Monday, December 18, 2006

Just Say the Word

Sometime in Season 6
2100 words
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.

...I know that I should let you go
But it's hard to break away
I ask around
And I wonder what you're doing now
But I hear that you been going out a little more these days...
When everything's wrong and nothing's going right
Just know that I'm not hard to find, so
Just say the word and I'll race through the night
And I'll be right there by your side
"Just Say the Word," Josh Kelley

"Clark. I need you."

Clark Kent blinked sleepily at the digital clock that sat on his end table. It read 2:12 a.m. He closed his eyes and spoke blurrily.

"Whassup, Chloe?"

Chloe Sullivan was a reporter for the Daily Planet, as well as his best friend, and he didn't mind hearing her say she needed him. In fact he'd be thrilled if she really needed him, but that wasn't what she meant, and he knew it. She probably had some big story she was working on, and she needed his superstrength or his x-ray vision or his ability to blow steel doors off their hinges.

"I just..." Her voice broke, and his eyes popped open. Chloe wasn't given to empty tears, so something must be really wrong. Instantly he was wide awake. "Jimmy and I... we kind of..."

"Chloe." He spoke a little more impatiently than usual. It was too damn early in the morning for a guy to be expected to cope with female tears. "What's going on?"

He heard a pathetic sniffle. "We broke up."

He blinked into the darkness and almost retorted, And you couldn't do this at a civilized hour of the day? But he restrained the cranky response. Chloe had been there for him when he broke up with his girlfriend Lana last year. Several times. The least he could do was support her in return.

He sighed. Quietly, so she wouldn't hear it. "You want to talk about it, Chlo?"

"We had a big fight..." Her voice broke again, and he sighed again.

"I'll be there in a second, Chlo. Are you at the Talon?"

"No." She sniffled. "I'm on Main Street. I went for a walk."

"I'll find you," he said, and broke the connection.

Seconds later he was dressed and in downtown Smallville. Main Street was deserted this time of night, so he didn't have any problem picking out her small form. Her hair glinted gold in the light of the moon that rode high in the sky, but he would have known her perfectly well even if he couldn't see her hair or her face. He could have found her in complete blackness. He knew her sweet scent, the rhythm of her heartbeat, the soft sound of her breathing. After seven years of friendship, he knew everything there was to know about Chloe Sullivan.

"Hey," he said as he dropped out of superspeed. Her hair blew wildly at the wind he'd created, but she didn't jump. She was used to his high-speed comings and goings by now.

"Hey," she answered dully.

She was trudging along the sidewalk, looking like she didn't much care where she was going-- not that there were a lot of places to go in Smallville-- and he fell into step beside her. "What happened?" he asked gently.

"Like I said on the phone, we had a big fight."

"About what?"

"Doesn't really matter." With her head downbent, he couldn't see her face, but her voice sounded hoarse with unshed tears. "We just decided things weren't right between us."

"I'm sorry, Chlo." And he was. Really. He didn't like seeing her this way, didn't like hearing the pain in her voice, didn't like seeing the despondent slump of her shoulders.

Although, if he was going to be totally honest with himself, he'd kind of been hoping Chloe and Jimmy would break up.

That was so wrong that he tried to push the thought away. Chloe was his friend, and he ought to be pleased she'd found a guy who made her so happy. And he'd tried to be pleased for her. He'd tried really hard.

But somewhere down deep, he'd been so jealous of Jimmy that he kept having visions of throwing the guy into a wall. A nice, hard, solid brick wall.

"I just..." She sighed. "He said my heart wasn't in the relationship. He said I wasn't really into him."

Was he right?

Clark managed to stop the question before it popped out of his mouth. None of his business, really. Besides, he was an egotistical idiot, thinking that maybe her feelings for him had gotten in the way of her relationship with Jimmy Olsen. She didn't have any feelings for him. Maybe she had, once upon a time. Well, yeah, she definitely had.

But that was all in the past. She'd made that very clear.

"You're too good for Jimmy," he said at last, trying to say something comforting yet neutral, so he didn't come across as jealous or petty or spiteful. Even though he was very much afraid all three of those words could describe his mental state since Chloe had begun dating Jimmy. "You're way too smart for him. Maybe he figured that out."

She sniffled again. "But he was so sweet to me. He treated me like... like I mattered."

The clear implication that other guys hadn't treated her that way-- that he himself hadn't treated her that way-- hit him like a chunk of kryptonite, and remorse flooded him. Chloe was his best friend, and she mattered to him more than anyone else on the planet.

But he was well aware he hadn't always let her know that. He'd taken her for granted, over and over again.

"Chloe," he said softly. "You definitely deserve someone who's sweet to you. But you deserve someone who's your equal, too."

She looked at him. In the moonlight, her hazel eyes looked almost black, deep and fathomless pools of mystery. "You really think Jimmy's not my equal?"

"Not even close." In fact, he didn't know any guy who was Chloe's equal. She was smart and driven and ambitious, and she had a work ethic that wouldn't quit.

Now that he came to think about it, he wasn't sure he was good enough for her, either. Which was pretty damn depressing.

"I don't know about that, Clark. I mean... he's into journalism. Photography, yeah, but still. We have a lot in common."

"I used to write, too."

"The operative part of that phrase being used to." She gave him a slightly condescending smile. "You wrote for a school newspaper, Clark. That doesn't make you seriously committed to journalism. In fact, you don't really seem to be seriously committed to much of anything right now."

