Saturday, February 24, 2007

Words We Could Never Find

All seasons
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and to DC Comics, not to me.
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?
"What About Now," Daughtry

Year One

"You should get some rest."

Clark Kent looked down at his friend Chloe Sullivan with concern. She'd been buried alive in a coffin, left to suffocate in the darkness. He'd barely managed to find her and rescue her in time.

She looked up at him. "Clark... would you mind sticking around for a little while?" She looked frail and white in her hospital gown, her blonde hair tangled, and her eyes were big and vulnerable. "Whoever did this is still out there."

"Of course not." He smiled. "I'll stay here as long as you need me to."

She returned his smile, gratitude in her eyes, and he reached out and covered her small, fragile hand with his own. Words rose to his mind.

I'll take care of you, Chloe. I'll always take care of you, I promise. You mean everything to me, and I'll never let anyone hurt you again.

He thought the words, but he didn't quite dare say them.

He'd tell her how he felt later.


Year Two

"Uh, Chloe, listen." Clark fidgeted nervously. "I've been wanting to apologize for leaving you at the spring formal..."

Chloe waved her hand, cutting him off, and smiled a little too brightly. "Hey, no problem. Didn't I mention that leaving in the middle of a tornado to save a friend totally gets you off the hook? Besides..." Her too-bright smile got even brighter. "I know you'd do the same thing for me."

"Absolutely. In a heartbeat." Relieved that she wasn't pissed, he looked at her earnestly. "So how can I make it up to you?"

She shrugged, the gesture so indifferent that his heart sank. "Actually, you know, I've been thinking. It's funny how a natural disaster puts your life in perspective, but I think that it might be better if we just stayed really good friends. Anything other than that just gets... too complicated."

His heart fell right down to his feet. But she looked really sincere, and he didn't quite have the nerve to ask her out again when she obviously wasn't interested in him that way. It had taken him three weeks to work up the courage to ask her out last time.

"Uh... yeah," he agreed. "Yeah, I think that's a good idea."

"You do?"

"Yeah. Yeah, uh..." He realized he was stammering, and struggled to get the appropriate words out. "Our friendship is really important to me, Chlo. The last thing I want to do is screw it up."

She smiled brightly. "Good. Great. Perfect. I'm really glad we got that straightened out."

He stared down at her, looking into her brilliant hazel eyes, and wished he had the nerve to say what he was thinking.

I don't just want to be friends, Chlo. When I looked at you last night on the dance floor, really looked at you, I realized how much you mean to me. We almost kissed... and I really wish we had. Because you're way more than just a friend to me.

He thought the words, but he didn't quite dare say them.

He'd tell her how he felt later.


Year Three

"I've erased Smallville from my past."

Clark sank into a black leather chair and glared up at Chloe belligerently, in a way that would have intimidated anyone else. She didn't appear intimidated. She just glared back.

"Really?" she retorted. "Is that why you're still wearing your school ring?"

He brushed a finger over the red rock of his class ring and didn't answer. He was actually wearing it because the stone worked on him like a drug, helping him forget who he was and what he'd done, but she didn't have any way of knowing that.

"You know," she said sharply, "sooner or later someone else will find you."

He spoke in a dismissive, curt tone. "You were lucky."

"Maybe so. But what are you going to do if one day Lana shows up on your doorstep, or your dad? How will you explain this to them?"

He felt his lips draw back in a feral snarl. "I'm through explaining myself to anyone, damn it."

She apparently lost her patience with him, because her voice rose angrily. "Clark, Lana is a wreck... and your parents are losing the farm!"

He rose from the chair, turning his back on her, and stalked restlessly across the apartment. "What do I care?" he demanded bitterly. "I'm never going back anyway."

She took a step toward him, and he felt a sudden yearning, the hope that she'd reach out to him, put her hand on his shoulder. Suddenly he desperately wanted to feel her touch. But she didn't touch him.

"Clark, you were not forced into exile. You ran away from your problems." Her voice was as sharp as a knife. "You are not being noble-- you're being a coward!"

Unexpectedly, the terrible scar on his chest started to burn. Groaning, he spun and crossed to her, grabbing her by the shoulders and shoving her toward the door.

"Get out!" he snarled. "If you tell anyone where I am, I'll go so far away from Metropolis that no one will ever find me!"

She yanked away from him, clearly pissed by his rough treatment of her, and stumbled out of the apartment, pausing to glare back over her shoulder. "I don't even know who you are anymore," she spat with contempt.

His voice rose to a roar. "Get out!"

He slammed the door on her, then sank to the floor and yanked his ring off. The symbol that had been branded into his chest burned terribly, but once the ring was removed the pain began to ebb. He leaned his head back against the door, gasping, and tears rose to his eyes.

Come back, Chloe. Don't leave me here all alone. I'm lonely and I'm scared and I want to talk to you so badly it hurts. Please, please come back. Oh, God, please come back.

He thought the words, but he didn't say them, because he was all alone. There was no one to say them to. But he hoped she'd come back eventually, and then they could talk.

He'd tell her how he felt later.


Year Four

"So it must’ve been kind of strange to have a zombie best friend walking around."

Clark had lost his memory for two days, his memory apparently accidentally wiped by a meteor freak, but in the end he'd gotten it all back. Except for those two days, anyway. He wasn't quite sure what had happened, and he was a little worried that he might have given his peculiarities away.

He watched Chloe closely. She gave a mysterious smile.

"Yeah," she agreed. "It was definitely strange. But you know, I never really realized just how complicated that zombie’s life was."

Apprehension rose in his chest. "Complicated? Complicated how? Did I do something... unusual?"

