Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Rainbow, Chapter 4

Clark/Chloe, full cast
Season 5, "Reckoning"
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.

"Chloe knows where Clark's hiding his technology."

Lex Luthor lifted his head and studied the young, dark-haired woman standing in front of his desk. He'd spent a busy day organizing the last-minute details of his campaign, but right now he was taking a breather, focusing his mind as he listened to Mahler.

"How exactly does Chloe know that?" he asked.

Lana took a step toward him and looked down at him, her eyes glittering. "He proposed to her, Lex. He told her everything."

He looked at the mingled rage and disgust in her eyes. Poor Lana, he thought with a flicker of real sympathy. She'd been in love with Clark Kent, simple Kansas farmboy, forever, but he'd never had eyes for anyone but Chloe. He'd never seen Lana as anything but a friend. Lana had struggled to conceal her feelings, to pretend that she didn't care for him, and only Lex knew how much it hurt her that Clark had never wanted her.

Last year, Lana had discovered Clark was a "thing," as she put it, and that his arrival on the planet had been responsible for the death of her parents. Her long-suffering love had turned very quickly to loathing and terror. She'd come straight to Lex, horrified and scared, and blurted out everything she'd learned about Clark.

At first Lex hadn't believed her. He'd always known there was something a little strange about Clark, but the leap between "strange" and "alien from another planet" was a long one. Deciding it was best to keep an open mind on the subject, he'd counseled her to continue to pretend to be Clark's friend, and to tell him anything else she might discover.

And then the black spaceship had arrived, along with two other "things" that wreaked havoc before they were stopped, and Lex had begun to realize that as unlikely as it seemed, it was true. Clark Kent wasn't an ordinary Kansas farmboy at all. He was a Thing.

At that point, he'd begun using Lana to keep very close tabs on Clark. She observed Clark closely and probed for more information, then told Lex everything she learned. Lex knew Clark's abilities... and his weaknesses. He knew that meteor rocks could be used to incapacitate Clark, and he was highly tempted to capture Clark and put him into a laboratory to study him, to see if his abilities could be reproduced somehow.

But he hesitated. Because what he wanted, even more than Clark's abilities, was the unearthly technology the Things possessed. He'd struggled endlessly to get into the black spaceship, with no success. But he was certain Clark had some alien technology in his keeping, even though he'd arrived as a small child, because of some offhand remarks he'd made to Lana. Clark hadn't showed her where he'd concealed it, however, and Lex wasn't sure he could torture the information out of Clark, even using meteor rocks. He hadn't wanted to tip his hand too soon, so he'd done what he did best... waited.

But now it appeared that although Clark never been persuaded to show Lana where he was hiding his alien technology, he'd finally shown Chloe its location. Which meant that Lex now had some.. recruiting... to do. Somehow, Chloe had to be made to give up that information.

He hoped she'd give it up voluntarily, now that she knew the appalling truth. Chloe Sullivan's mother was in an asylum due to the first meteor shower, after all. Hopefully, she was as frightened and revolted as Lana had been, and she'd be happy to betray Clark.

But if not, well, he suspected the information could be tortured out of Chloe quite easily.

He looked up at Lana, who was glaring at him. "I'm sorry," he said, trying to sound sincere. Trying to sound like he gave a damn about a nineteen-year-old's broken heart, when in fact he thought she was a silly, vain, self-absorbed girl. There was a great deal more at stake here than Lana's feelings, but she was too wrapped up in her own drama to realize that.

Oblivious to his contempt, she seethed, stalking back and forth in front of his desk. Dog in the manger, he thought, recalling the old Aesop fable. She might not want Clark, but she didn't want Chloe to have him, either. And on some level, he knew the truth was that she still wanted Clark. She just wanted him to be the same simple farmboy she'd always dreamed of, rather than a Thing.

"What I don't understand," she said angrily, "is why you didn't release the information about Clark to the papers, or force Mr. Kent out of the Senate race with it."

He leaned back in his chair, steepled his fingers, and smiled. "Why, because I wanted to win the race fairly, of course."

It was true, although if by some chance he lost the race, then his information about Clark represented a very good backup plan. But he had no reason to suppose he was going to lose the race. He was Lex Luthor, after all, running against Joe Hayseed. The polls might show them running neck and neck, but polls were meaningless.

He was Lex Luthor. Of course he was going to win.

"I have to get back to work," he said, rising to his feet, dismissing her. "I'll call you tonight, after the polls close."

He didn't miss the melty-eyed look she gave him. "Okay."

He paused next to her and brushed a kiss over her cheek. She trembled, and he knew she was ready for more than just a kiss on the cheek. And for that matter, so was he.

Lana was a foolish young woman, and he had no more genuine affection for her than he had for anyone else on the planet. But she was extraordinarily lovely, even to the eyes of a jaded young man who'd dated some of the most beautiful women in the world, and he was fairly certain she was still a virgin. Tonight, he decided, he just might let himself indulge in her charms.

It would be a sort of victory party, he thought wryly. He had a lot to celebrate, after all. Victory over the hayseed, after months of campaigning... and victory because at long last, it appeared that the alien technology he'd wanted was within his grasp.

