Friday, August 10, 2007

The Pieces of My Heart

Chloe/Pete, Clark/Lois
Seasons 1, 2, futurefic

Rating: PG
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.

Author's Note: Not a Chlark story.

"Clark, don't worry about it."

Chloe Sullivan patted her date's arm reassuringly. They'd just found out a tornado had been spotted in Smallville, near where their friend Lana Lang was, and Clark Kent was seriously freaking out. He was tall, dark-haired, and gorgeous, and she'd been in love with him for a year now, and everything had been going just great. They'd almost kissed, in fact. But now his attention was totally on the fact that Lana was in danger.

It was as if Chloe didn't exist any more.

"I'm sure she's home by now," she went on, trying to push back her petty thoughts. Lana might really be in danger, after all. "You know what... I'll go call her on my cell phone. You just wait here, and..."

She turned away and headed for the exit, because the music in the gym was way too loud for her to make a phone call. An odd sound caught her attention, and she glanced back over her shoulder and realized Clark was gone.

"Clark?" She looked around, searching for his tall form through the crowd. "Clark?"

But he wasn't there any more. Somehow he'd just disappeared.

He'd left her.

*****

The next day, Chloe found herself leaning against a tree, blinking back tears. They'd been searching for Clark's missing dad, and she and Clark had just had a conversation. Clark had just walked away, and Pete Ross approached her, looking worried.

"Hey," he said, frowning.

She averted her face and smiled. "Hey yourself."

"What's up with the fake smile?"

"Nothing." She felt the smile wobble. "Clark and I just reaffirmed we're really good friends. And nothing else."

Pete reached out and put a hand on her shoulder. "Pulled the friends card on you, huh?"

"No." Her voice quavered. "I did. Defense mechanism."

Not that Clark had fought her very hard. But he had a lot on his mind right now, and she really couldn't blame him. It was her fault. She'd backed away from Clark, because deep inside she was sure he didn't feel that way about her. There was no point in continuing to try for a relationship with Clark when he just didn't want her that way.

Pete patted her shoulder, gently. "Listen, Chlo, it's okay to feel bummed out. Last night was supposed to be special... and it got ruined."

It was nice of him to console her, because it wasn't like Pete's night had been all that ruined. He'd gone to the dance with a pretty girl named Erica he'd had a crush on for a while, and even after the tornado was announced, they'd continued dancing in each other's arms for much of the evening.

That could have been me and Clark, Chloe thought, then pushed the bitter thought away and replaced it with some even more bitter ones. It wasn't her and Clark, and it wouldn't ever be, because Clark was in love with Lana.

Clark just didn't feel that way about Chloe, and he never would.

"It was just so close to being perfect," she said, trying to steady her voice. Her tone was so whiny that she had to roll her own eyes. "Oh, listen to me. I sound so pathetic. A tornado hit, people are in real trouble... and I'm upset because Clark didn't fulfill all my fantasies." She looked up, into Pete's steady, understanding brown eyes. "You must think I'm an awful person."

"Yeah." He gave her an understanding smile. "You're a real monster."

At his gentle sympathy, she felt the shattered pieces of her heart stir and begin to meld back into some semblance of wholeness. Good old Pete, she thought gratefully. He was always there for her. He was a real friend.

But he didn't move away, only stood looking at her, and she saw something deep in his eyes that made her think Erica didn't matter all that much to him after all. Not for the first time, she suspected Pete felt a lot more for her than mere friendship.

For an instant, she thought he might kiss her, but then he turned away, smiling a little grimly. "Come on," he said, looping an arm around her shoulders and leading her away from the tree.

She followed, but couldn't stop herself from glancing back over her shoulder, looking for Clark. Her gaze fell on the tree she'd been leaning against, and she noticed that someone had carved the word soulmate into it, almost like a sign.

That was what she'd always thought she and Clark might be. Soulmates. But for the first time, she admitted to herself it wasn't true. She and Clark just weren't meant to be. Not that way.

If the word soulmate was a sign, she was sadly certain that the sign wasn't meant to point toward Clark.

*****

Ten years later

"You know you have to dance with me later, right?"

Chloe looked up from the mirror. A handsome guy in a tux stood behind her, grinning a grin she remembered well. She'd known that Pete was Clark's best man, and that he'd be at the church this morning, and yet she was almost shocked to see him standing behind her. Shocked, but delighted.

The hard-won dignity of adulthood deserted her, and she squealed, spun around, and flung herself against him.

"Pete!"

"Hey, don't rumple the threads," he said, but despite the words he was hugging her back. He held her briefly, in a close, affectionate hug, then pushed her back a bit and looked her over. "Damn, Chlo, you just get more gorgeous every time I see you."

"Please." She rolled her eyes. "You're the gorgeous one here. God, you look great in a tux, Pete."

He really did. She hadn't seen him since high school, when he'd left Smallville to go to Topeka with his mom, and she was surprised to see he'd grown a few inches. He still wasn't anywhere near as tall as Clark, but he no longer looked her right in the eye, either.

