Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Flame Red, Chapter 11

Season 2, "Rush"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read the previous chapter here.
Read the story from the beginning here.

Chloe's head jerks up, and she stares at Clark with shock.

Everything you remember is true.

But it can't be. It's just not possible. She tries to articulate a protest, but it comes out as a stammer. "But... but..."

"We kissed," he says, looking at her steadily. "A lot. And the other thing. Well. I'm... I'm not human."

She sorts through her blurry memories some more and manages to remember the strange powers Clark demonstrated in his loft. And she remembers Pete's cheerful voice: He's my brother from another planet.

Oh, God, it did happen. All of it. Clark's not human, and the two of them spent the afternoon making out. Seriously making out.

"So what we did in your truck..."

A blush heats his cheeks, but he doesn't look away. "Yeah. That happened. Definitely."

She blinks at him. "I honestly can't decide if I'm more surprised by the fact that you're an alien, or that you'd do a 69 in the back of your pickup truck."

His cheeks flame redder, and he lowers his head and looks at the tile flooring, long dark lashes fluttering down to conceal the embarrassment in his eyes. "I, uh, sort of wasn't myself, Chlo."

"Oh, my God." She remembers the totally out-of-character way he acted, the way he was driving, the way he talked, and the obvious explanation hits her between the eyes. "You had a parasite too, didn't you?"

"No. I know I acted like I did, but no. I didn't have a parasite in me. The truth is that red meteor rocks make me act that way."

She looks at him for a minute, then decides he's kidding, and laughs. "Yeah, right. Rocks. Sure, Clark."

"I'm serious." He sounds defensive. "Pete stuck one in my shirt pocket. And when I'm around red meteor rocks, I sort of lose all my inhibitions. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true."

She stares at him, and suddenly an image pops into her mind, an image of Clark on a motorcycle, wearing leather and mouthing off to teachers and throwing his dad across the parking lot. And in the image in her mind, Clark is wearing a gold class ring studded with a large red stone.

She recalls the way Clark acted a couple of months ago, right after he put on that class ring. And she remembers the research she did on those rings, recalls the sound of her own voice, speaking to Pete.

It's a rip-off. The jewelry company was substituting worthless meteor rocks for rubies to save money.

"Oh, my God," she says, blinking at him. "The class ring. That's why..."

"Uh-huh." He looks more uncomfortable than before. "And Pete knows. Knows how I react to red meteor rocks, I mean. I act like a jerk, and he knows it. So when he got infected by the parasite, he stuck a red rock in my pocket, and..."

"Instant jerk."

"Pretty much, yeah." He lifts his eyes and looks at her unhappily. "But I didn't know, Chloe. You have to believe that. I didn't know I was on the red rock, any more than you knew you had a parasite."

The dismay in his voice cuts right into her, but she tries not to let it hurt. Of course he didn't want to make out with her. She didn't really want to make out with him, either. They'd both been under the influence, no more responsible for the things they did than if someone had injected them with a drug.

"It's okay," she says, trying to keep her voice light. "No big deal. I mean, it's not like anything really happened."

He frowns at her. "A whole lot really happened."

"Yeah, but not the big cahuna. You know what I mean?"

He blushes, making it obvious he knows exactly what she means.

"Anyway," she says, taking pity on his embarrassment. "Moving on. Are you really an alien?"

He nods, looking more uncomfortable than before. His gaze is fixed on the floor tiles. "I came to Earth in the meteor shower, Chlo."

"Wow." Crazy though it sounds, she can't help believing him, not after what she's seen him do today. She remembers all the amazing things he can do, and stares at him, impressed. "How cool is that?"

He looks up, meeting her gaze, and a small smile curves his mouth. "Some people might find it a bit on the disturbing side, Chlo."

"Well, sure, if they're not reporters who love to write about the strange and bizarre. Compared to some of the stories I've written, the fact that you're an alien doesn't really seem all that peculiar. I mean, it's not like a two-headed cow or anything."

At her gentle kidding, his eyes narrow. "You can't write about me. You can't tell anyone. You have to keep this a secret, Chloe."

She lifts an eyebrow. Part of her is hurt that he could even think she'd write about him, but she can understand why he's defensive, too. "Clark," she says, very gently. "I would never write about you. You can trust me."

He stares at her a minute longer, then looks away. She glances down and notices his hands are shaking. Suddenly she realizes how scared he is, how much it terrifies him to tell anyone his secret. And no wonder. She's not stupid, and she can easily see how he could wind up in a government lab somewhere, or maybe even a LuthorCorp lab. Lex Luthor has an interest in the strange and bizarre that rivals her own, and she isn't sure that Lex Luthor's friendship for Clark would stop him from experimenting on him out of pure curiosity.

She thinks of Clark strapped to a lab table, being dissected, and a wave of fear sweeps over her as she recognizes the awful magnitude of the secret he carries, how heavily it must weigh on him. She puts her hand over his in a protective gesture and squeezes.

"I won't tell anyone," she assures him. "Not ever. I swear."

"Yeah." His voice is very low. "I knew that, Chlo. That's why I told you."

Read Chapter 12 here.


Anonymous said...

Pretty intense. I usually don't get into the talky explaination parts. But this is just intense.

blackheart_me said...

aww it's sad how I love big bad Clark but also shy farm-boy Clark :D haha. Love Chloe and her character, u get it PERFECTLY! favorite line: "She blinks at him. "I honestly can't decide if I'm more surprised by the fact that you're an alien, or that you'd do a 69 in the back of your pickup truck.""
& also the cahuna comment ;) u kno they didnt do it, but they WANTED it!