Season 5, rewrite of "Exposed"
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.
The UN tower was on West Washington Street, and Clark found the apartment without any trouble. The first thing he spotted was a Polaroid picture someone had carelessly dropped on the floor. It was a snapshot of Chloe, clad in a red dress that definitely wasn't what she'd been wearing earlier. He picked it up and stared at it for a minute, then focused his hearing, listening intently.
He couldn't identify Chloe's heartbeat, but that didn't mean she was too far away. The UN tower was a thirty-story building filled with people, and sorting through hundreds of heartbeats wasn't easy. Besides, he always had some difficulty sorting out sounds in the busiest sections of downtown Metropolis. There was a lot of ambient noise here, and it made it hard to focus on any one sound, even the familiar noise of a friend's heartbeat. Chloe might still be nearby. He hoped so, anyway.
Putting the photo down, he started searching for clues.
The computer was turned off, but it was still warm, so he guessed the guy had left the apartment only moments before. Hoping he could find something useful, he flipped the computer on and waited impatiently for it to boot up.
Unfortunately, it was password protected. He tried a few passwords at random, then gave up in disgust. Maybe Chloe could have sneaked her way into it, but he sure as hell couldn't.
He stalked restlessly around the apartment, looking for some clue as to her location. He found a closet full of red dresses, identical to the one Chloe wore in the photo, and boxes adorned with photos of several different women, every one of them clad in a red dress. None of which gave him any hint where to find her.
He walked back to the computer, scowling, and stared at it thoughtfully. It occurred to him the guy might have been using the computer for something, because the printer was still turned on.
Experimentally, he reached out and pressed the "print" button again. The printer whirred, and he picked up the sheet of paper that came out of it.
It was a fake passport, with Chloe's picture on it.
His heart started to thud heavily. Okay, so they were taking her out of the country. That almost certainly meant an airport, right? He needed to get to Metropolis International Airport and find them somehow, before they got on a plane. Before they took Chloe where he couldn't ever find her.
He dropped the passport and sped for the stairs. Seconds later, he was down on the street, the loud sounds of Metropolis assaulting his sensitive ears. He heard the blaring of horns and the sound of a million voices and the thud of thousands of feet hitting the pavement.
And above it all, he heard a rhythmic whirring sound.
A helipad, he thought, looking up. The UN Tower was thirty stories high, but using his x-ray vision, he could see the helicopter resting on top of the building, its rotors whirling. They aren't going to take her through an airport at all. They have her in the helicopter.
He saw the helicopter beginning to lift off the roof, and his heart squeezed in his chest. Even at superspeed, he wasn't sure he had time to run back up thirty flights of stairs and prevent the helicopter from taking off.
He'd failed Chloe. They were going to take her away, out of the country, and he'd never be able to figure out what they'd done with her, or where they'd taken her.
He'd failed her.
Anguished panic filled him, sending adrenaline pounding through his veins. The need to do something, anything, to save her flooded him.
He surrendered to his deep-rooted desire to protect her.
Bending his knees, he leapt upward.
Even as he leapt, he realized it was crazy. He could jump pretty damn far, but there was no possible way he could leap thirty stories straight up. He'd never jumped that far before, because it just wasn't possible. Not even for him.
At least, he'd always believed it was impossible. But to his shock, he sailed upward and alighted on the flat roof. He didn't make a graceful landing, exactly. In fact, he stumbled as his feet hit the roof, and almost fell on his ass.
But he'd made it.
He looked up and saw the helicopter lifting into the blue sky, forty feet up. He could easily leap up and catch it, but he didn't want to bring it hurtling back headlong onto the roof, for fear of killing Chloe. He needed to pull it down more slowly.
Glancing around, he spotted a long cable with a hook on it. He grabbed it, leaped upward, and hooked it over one of the landing skids.
And then he dropped back to the roof and reeled in the copter like a really big fish.
As the helicopter settled back onto the roof, he looked into it and saw that Chloe had taken advantage of the momentary distraction. The guy he'd overheard at the club, Mr. Lyon, was slumped back in the seat, blood streaming from his nose. Lyon's bodyguard was unconscious.
Chloe turned her head and grinned at him, not looking at all worried.
"Hey," she said, and slugged Lyon again. "What took you so long?"
"I stopped to do some sightseeing," he said gruffly. He grabbed the woozy Mr. Lyons by the arm, none too gently, and hauled him out of the helicopter. "What the hell did you think you were doing, Chlo?"
"Getting a story." She grinned more broadly as she scrambled out of the copter, looking so cheerful no one would ever guess she'd narrowly avoided being sold into sexual slavery. "And I think I got a pretty damn good one."
He was torn between hugging her and strangling her, but the desire to hug her rapidly began to win out. Before he could act on it, though, he saw Detective Sawyer approaching, stalking across the flat rooftop with two uniformed cops flanking her. She looked as sour as ever.
Great, he thought. I'm going to be arrested twice in twenty-four hours. My parents are going to kill me.
To his relief, Sawyer didn't whip out the handcuffs again. Instead, she looked at Chloe. "Miss Sullivan, are you all right?"
"I'm fine," Chloe said. "But this scumbag was about to airlift me to an all-expenses-paid life of sexual servitude."
"I'm glad you're all right," Sawyer said. She looked at Clark, whose hand was still firmly around Lyon's wrist, more unbreakable than any mere handcuff. "Now, if you'll release him, I'm afraid Mr. Lyon is free to go."
"What?" Clark blinked at her, sure he'd misheard. "You can't just let him walk away."
"Yes," Sawyer said, looking grim. "I can."
"Uh, excuse me," Chloe said. "Maybe you don't quite understand the situation. This guy has been abducting women from the Wingate and selling them into slavery in other countries. And he's the one who ran down that dancer last night."
Lyon smiled, a nasty, unpleasant smile. "I have diplomatic immunity," he said in a jeering tone.
"That's right," Sawyer agreed, looking like she'd bitten into a rotten apple. "As a consulate guest in our country, Mr. Lyon can't be arrested or tried for any crime he commits on our soil... not even murder. I'm sorry. But I can't touch him."
Clark glanced at Chloe. There was a glitter in her eyes that made him decidedly nervous. She lifted her chin and glared challengingly at Sawyer.
"Maybe not," she said. "But I can."
She spun around and brought her knee up, slamming it solidly into Lyon's crotch. He yelped and doubled over. Clark couldn't restrain a smile of amusement as the guy dropped right to his knees.
The smile faded, though, as the guy's now-conscious bodyguard walked toward them, helped Lyon to his feet, and steered him toward the helicopter.
Clark couldn't believe the guy was just going to be let go, after everything he'd done. He looked back at Sawyer, unable to keep the accusing look out of his eyes.
She gazed back at him. "Some people live above the rules," she said, her voice as terse as ever. "Guess what? That’s life in Metropolis. You want justice…I suggest you stay a little closer to home."
Clark and Chloe stood shoulder to shoulder, watching Lyon climb aboard the helicopter. He gave them that nasty, jeering grin and blew a kiss in their direction.
And then the helicopter lifted into the air, and he was gone.
Clark gritted his teeth, angered by the thought that Lyon could get away with kidnapping, even killing, with impunity. But at least he was on the cops' radar now. Hopefully the Metropolis PD would keep a closer eye on him from now on, and this wouldn't happen again. That was the single positive outcome of this situation.
No, he thought. The other positive outcome was that Chloe was safe.
He looked down at her, seeing her rumpled blonde hair blow wildly in the breeze from the helicopter. He smiled and wrapped an affectionate arm around her.
"Come on, Chlo," he said. "Let's get out of here."
Read Chapter 6 here.