Pre-series, season 5 ("Vessel")
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
"You've been thinking about kissing me all day."
Chloe Sullivan smiled up at him, and Clark Kent blushed, because it was true. He'd only met her this morning, and he had totally been thinking about kissing her all day. She was pretty in an unusual way, her short blonde hair standing out in spikes all around her pert face. And she was like no other girl he knew, with a quick wit, a sharp tongue, and a bright, wide smile.
And besides, she smelled good. All... girly. He couldn't quite identify her fragrance, but he liked it. He liked it a lot.
"So," she said, looking at him. He'd shown her around school, and then she'd insisted on coming over so she could see his parents' farm, because she was a city girl. But she hadn't made fun of their old farmhouse, or laughed at their rural lifestyle. She'd just observed everything with big eyes, seeming entirely fascinated.
And after the "grand tour" of the farm, he'd brought her up to his private space, the loft his dad called his Fortress of Solitude. She was the first girl he'd ever allowed into his loft.
He'd known Chloe Sullivan for less than a day, but already he really liked her. He looked back at her, staring into her big hazel eyes, and something funny happened to his stomach. It was like it was turning somersaults in his midsection.
They were close to the same height, and she reached out to his skinny shoulders, wrapped her fingers in the flannel plaid of his shirt, and pulled him toward her. Even though he was thin, he was bizarrely and inexplicably strong, and she couldn't have moved him if he hadn't let her.
But he let her.
"Let's get it out of the way so we can be friends," she said softly, and touched her mouth to his.
All of a sudden he was surrounded by her fragrance. She smelled like vanilla and wildflowers, sweet and slightly sexy all at once. He'd never been kissed before, and he was a bit on the shy side, but even so, he wasn't at all unhappy to find himself being kissed by a pretty girl who smelled so incredible. He leaned into the kiss eagerly.
A little too eagerly, maybe, because their noses bumped together, hard, and she gave a startled yelp. He pulled back and tilted his head, then tried it again, pressing his mouth against hers a little more roughly than he meant to. Because she felt good and tasted good, and he really couldn't quite help himself.
But apparently he'd misjudged his strength and kissed her too hard, because she started to tip over backward.
He grabbed her, wrapping his arms around her waist, and found himself stumbling and off-balance. He might be bizarrely strong, but he was also a rapidly growing teenager, and that meant he was terminally klutzy. The two of them tilted over gracelessly, falling together.
Fortunately his old red couch was right behind them, and he managed to twist in midair so he didn't land on top of her. They collapsed onto the couch together in a tangled, awkward heap, and she giggled, while he blushed redder than before.
"We're definitely better off as friends," she pronounced, still laughing.
The two of them became practically inseparable over the next five years, and they grew closer and closer, until they were as intimate as it was possible for two people to be, emotionally speaking. But the intimacy between them never spilled over into the physical. They were the best of friends, but nothing more.
But despite the "just friends" boundary they'd established between them that first day, part of him really wanted to break through that boundary. No matter what other girls he fell for, he always came back to his friendship with Chloe, over and over again. She was the person he depended on the most. Deep down, he was sorry they'd "gotten it out of the way," and he wished he could have a second chance at kissing her.
This time, he thought, he wouldn't knock her over, or almost break her nose. He'd just kiss her. And this time he'd do it the right way.
He fantasized about kissing her an awful lot. Because even though there were other girls in his life, she was the first girl he'd kissed, and he couldn't quite forget their kiss, awkward and clumsy though it had been. But they were just friends, so he didn't actually dare do it, even though he suspected maybe she felt a little more for him than just friendship, too.
But their friendship was important to both of them, and a safe, warm haven they both depended on. So they stayed just friends, until one night years later, a dark, chaotic night when it seemed the world was ending.
"Clark." Her voice was soft, and she looked at him from across the basement of the Daily Planet. They were both much older now, and her once-spiky blonde hair fell around her face in a sleek, professional style, although she still had the same bright, beautiful smile. But he'd just saved her life, and right now her eyes were serious, without a glimmer of her usual humor. "I don't know if I'll ever see you again. I may never get the chance..."
She walked toward him, very quickly, and suddenly her hands were on his cheeks in a loving gesture, and then sliding into the depths of his hair. They were no longer even remotely close to the same height, but he found himself bending toward her in an automatic response. And then their mouths met.
There was nothing awkward about this kiss, because they weren't young and awkward and klutzy any more. They didn't bump noses, or trip each other up. Their arms tightened around each other, and their lips clung together, softly and sweetly, for an eternal moment.
He'd dreamed about kissing her again a thousand times, and to his amazement, it was just as perfect as he'd imagined.
She smelled just the same as she always had, her fragrance a mixture of sweet vanilla and musky wildflowers, and her body felt pliant against his, and he wanted to keep kissing her forever. He didn't ever want to let her go.
But far too soon, a phone rang behind him, dragging them back to reality. She pulled away from him, her thumb lightly stroking the mole on his right cheekbone. He stared into her eyes, wondering why he'd let six years go by, why he'd spent all these years pretending they were just friends, when the truth was that they were so much more.
The phone kept ringing, and he knew he had to leave her. He had to try to save the world.
"I have to go," he said softly. "But I'll come back to you, Chloe. I promise."
She looked up into his eyes. He could see the reflection of his own thoughts in the hazel depths of her gaze, and he knew they both recognized the truth, that the friendship boundary they'd set up so long ago had been shattered beyond repair the instant they kissed tonight.
And neither of them was sorry about it.
Her mouth curved, in a faint shadow of the bright warm smile he knew and loved, and her thumb stroked over his cheekbone one last time in an unmistakable gesture of affection.
"I always knew you would," she whispered.