Clark/Chloe, full cast
Season 5, "Reckoning"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
At the quiet voice, Chloe looked up from her monitor to see Lana standing there. "Hi there," she answered, smiling. It wasn't too often that Lana dropped by to see her at the Planet, because she was carrying a pretty full class load and seemed to be busy most afternoons. But Chloe was always happy to see her friend and roommate. "What's up?"
Lana shuffled her feet, looking uncomfortable. "I came to talk to you. About Clark."
Chloe lifted her eyebrows. Something about the way Lana said the name gave her the impression that Clark had already told Lana what had happened between them. Which didn't surprise her, since Clark and Lana had been best friends forever. They'd grown up together, on neighboring farms, and had played together from the time they were very small. It wasn't surprising that Clark would tell Lana everything.
All of a sudden she remembered the way Clark had looked abashed, almost ashamed, when she'd asked, And no one knew? It dawned on her suddenly that Lana might well know Clark's secret.
And if that was true, then he'd told Lana his secret before he'd told her. The thought made a feeling of betrayal trickle through her, right down to her leopard-print pumps. Because yeah, Clark and Lana were friends-- but she and Clark were soulmates. He should have told her first.
Maybe he just didn't trust her enough.
She reminded herself firmly that she was jumping to conclusions here. She didn't know what Lana knew, if anything. And she was an investigative reporter. She dealt in facts, not speculation.
Shoving away her churning emotions, she looked up at Lana and forced a smile.
"What about Clark?"
"I know he asked you to marry him," Lana said, looking worried. Whether she was worried for Clark, Chloe, or both wasn't apparent. "And I know you didn't say yes."
"I didn't say no, either. He asked me not to give him an answer yet."
"Because he wanted you to have time to think about what he told you. His secret, I mean."
Chloe lifted her chin and looked at the other girl, keeping her face as expressionless as possible. "Secret?"
"Yes." Lana looked back steadily. "The fact that he's an alien."
Chloe sighed. "Maybe," she said, getting to her feet, "we should discuss this somewhere a little more private."
"So how long have you known?"
Lana shrugged. They were seated on a bench outside, in a little grassy area between the Daily Planet building and the much taller LuthorCorp building, with no one else nearby except the ubiquitous slate-blue pigeons. "I've always had my suspicions," she said.
"Yeah." Chloe sighed. "Me too. The quick exits, the lame excuses, the miraculous recoveries..."
She admitted to herself that on some level, she'd known there was something strange about Clark for a long, long time. Even so, he hadn't been on her list of possible meteor freaks. As rabid as she was about hunting down meteor freaks and exposing them, she hadn't realized that Clark might be one until very recently.
No, that wasn't true. The truth was, she'd actively avoided thinking about his many strangenesses too closely. She just hadn't wanted to know about it. Because as much as she didn't want to go through the pain of loving a meteor freak again... she loved Clark too much to give him up. She couldn't bear seeing someone else she loved go into an asylum. She couldn't bear losing him.
Even so, lately she'd taken to probing and hunting for information, because her innate curiosity wouldn't let the matter rest. She'd started preparing herself to learn that Clark was a meteor freak, although she hadn't been sure what she'd do if she proved it. Her worries about him had kept her awake long into the night, and she'd begun to pull away from him emotionally, afraid of losing him. And Clark had obviously noticed.
She remembered protesting, You're just like everyone else. But it wasn't true, and deep down she'd known it. She wouldn't have been genuinely surprised if he'd told her he was a meteor freak.
But he wasn't a meteor freak.
The truth was much greater, and much stranger, than she could possibly have imagined.
At last she looked at Lana curiously. "So did Clark tell you, or did you just find out on your own?"
"He told me last year." Lana turned her head, watching the pigeons. "He said he wanted me to be the first to know. Because he trusted me, and because we've always been friends."
Another spike of jealousy and betrayal went through Chloe, but she tried to suppress it. Clark and Lana were friends, after all. BFF. It wasn't really surprising he'd told her first.
It just hurt.
"Oh," she said softly. "So he showed you the Fortress and everything?"
She saw a little jerk of Lana's head, as if something had surprised her. But she answered without hesitating. "Yes. He showed me everything."
Chloe sighed, and Lana looked back at her. "Look," she said in her soft, gentle voice, "I know this is confusing. Believe me, I felt the same way when he told me. He feels responsible for what happened to your mom and my parents, but you need to realize it's really not his fault."
Chloe frowned, and her ears started to buzz. "What do you mean, what happened to my mom?"
Lana's eyebrows drew down. "Oh," she said, looking dismayed. "I guess he didn't tell you that part."
Chloe's head whirled with the same distress she always felt when anyone mentioned her mother. Her mother was catatonic, confined in an asylum, and Chloe had done research and pestered her father for information and finally managed to piece together the facts. Her mother had passed through Smallville the day of the first meteor shower.
Like so many others, she'd realized, her mother was a meteor freak.
Since she'd discovered that horrible truth, around the time she was fourteen, she'd devoted her life to finding meteor freaks, particularly violent ones, and outing them publicly, in the hopes that they could be helped somehow. She didn't want people to suffer the way her family had. She figured that the sooner meteor freaks could be identified, the sooner they could be helped.
Most of the freaks she'd written about were in Belle Reve now, and receiving cutting-edge treatments. She hoped eventually they'd all be cured, and allowed to return to society. But no one had yet found a treatment for the catatonia that afflicted her mother.
She scowled at Lana. "What exactly does Clark have to do with my mother?"
Lana looked back at her, her wide eyes brimming with sorrow.
"Clark's the one who brought the meteor showers to Smallville," she answered.
Read Chapter 4 here.