Pete was a good-looking guy, his skin the color of milk chocolate, his hair cropped close to his head, and beneath the tux, she suspected he might be pretty ripped. His body had felt really solid and firm in those few seconds when he'd held her close.

She realized where her thoughts were going, and pushed them back. She and Pete were still good friends, and they emailed back and forth quite a bit. But they were just friends, and she had no business speculating on whether or not he had a six-pack.

Pete kept his arm around her and gazed down at her. "So tell me how Clark wound up getting married to your cousin."

She shrugged, trying to look indifferent. Most people, even Lois and Clark, really believed she was over her long-term crush on Clark, but she thought that even though Pete hadn't seen her for years, he might still know her too well to buy her show of indifference.

"Well, Lois came to town to look for me when I disappeared, not long after you left," she said. "And then, you know, one thing sort of led to another. It took a while, but Clark finally quit running after Lana and fell for Lois."

"Somehow I always figured you and Clark would wind up together," Pete said.

She tried for an airy laugh, but there was no humor in it. "Please. Clark and I realized a long time ago we were better off as friends."

"Sure," Pete answered, looking dubious. He unwrapped his arm from around her shoulders, somewhat to her dismay, and stepped back, studying her admiringly. She was Lois' maid of honor, and her gown was dark blue, a color that set off her pale skin and blonde hair. It rippled gracefully to the floor, but it was cut low enough in front to make most guys sit up and take notice. The glint in Pete's dark eyes suggested he wasn't oblivious to her better features.

"It's good to see you again, Chlo," he said at last. "Damn good."

She smiled for the first time that morning, and answered with total honesty.

"You too, Pete."

*****

The wedding was beautiful. Clark and Lois were gorgeous together, tall and dark-haired and very clearly in love. His black tuxedo contrasted with her long white dress, but their happy smiles were identical.

As they said their vows, Chloe let herself cry a little, hoping everyone would think she was weeping tears of joy. She could feel her heart shattering into pieces all over again, and she wondered if there was any possible way she could get through the reception without totally disgracing herself.

"Champagne," Pete said an hour later. He'd seated her at a table at the reception, and he placed a tall flute of champagne in front of her with a flourish. "It'll cure what ails you."

She smiled wistfully, looking deliberately away from Clark and Lois. They looked happy, so happy that her secret envy made her feel very petty and mean-spirited to be unhappy. But she couldn't help the way she felt. "I wish it were that easy, Pete."

"Yeah. We all do." He sat down at the table next to her, and she looked at him curiously, wondering exactly what he meant by that.

"You're not dating anyone right now, are you?"

"No." He looked back at her, his eyes very solemn. "I guess you and I are sort of in the same boat, Chlo. I fell for someone a long time ago, and I just can't quite seem to get over her."

Her eyebrows shot up. He couldn't possibly mean what she thought he meant.

But looking into his dark, honest eyes, she knew that he did.

"Pete," she said, very gently. "Listen..."

"Yeah, I know." He flashed his wry, white grin. "You and I are stubborn, Chloe. The way we feel never changes, no matter what. There's nothing on Earth that could change the way I feel about you, and I'm pretty sure you feel the same way about Clark. I can't get over you, and you can't get over Clark."

"He's married." Her eyes suddenly brimmed with tears. "He's married to my cousin. I have to get over him, Pete."

He smiled at her, a warm, genuine smile. "I'd be happy to help you out with that, Chloe."

She shook her head, blinking back the tears. She didn't want anyone else hurt the way she'd been hurt. Especially not Pete. He was a great guy, and he deserved so much better than that. This was something she had to get through on her own.

"No," she whispered at last, bowing her head. "I don't know if I can ever... and I can't ask you to..."

"Chloe." His voice was very soft. "That's why I came here today. Not for Clark. For you."

She lifted her head and looked at him, really looked at him for the first time. He wasn't the same boy she'd known in high school. He was full-grown, with a job and responsibilities and a life of his own, and yet in a way he hadn't really changed. He still had the same sense of humor overlaying a solid, reliable core.

Pete Ross was someone she could depend on. Someone whose feelings never wavered. He was reliable and strong and decent. She admired him very much, and they'd been good friends forever.

And he'd loved her, silently and from a distance, for ten years.

Pete was right, she mused. They had an awful lot in common. In the ways that mattered most, they were very much alike.

Maybe, she thought, she'd been looking for her soulmate in the wrong place all along.

She reached out, very slowly, and took his hand. His fingers curled around hers, and he smiled at her, a warm, happy grin that made the shattered pieces of her heart slowly begin to knit back together.

"I've missed you an awful lot, Chlo."

"Yeah," she whispered, holding his hand. "I've missed you too."

Before long the music would start, and Clark and Lois would dance together. And then she and Pete would stand up in front of everyone and dance. Pete would take her in his arms, and she'd wrap her arms around his neck, and they'd sway to the music.

