Season 6, "Combat"
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 really think I should be going."
Her voice was stiff and chilly, but beneath the coldness he could hear a slight vulnerability, a pitiful waver. He remembered the soft, tragic sob he'd heard a moment ago, and knew she was fighting back another one.
He dropped into a crouch and leaned forward, crossing his arms on the car door and resting his chin on them. "Chlo," he said softly, gazing up at her. "I'm sorry. Don't go, okay?"
He saw the tension in her hands ease just a bit, but she didn't let go of the steering wheel. "This was a bad idea," she whispered at last, her voice so low he couldn't have heard it without superhearing. "I was just trying to be there for you, because I knew... I knew you'd had a bad night. But let's face it, Clark, I'm not much support right now. I have too many problems of my own."
"That's okay." He spoke gently. "You support me, and I'll support you. The same as usual."
"Only I have a lot bigger problem than usual."
"So I'll give you a lot more support."
She shot him a dubious look, and he smiled ruefully. "Yeah, I know, I got mad a few minutes ago. I know I'm not always the greatest support system. I'm sorry, Chlo. I just-- I wanted you, and then you..."
"You don't really want me." She blew out a sigh and looked away from him, staring out the windshield. "We both know the woman you really want is Lana. I'm just an inferior substitute."
The words struck him like painful blows, as if she'd started lobbing kryptonite pebbles in his direction. He winced. "That's not true, and you know it."
"It is true, and I know it. You wanted to run off with Lana just last week, Clark. She didn't go for it, so now you're looking for someone to numb the pain a little. I get it, really. I can even relate, because I did the same thing to someone once, a long time ago. But... I don't really want to be your inflatable doll, okay?"
That sentence wasn't just a pebble, but a rockslide of kryptonite dropping onto him, crushing him beneath its weight. He stared at her for a moment, then lowered his head and buried his face against his arms.
"It's not like that, Chlo," he muttered. "I swear."
"Of course it is. You want to use me-- my body-- to forget about all your pain for a while. And if I'm going to be perfectly honest about it, I guess I was going to use you for the same thing. I can't tell Jimmy about all this, and I feel really, I don't know, isolated. So I was kind of hanging onto you. But I think you already know I don't feel that way about you, Clark."
He remembered her kissing him with desperate passion, her hands sliding all over his skin, and a spark of anger lit in him again. He lifted his head and looked at her.
"I don't believe you," he said in a soft growl. "You do feel that way about me."
She turned her head and narrowed her eyes into hazel slits. He could see her temper flaring, although the pain was still there, deep in her eyes. "Fine," she snapped. "What do you want me to say, Clark? That I'm actually madly in love with you, even though you're terminally in love with Lana Lang? No, excuse me, I mean Lana Luthor."
He winced, more at the venom in her voice than at Lana's new name. "I don't think I am in love with Lana, Chlo. That's what I'm trying to tell you."
"Oh, please. Like I haven't watched you chase after her for years and years."
"I thought I was in love with her, Chlo. I admit that. But I've finally realized there's someone else who means a lot more to me."
She stared at him. "You're crazy," she answered at last. "And I'm crazy for sitting here listening to you."
"So do something even crazier," he suggested.
She cocked her head slightly. "Like what?"
He smiled a little. "Open the window."
She hesitated, then reached over and pushed a button. The window rolled all the way down, and he felt a cool rush of air from the car's air conditioning. At least he thought it ws from the air conditioning, but it might just be from her attitude. Although as she gazed down at him, he thought he saw warmth in her eyes. He really hoped she was beginning to thaw.
He shifted position and rose up just a little, then caught her face between his hands and kissed her.
He could feel her trying to hold back, but he didn't let her. He leaned into the car and kissed her fiercely, possessively. Her lips parted, and his tongue swept into her mouth, tasting her sweetness, loving the soft, intimate caress of her tongue against his.
She lifted her hands, and they dug into his hair and stroked the nape of his neck. The kiss began to get seriously hot. He could feel his erection swelling against his jeans, hard and aching with need, and he wished he could pull her body right up against his again. But there was a thick steel door between them. It seemed like there was always something between them, he thought... although not usually quite so literally.
He knew he could rip the door off its hinges and toss it aside as easily as a human ripped paper out of a notebook, but he also knew she'd kill him for damaging her beloved new car. If he wanted to get closer to her, he was going to have to do it the human way, by opening the door. Unfortunately, his hands were shaking, and he was a little afraid he'd do some inadvertent damage to the car. It had happened before, and the last thing he wanted was to piss her off.
Right now, he decided, all he was going to do was kiss her, and keep on kissing her, for as long as she'd let him.
But even as the thought passed through his mind, she pulled away from him.
"No," she said softly. "I can't."
He was already throbbing heavily with desire, and frustration poured over him. He wanted to stand up, glare at her, and start yelling again, but he restrained the anger that was still roiling inside him, and spoke as calmly as he could.
"Okay, Chlo. Talk to me. Are you worried about Lana, or Jimmy?"
"Neither. Not really. It's just..." Her voice trailed off, into a bare whisper. "I can't do this to you, Clark."
Oh, sure, that makes sense, he almost retorted. She didn't want to have sex with him because she was worried about him? Too bad her concern for his well-being didn't extend to concern for his hard-on, damn it.
He knew he was being unfair, that she didn't mean to tease him. But the way she kept kissing him, then backing away, was seriously getting on his nerves.
He managed to restrain his angry response. "Me? What are you talking about?"
"I can't drag you into anything... closer." Her voice dropped lower and lower, and he could hear it shaking. "I'm a meteor freak, Clark. Sooner or later, the shit is going to hit the fan, and I'm going to... change... somehow. It's already hard enough on you, but if we get even closer..."
Her words faded to nothingness, and his anger faded along with it, washed away by a glow of warm affection that suffused him as her meaning sank in. She wasn't resisting this because of the feelings she thought he had for Lana, or even because of her relationship with Jimmy.
She was trying to protect him. She was trying to make certain he didn't get hurt.
His eyes began to sting a little, and he blinked hard. Not that he was crying or anything. But he was really moved to discover that she was more worried about him than anyone else.
"Chloe," he said gently. "This is what I want. Really."
"No." She shook her head vehemently. "When something happens to me--"
"If something happens to you."
"When it happens," she repeated firmly, speaking right over him, "it's going to be even worse if we're, you know..."
She sighed. "I just don't want you to get hurt, Clark."
"Chloe." He reached through the window and put his hand over hers protectively, as if the touch of her hand could somehow protect her from whatever fate had in store for her. "There is no possible way I could get hurt any worse if something happens to you, Chlo. Because I already love you."
Read Chapter 6 here.