have. I could have broken your bones, Chlo. I could have cut your throat open with my teeth. I could have seriously injured you. I'm dangerous on red K."
She looked up into his eyes. The red glow was entirely gone, and the eyes she'd known since eighth grade gazed back at her, the color of new leaves in the spring, pale green flecked with glimmers of gold. His gaze was full of concern and affection.
"I trust you not to hurt me," she said softly. "Even on red K, I trust you not to hurt me."
He stared into her eyes for a long moment, then his hands lifted, and he cradled her face in his hands.
"Thank you," he whispered, very humbly. "Thank you for that."
Clark was stunned by the remorse in Chloe's eyes. What the hell did she have to be remorseful about? He'd hurt her, left bruises all over her pale skin, and he was uncomfortably aware he could have hurt her a whole lot worse. His hands could shatter human bones as easily as a human could shatter glass with a hammer. Thank God he'd retained enough self-control not to injure her badly.
Yeah, he supposed in a way you could argue she'd taken advantage of him. But he remembered everything that had happened, and he knew full well he hadn't given her much of a chance to say no. He'd seduced her deliberately, touching her and kissing her and driving her to the point of begging for it.
He hadn't wanted her to leave, because he'd wanted to make love to her, more than he'd ever wanted anything.
In fact, he was pretty sure he'd wanted Chloe for a long, long time, but just hadn't had the guts to admit it to himself. Despite what he'd told himself, he hadn't just wanted sex last night. He'd wanted her.
He wanted to believe maybe she wanted him, too, but the memory of her bright, casual words made him uncomfortable and uncertain. Do you ever feel like your virginity is… I don’t know, sort of an obstacle? Like if you got it out of the way, things would be easier?
Maybe she felt like she'd taken advantage of him because she hadn't really wanted him, but had just wanted to experience sex. Maybe she would have gone for any guy under the same circumstances.
But then another memory surfaced, the memory of her voice whispering, I want you. I've always wanted you.
She'd sounded totally sincere, totally honest. He'd realized at that moment that he'd always wanted her, too, and he'd said so. And it hadn't just been the Cherry Red talking. Beneath the platonic surface of their friendship, he'd always felt a sexual attraction to Chloe, like a hidden current running fast and hard beneath the still surface of a river. And last night he just hadn't been able to fight it any more. The current had just swept him away.
It wasn't just lust, either. At some point, the friendly love he'd always felt for her had apparently gotten mixed up somehow with passion, transforming his long-held feelings of affection for her into something a lot stronger. And this hadn't happened just last night, either. It had happened sometime in the past. He actually wasn't quite sure when it had happened.
But he definitely knew how he felt about her.
"Chloe," he said softly. "I love you."
She blinked, then stared at him, studying his eyes as if she were hunting for hints of red in his irises. But he knew he was stone-cold sober.
"Clark. I know last night was kind of... intense. But you don't feel that way about me."
He was annoyed by the way she presumed to know more about his feelings than she did. Okay, so he wasn't the most self-aware guy in the world. But he wasn't totally stupid, either.
Just mostly stupid.
"Yeah," he answered shortly. "I do. I just didn't realize it till now."
She rolled her eyes. "So after a night of mind-blowing sex, you realized you're in love with me. Yeah, sure. I believe you."
"You're such a cynic."
"That's what makes me a good reporter, farmboy. One of these days, it'll make me a great reporter."
He couldn't argue that. "Look," he said, "I can't prove I love you. It's one of those things that's just not proveable. You know?"
"Yeah." Her eyes looked sad. "I know."
"But maybe you'll believe it in a week or two, if I say it enough."
She studied him a moment, her head on one side, and then the sorrow melted away, and a little smile touched her lips. "How often do you think you might say it?"
"As often as you want to hear it."
Her smile grew wider. "I don't know, Clark. I think I might want to hear it a hell of a lot. You might get bored saying it so often."
"I don't think so." He let his arms slide around her waist. "Chlo," he said softly. "Don't leave, okay? Come back to bed."
"You just want sex again," she accused.
He couldn't deny that, considering his erection was pressing eagerly against her abdomen. His body wasn't really subtle about that kind of thing. "I don't want to hurt you," he said instead. "Are you sore?"
"Yeah." She leaned her head against his chest. "Really sore, actually. I can hardly walk."
"Great. We'll stay in bed all day."
She made a growling sound against his chest. "What part of I'm sore did you misunderstand?"
"We'll just talk," he promised earnestly.
"Oh, sure. I believe that, too. Next thing I know you're going to try to convince me of the existence of the Easter Bunny."
"Okay, maybe I'm not being totally honest about just talking." He picked her up and carried her back to his bed. If she was that sore, he wouldn't try to make love to her. But there were plenty of other things they could do. After all, there were still a lot of pages of Glam Girl to flip through, he thought with a flicker of humor. "But I'm serious about loving you, Chlo. You really don't believe I love you?"
"Not yet." He felt the movement of her lips as she smiled against his chest. "But keep saying it, and maybe I'll believe it someday."
He settled down into the bed, with her cuddled in his arms, and pulled the covers around them to keep her warm. "I love you, Chlo."
She didn't say anything, but he felt her lips move against his chest, and he grinned, because he was almost certain what words she'd mouthed.
I love you too, Clark.
One of these days, not too long from now, he'd convince her to say it out loud.
Read the sequel, Cherry Bomb.