Season 6, following my story "Ever the Same"
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.
Everything was green-edged, searing pain. He couldn't draw a breath, couldn't scream, couldn't beg for mercy, couldn't do anything but writhe in silent, terrible agony.
Pain pain pain...
Somewhere far beneath the pain, he thought he heard an echo of a beloved voice. Her voice.
The sound of her voice gave him a strange sort of hope. If he could hear Chloe's voice, he must be dying. He'd expected to die, really. He remembered Zod's words: And now... I will enjoy watching you die.
So he was about to die, which didn't really surprise him, because no one could possibly survive this much agony. At this point, he thought dying was the only thing that could save him. It was the only relief he could hope for.
Besides, if Chloe was waiting for him on the other side, he didn't particularly fear death.
His thoughts were blurred and confused, running together and smearing like wet ink, but he managed to form one coherent thought.
Chloe, he thought weakly. I'm coming.
Hang on, Clark! In his head, her words rang out clear and strong, even through the haze of pain. I'm coming for you!
He tried to hold onto that, tried to hold onto the idea that she was coming to take him away, to greet him as he passed over into whatever awaited him after this world. He wanted to see her again, to feel her take his hand as she led him into the next phase of existence.
But the agony grew even greater, and his thoughts faded out entirely, along with the sound of her voice.
Once again, all he knew was pain.
Pain pain pain pain...
Chloe could feel Clark's pain as if it were her own, beating at her mind in relentless waves. But it didn't incapacitate her, because she didn't have a body to be incapacitated. All it did was make her really, really mad.
Chloe Sullivan was pissed.
She shot toward Clark, drawn toward him as if pulled by an invisible magnet. She wasn't corporeal, so she didn't stop for little things like walls. She sailed over Metropolis, seeing the familiar skyline, which looked very different from above.
Or maybe it was simply that Metropolis had suffered some serious damage. She could see smoke drifting from a dozen different spots downtown, and realized that the world had developed some big problems while she'd been occupied elsewhere.
She rocketed straight through the glass and steel wall of a tall building, exploding into the room like a bomb.
Except no one noticed her.
She'd somehow expected glass to fly in all directions with the force of her entrance, but she was only a spirit, so despite the speed at which she'd hit, there was no impact, no shattering glass, no drama. As far as the people in the room were concerned, she wasn't here at all.
She came to a halt, hovering, taking a moment to study the situation.
Guards stood around the edges of the room, their eyes focused on the middle of the room, where a large, dark-haired man writhed in agony on the floor, soft, terrible sounds of pain coming from his throat. Above him stood a blonde-haired woman in a tight black jumpsuit, a look of savage pleasure distorting her face.
That's my face.
Chloe moved closer. No one seemed aware of her, not even the person who was wearing her body.
Zod, she thought. Son of a freaking bitch. Zod has my body.
And it was her fault, all her fault, because she'd made the devil's bargain that had allowed Zod to take her over. She'd believed she had no choice in the matter, that it was the only way to save reality. But even so, the decisions she'd made had led to this moment, had led to Clark being tortured and a brutal dictator being unleashed on an unsuspecting, innocent world.
Her decision to sacrifice herself for Clark had led directly to the black smoke that currently drifted over Metropolis' skyline.
My fault, she thought bitterly. Somehow I have to fix this.
Zod's hand moved, manipulating a small control on her belt. Clark's pain grew to even more unendurable levels, and anger swelled inside Chloe as she felt his pain hammering at her.
Zod was a monster, even more dreadful than she'd been led to expect. The avid expression on her face-- what kind of a person tortured someone so horribly, and watched with such unabashed glee? If Chloe had had vocal cords, she would have growled in rage.
She'd agreed to give Zod her body.
But she'd never said she wouldn't take it back, damn it.
Her decision made, she burst into motion, heading for Zod's sneering face.
Ramming speed, she thought grimly.
Read Chapter 14 here.