And suddenly she was looking forward to that moment, more than she'd looked forward to anything in a long, long time.

She'd been in love with Clark for her entire adult life, and she really didn't know if anything could even change that. She still wasn't certain she could love Pete.

But all at once, she realized she didn't mind trying.

-The End-

18 comments:

pen37 said...

Oh that was very nice, Elly. Very, very nice. I never liked the way that the writers make Chloe seem to be unable to move on from Clark. Either get them togeather, or let her move on.

I just don't think pining is her style.

And Pete, in all ways, was very underused. Esp. in the show.

very nice fic.

Tayla said...

isnt this a chlark fanfic based place

im sorry i just not a big fan of the whole CLOIS CHETE (if you call it that) but the writing was awsomeness

Elly said...

I write what comes to mind, Tayla. It's not always Chlark. I don't want to bore everyone by always writing the same thing:-).

Tayla said...

Yeh thats true you can only come up with so many CHLARK story's

i still liked it, i always did like the idea of Chloe and Pete until i wanted Clark and chloe

Anonymous said...

Very sweet, Elly. I adore the Chlark, but I like seeing Chloe branch out every now and then too. If you ever get the urge to write some Chlollie I'd do a happy dance. Love your writing.

Sandy

Anonymous said...

I didn't think I'd like it that much, because I was never a big Pete fan. But it was really very nice.


By the way, you have yet to bore me with the same thing, but I agree a little variety is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Sweet story, very cute. I loved it and enjoyed it. I've always loved Pete and I hope he returns.

Anyways great job!
<33

SelfAppointedCritic said...

How nice to see Pete on the scene again; SV should try to get him for a S7 guest appearance. Very touching story Elly; Chloe's heartbreak (and subsequent strength) never ceases to move me. But its funny, even as a long time Clois fan--based on comics and movies only--the thought of the 'cousin' marrying him KNOWING how Chloe felt about him seems somehow even worse than the evil selfish cruelty Lana inflicted. You know, blood is thicker than water and all that...
Poor Chloe. Is there nothing but heartache in her future?

Thanks for sharing your work Elly, you truly spoil us all!

Stephanie said...

Loved the story Elly,
I always saw the chlete relationship as a brother/sister one. But you wrote there love perfectly. Sam Jones and Allison had great chemistry on screen and I would love to see pete back.

-x-
Stephanie

Anonymous said...

I come to your blog almost everyday though this is the first time I ever commented here.

I will always be a Chlarker first, but I've always liked the idea of pete and chloe, maybe because pete seen chloe for who she really is and didn't take her for granted.

I too miss pete and think he was underused. Poor pete, wish they would bring him back.

Anyways, this is the first story I have found of this pair amd I'm glad I did because this was a very sweet story.

thank you for sharing it with us, I'm always willing to hear something new and different from time to time.

lois incognito

Anonymous said...

Great fic as usual. I was surprised to see you do a fic that wasn't Chlark but it was very good. I really did love Chloe and Pete moments. During season one I was hoping that in the end that they would get to together and I did see her as a Lana type of character from thet comics and all and Lana gets w/ Pete. They did very suttle things in the show showing Petes love for Chloe like what you shown. I would love to hear more Chloe and Pete stories from you. My fav. Ep. is Truth and I just love the scene when they kiss in the elevator. It was hilarious.
Sally

sanaazzy said...

Wow, that was really nice Elly, very nice.

Writer & Cat said...

I know you were worried about this one since it wasn't in your personal canon, but great job! I thought it hit all the right notes.

Anonymous said...

This is such a great story! It made me Cry! I love Chloe and hate the way they always show her pining for Clark, and I also thought that Pete and Chloe had some great moments together. I really wish they had gone that route, at least have them go on a date or something... or get Clark and Chloe together is that's their endgame... so Thanks for this very wonderful story! Love it!

blackheart_me said...

awww! heartbreaking but so sweet!!! I love how you wrote Peter and the ships were just awesome!! It broke my heart that Chloe was still in love with Clark but I love Peter for being there for her. I honestly always wondered if anyone ever wrote a fic on them because he did have a crush on her. I'm so glad I read this one. I loved it lots!!

Anonymous said...

I think i just found a pairing i dislike as much as Clana. Good story btw

Phant
xXx

Shelby said...

Aww this story was so cute. Pete and Chloe always had good chemistry. I loved it.
P.S. Pete moved to Wichita.

Cecilia said...

I've read this story many times, and each time I love it more. I love Pete and Chloe, they had great chemistry and Pete admired Chloe so much. He could read her so well too. He's the one who knew that Chloe had a crush on Clark first, he knew when she was faking a smile, he knew when she was sad, he knew when she was happy and so on. I especially loved the scene where he goes to visit her in the hospital and hijacks the hospital line for her so she could use her laptop and do some research.

I really wish they went this route. I loved Pete and he never brought her down the way Jimmy/Henry did. If I can't get Chlark, I would have settled for Chloe/Pete. Thank you for such a wonderful story.