"Not exactly." She lifted her head and stared right into his eyes. "You had a clean slate to start all over with, and you made all the same choices… except for one."

"Uh," he said, uncertain how to take that. "Well. Chloe, listen. I need you to be completely honest with me."

She lifted her eyebrows. "Honest, huh?"

He wasn't sure he liked the emphasis she put on the word. He was rapidly forming the distinct suspicion she knew something about his secret. "Yeah, honest. What’d I do?"

She looked up into his eyes.

"You trusted me," she said softly.

He wasn't quite sure what to say to that. He stared down into her eyes for a long moment, wondering again if he'd given himself away somehow. Words rose to his lips.

I do trust you, Chlo. I'd trust you with my life. And I'll trust you with my secret if you really want to know it. But it's a burden, and I'm afraid to burden you with it, because your life doesn't need to be any more complicated than it already is. I wish I could tell you, but when I told Pete, I lost him. And I can't stand to lose you. Of all the people in the world, I can't stand to lose you.

He thought the words, but he didn't say them. He couldn't.

He'd tell her how he felt later.


Year Five


He was walking away from her, making his way through the darkened Daily Planet basement, but at the sound of his name he turned back. Chloe was staring at him, her expresion intense.

"I don't know if I'll ever see you again," she said softly, and ran toward him. She flung her arms around his neck, and he wrapped his arms around her, held her close, and kissed her hard.

He could have kissed her forever, and part of him wanted to. But the world was crashing down outside, so at last he lifted his head, not without reluctance, and stared into her eyes. Words rose in his mind.

I love you, Chlo. I think I've always loved you. I don't want to leave you here to get hurt. I want to stay here and protect you, just like always. I can't let anything happen to you. You mean too much to me.

He opened his mouth to say the words, but the phone rang behind him. He let go of her, squared his shoulders, and turned toward the phone. He didn't have time to say the words. Right now, he had to go save the world.

He'd tell her how he felt later.


Year Six

"Clark. Oh my God." Chloe stared at him for a moment, then hobbled toward him so fast her hair flew. She flung her arms around him. "I thought you were dead."

"Hi." He held her tightly, pressing his face into her shoulder. " did I... for a while there."

She pulled back and stared up into his face. "What happened? Where did you go?"

"A place I never want to go again," he said darkly. He tried to push away the memories and looked at her carefully, seeing the bruise on her forehead. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah." She flung her arms around him again. "Everything's great now that you're here."

He wanted to kiss her, the way he'd kissed her before he'd gone off to save the world, but he didn't quite dare. "Um," he said. "Listen, Chloe... before I left... there was this moment that we, um..."

She flashed her perky grin. "You mean when I laid one on you?"

He nodded, staring at her intently.

She laughed. "Don't worry, Clark. It was the end of the world. It's not like I'm expecting us to hook up."

At her casual dismissal of their kiss, something sank inside him. He stared at her for a moment, then decided he didn't want to push it. Not right now. He'd gone through too much, and he was a mess, emotionally speaking. This wasn't the time for emotional confessions. Better they just keep things on a nice normal friendly footing... for now.

"Um... yeah," he agreed. "Me neither."

It had been a hellacious day, and he was freaked out, grieving, and tired to the bone. He figured they could talk about it more later, after he'd gotten some food and some sleep. And they would talk. They definitely would. Because he had an awful lot to say to her.

I thought about kissing you the whole time I was stuck in that godawful place, Chloe. I was terrified I'd never see you again, and I missed you so damn much. And I was scared to death you'd get hurt because I wasn't there to protect you. I always want to protect you, and I always want to be there for you. Always. Because I love you.

He thought the words, but he didn't say them. He just smiled at her, knowing she'd still be there for him when he got around to saying them. It wasn't like she had a boyfriend or anything, after all. He knew she'd still be there waiting for him when he sat down to talk to her.

Later, they'd talk, and he'd tell her how he felt. He'd tell her everything.


-The End-


Anonymous said...

Elly!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!..But yes! you hit the nail right on the spot. It's always later for those 2 isnt it??

you hit every scene, with ALL that loving history between them, who says no to Chlark? Al? Miles?..puuhleease! they dont know a good thing if it slapped them in the face with kryptonite!

loved it!

Anonymous said...

That was fantastic, Elly. I really liked it.

Amber said...

Wow, Awesome job Elly!!!!!! That was an Amazing insight on some of the Chlark moments during all the seasons!!!!! :) Just Beautiful Clark POV!!!!! :) I LOVED it!!!!! :) Again, Awesome job and as usual keep up the Awesome work!!!!! :) Take Care.

MonicaOP said...

Oh Elly... I loved it, sadly it just made my urges of hiting Clark with a meteor rock even stronger!! :)

You just make such an awesome job at showing things as they just.. will be in a universe where things made sense.. without Lana/EdLois obsessive writers!!

Hugs, hugs, be well and take care.

Anonymous said...

This has my vote for one of the most perfect Chlark short stories written to date. Thanks so much for channeling it from your heart to the world that is cyberspace.

Anonymous said...

Elly, I have to say that I'm not a reader of fanfic, but after reading a few of your stories here, you've gained a fan in me. Beautiful work!

blackheart_me said...

u see i rlly liked all the insights of the seasons and the romance but i have to admit all his "later"s rlly annoyed me. Clark should rlly have said something >.<' lol. ahh well u write amazingly anyway

Anonymous said...

Great work! How about a sequal where he tells her? Thanks!!

BloodSugar said...

It's always later with those two.
You indeed nailed it, Elly.
Loved it. It was.. well, sad but that's Chlark *sighs*