Her gentle scoffing annoyed him, and he lifted his chin. "I'll have you know I'm going back to college this semester. And I'm definitely considering majoring in journalism."

"No kidding?" She looked up at him, and the condescension died away. Her eyes brightened a bit. "Central Kansas again?"

"No," he said gruffly. "Met U."

He'd gotten the acceptance last week, but he hadn't told her about it before now, because he was a little worried she'd think he was following her to Metropolis or something. Jimmy had implied more than once that he tagged around after Chloe like a puppy, and he was a bit concerned she might think it was true. But her face lit up.

"Seriously? Clark, that's great!"

She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him, in a spontaneous gesture of pride and affection, and warmth spilled through him. Affectionate, platonic warmth, the kind of warmth a guy felt for his best friend.

The fact that his jeans suddenly felt too tight didn't mean anything.

She tried to move away from him, but he couldn't seem to unlock his arms from around her waist for some reason. She felt good. Really good. He wanted to hold her forever.

But she wiggled uncomfortably, like she was trying to get out of his embrace, and the brush of her abdomen against his hard-on made sparks shoot through him. He abruptly let go of her like she'd scalded him, jumping backward about a foot.

She didn't seem to notice his reaction. Either reaction. Her smile was wide and sweet. "So you're going to start in January?"


"I'm proud of you," she said earnestly. "I've been worrying about you, Clark. I know you don't want to be a farmer for the rest of your life. And I know your dad's death hit you hard, but..."

"But it's time for me to get back to college. Yeah. I know."

She beamed. "I can't believe you're going to Met U. How cool is that?"

He was glad she was so happy about it. When she'd been at Met U last year, they'd seen each other quite a lot-- distance was no real obstacle to their friendship, not when he could get to Metropolis in three seconds-- but the thought of being on the same campus as she was, every day, made a little flame glow somewhere deep inside him.

Met U was a good school, which was why he'd applied there, but a small part of him had hoped seeing him around more frequently might make her more willing to spend some extra time with him. Maybe they could even go out on a date or two. A real date, not just a friendly date. He thought of the two of them having a nice dinner together, or going to see a movie. He imagined kissing her goodnight...

He shook himself mentally. She'd just broken up with Jimmy half an hour ago, and he was already thinking about putting the moves on her. He really needed to back off a bit.

But her eyes shone with pride as she looked up at him, and her hair was gilded with starlight, and she looked so damn pretty that he couldn't back off entirely. He lowered his head, without the slightest intention of doing so, and brushed a light kiss over her lips.

She didn't pull away, somewhat to his relief. He moved back before he could be tempted to deepen the kiss, and she blinked at him, looking puzzled. "What was that for?"

"I don't want you to think Jimmy's the only one who treats you like you matter," he answered, his voice gravelly with emotion. "You matter to me, Chlo. A whole lot."

Her mouth curved in a sad, wistful smile. "I know I'm your best friend, Clark."

"You're more than just my friend," he said, his voice soft but intense. "You're the most important person in the world to me, Chlo. I--"

The words I love you rose to his lips, but he choked them back, reminding himself again that she'd just broken up with Jimmy. She was vulnerable and unhappy right now, and this wasn't the time for him to try to change their relationship so dramatically.

But the time was coming. Very soon.

She reached out and wrapped her fingers around his. "Thanks," she whispered. "It's good to know I matter to someone."

Her palm felt warm and soft, as warm and soft as her body had felt pressed against his. He was filled with the sudden impulse to grab her and yank her against him again, but he suppressed it. For now, at least.

Instead he turned his palm over and clasped her hand in his, holding her hand in an intimate, protective way. He'd never held her hand like that before, and he was shocked by how right it felt.

"Come on," he said softly. "It's a beautiful night. I want to walk with you."

That was the truth, but only part of it. He wanted to walk beside her forever, but he couldn't say so. Not yet. But she smiled up at him, and they walked down Main Street, hand in hand.

Clark didn't say anything else. He didn't think he needed to. She knew how much she mattered to him. At last, she knew. He hadn't been able to tell her everything she meant to him, but he knew words didn't mean that much, anyway.

His hand wrapped possessively around hers said what he felt, more clearly than words ever could.

-The End-


Anonymous said...

Another beautiful and sweet story, you spoil us :)

Take your time, Elly, we'll be here waiting...

Take care,

Ana (AMPVT - K-Site)

Anonymous said...

wow, i dont know what it was about that story but it defn lifted my spirits. After all these horrible spoilers someone has got to remind a chlarker whats good about that ship. Whats soo good its hard to understand why the writers cant get it. Thank you for capturing that for me, for reminding me.


Anonymous said...

Great story Elly. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. Please don't feel that you need to rush new stories to us...take all the time you need to be with your family and take care of yourself....we WILL be here whenever you can give us more stories....whenever...

On another note....are there MORE bad spoilers recently??? what have i missed????


Elly said...

"Please don't feel that you need to rush new stories to us...take all the time you need to be with your family and take care of yourself...."

Actually, writing IS taking care of myself. It keeps me busy and lets me work out all my issues. I'm happier when I write:-).

And I don't know of any horrible new spoilers this week... yet *cringes*.

blackheart_me said...

spoilers for season 7?? :( lol anyway loved this. so sweet made me a bit sad thou cuz in reality they're not rlly this together. but ur stories are wonderful

Anonymous said...

this was very sweet. i just really wish something like this happens in the show.

**sigh**....oh well...i guess we can't have everything. thank goodness for writers like you =)!

pretty awesome!!!!

joanna / kidkarmina