Lex Luthor was on his way to becoming the most powerful man on the planet.

*****

Snow blanketed on the ground as Clark made his way down the front steps of the Kent farmhouse. He'd heard Chloe's red Beetle coming from quite a distance away, and he wanted to meet her outside, away from his parents. He stood at the bottom of the steps, waiting for her. Letting her choose to come to him... or not.

She got out of her Beetle, closed the door, and walked toward him.

"I thought I'd see you at the party tonight," he said, as lightly as he could manage. He was already dressed for the party, in his Sunday best-- a dark suit, a red-striped tie, and dress shoes he'd polished till they shone. He hated any function that made him give up his beloved flannel shirts and workboots, but his dad had worked hard for this senate seat, and whether he won or lost, Clark was proud of him. For his dad, he was willing to wear a coat and tie.

"I know." She smiled a little. "But then there'd be all these people..."

The fact that she could smile gave him hope, but he was still terrified that she was going to reject him. It was true that Lana had accepted him freely and without question, but he couldn't expect Chloe to react that way too. He was an alien with inhuman powers, after all, and that was an awful lot to ask anyone to accept.

And if she rejected him, if he'd misjudged her, he was terribly aware he could wind up on the Daily Planet's front page tomorrow. If she was sufficiently frightened and distressed by his true nature, she could easily destroy his life, and his father's political career, too. He'd risked everything for her.

But Chloe was worth it.

He shifted nervously and studied the snow at his feet. "Do I look different to you now?"

"Appearances can be deceiving," she said gently. "You look like the same Kansas farmboy I've always known, but now I realize you're not."

His heart sank. "And does that change the way you feel about me?"

She hesitated for a moment. "Clark," she said at last. "How old were you when you arrived on Earth?"

"Um." The unexpectedness of the question made him stumble verbally, but he recovered. "Well, we're not really sure, obviously. My real parents sort of forgot to send a birth certificate with me. But we think I was about three."

"So you don't remember coming here?"

"I remember..." He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to piece together his faint, disjointed memories. "It was dark. And then there was this jolt, and it was light, so light it hurt. And there was fresh air and sunshine..." He opened his eyes. "That's really about all I remember."

"Do you know why you were sent here?"

"Because my home planet was destroyed," he said, his voice rough.

"Oh. Oh, no." She reached out, quickly and impulsively, and put her hand on his arm. "I'm sorry."

"Yeah, me too." He cocked his head and looked at her. "Chloe, is there a reason you're asking me all these questions?"

"I just wondered..." She sighed. "If you were three, then it sounds like maybe the first meteor shower arrived when you did."

Panic hit him. That was the one association he hadn't really wanted her to make, because he was scared to death she might somehow blame him for her mother's catatonia. But he reminded himself firmly that he'd decided to be perfectly honest with her.

"My ship arrived in the middle of the meteor shower," he admitted. "I don't know why all the meteorites came with me, Chlo. Maybe it was the remnants of my planet, or maybe it was something else. But I didn't choose to hurt anyone, Chloe. I was just a little kid." He looked at her, pleading for understanding. "I never would have hurt anyone on purpose."

"I wish you'd told me all this earlier," she said.

"I was afraid," he answered, his voice hardly more than a whisper. "Afraid of losing you."

She stared into his eyes for a long moment, as intensely as if she were staring into his soul. At last the corners of her mouth tilted up.

"Clark," she said softly, holding up the ring he'd given her in the Fortress. "I'll marry you."

He stared at her for a long moment, flabbergasted, then carefully took the ring from her and placed it on her finger with solemnity and great ceremony. He looked into her eyes, bent, and brushed a kiss over her lips, sealing their engagement.

And then the solemnity fell away, and he picked her up, laughing, and swung her around until she squealed.

Read Chapter 5 here.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

huh, Lana...what a beeeeoootch! lol

meg

RichardAK said...

I have to admit, when I first started reading this story, I was a little skeptical. I just couldn't imagine Lana as the supportive best friend. But this has been great, and I apologize for ever having doubted you. I am a little sorry about your portrayal of Alicia. She was a great character, I thought, and it always bothered me that they killed her off.

Elly said...

I have to admit to a certain bias against Alicia, Richard. I never liked her at all. Sorry:-).

SelfAppointedCritic said...

Fantastic update Elly. Arrgh! I swear, that Lana makes my bloodpressure rise. She's such a...

So nice to see Lex behaving like he's got a pair! A bit scary that he knows about Clark and now has his sights on Chlo though. Can't wait to see where this goes.

Ah Chloe, I knew you would keep your faith in Clark and not let that skank totally turn you against him--yay!

Thanks for sharing your work Elly.

blackheart_me said...

OOMMMGGG!!! ALL the anger and Hate I had in the beginning just died with ur end muahahaha! I rlly do want to kill Lana now thou...and Lex. But u just made that thought banish momentarily with the end. I HOPE U PUT LANA IN HER PLACE AND ALSO SHOW HER THAT CLARK NEVER TOLD HER FIRST!
Chlark love!!<3