Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Rainbow, Chapter 12

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

The air in the loft was cold, but the chill of a Kansas winter felt almost warm after the Arctic. Clark steadied himself and looked down at Lana. His arm was still around her, and she looked up at him, her eyes huge.

"Did it work?"

"No idea," he said, struggling to keep his voice steady. "I hope so."

"Me too," she answered.

A footstep sounded on the stairs, and Clark's heart pounded. Chloe, he thought with a stab of desperate hope. Oh, God, please let it be Chloe...

And then Lana stood on tiptoe and kissed him, full on the mouth.

Lana had never kissed him before, and he was so shocked and startled that he didn't move. He just stood there, unresponsive, his arm still tightly around her, her mouth pressed against his very firmly.

He heard a little gasp.

Oh, shit.

He pulled his head away from Lana's and saw Chloe standing there, staring at the two of them, her eyes as big as saucers.

"Chlo," he said, very softly.

Her lower lip trembled, and he thought he saw tears in her eyes, but she tried valiantly for snark. "Wow," she said. "When you said this would be an afternoon to remember, I didn't think this was what you had in mind."

"Chloe..." He couldn't blame Chloe for her expression of hurt anger. He figured he'd feel pretty much exactly the same in her shoes. After all, he'd had his arm around Lana, so he'd probably looked like an active participant to her.

He let go of Lana, because right now he'd just as soon have his arm around a rattlesnake. He couldn't come up with a single good interpretation to put on her action. It had clearly been deliberate, and he felt like he was reeling with betrayal, on top of everything else he'd gone through today. He wanted to fling his arms around Chloe and sob with relief that she was alive, but Lana's unexpected action had even taken that from him.

Chloe lowered her head, her lip quivering more than before, and he held out an imploring hand.

"Wait," he said desperately. "Chlo. Please. This is not what it looks like."

She rolled her eyes, bit her lip to stop the quivering, and spun around. "Any more stupid cliches you'd like to offer?" she snapped over her shoulder.

Clark took a step after her, then hesitated, irresolute. As much as he wanted to straighten this out with her, his first task was to figure out how the hell to keep her and his father safe.

For now, he let her go.

She stalked down the stairs, her shoulders held very stiffly, and he felt his heart breaking. But he reminded himself it wasn't the end of the world. They could sort this out.

Her death-- that would be the end of the world, as far as he was concerned.

He stood silent, letting her go. When her footsteps faded, he turned very slowly and glared down at Lana, letting a bit of his angry bafflement into his voice.

"Care to tell me what that was all about?"

She didn't cringe at his tone. "We had to change the events that caused Chloe and your father to die," she answered, looking very earnest. "That was the only way I could think of to do it."

Clark looked down into her beautiful, sincere eyes, and for the first time in his life didn't believe her. Not at all. He wasn't sure what the hell was going on here, or why Lana had done what she'd done, but off the top of his head, he could think of about twenty ways to change the events of the day, not a single one of which involved him and Lana in a liplock. Clearly she had some ulterior motives .

The most obvious of which was that she was in love with him.

The thought startled him, because he and Lana had always been friends, but the more he thought about it, the more it made sense. And besides, when he thought about it that way, what she'd done didn't hurt quite so much. Yeah, it had been thoughtless and impulsive, but it wasn't a deliberately cruel act, either. If she'd kissed him because she was in love with him, then maybe she hadn't meant to hurt him and Chloe so badly. She'd just been carried away with jealousy.

Clark could understand that. He'd been jealous of Chloe's male friends once or twice. Jealousy could cause a person to do some pretty crazy things.

"Okay," he said gruffly, because really, it was too late to fix it right now. He was all out of time-changing crystals. "Not the method I would have chosen, but I guess it changed things, all right."

She smiled up at him, looking relieved that he'd accepted her explanation. "So what do we do now?"

He wasn't sure he liked the idea of accepting her help, after what she'd just done, but she was the only person in the world who'd gone through the time loop with him, after all. She was the only person in the world who'd seen Chloe and Jonathan's dead bodies besides him.

And as fast as he was, he couldn't be in two places at once. He decided he'd guard Chloe, and Lana could watch over his dad. He no longer fully trusted Lana-- but she wouldn't let Jonathan die. He could trust her that much, he was certain.

"We keep an eye on my dad and Chloe," he answered. "We make sure nothing happens to them. And..." He squared his shoulders and spoke in a resolute tone. "We save them."



She'd kissed one of them.

Lana scrubbed at her mouth with distaste. There had been a time when she'd dreamed of kissing Clark. But now that realized exactly what he was, just touching him gave her the creeps.

And yet, to her dismay, pressing her lips to his had given her goosebumps. The good kind of goosebumps.

She shrugged off that thought. Clark was a thing, nothing more. Kissing Clark had been necessary, because things didn't deserve happy endings, but she certainly hadn't enjoyed it.

Clark had headed off to find Chloe and keep an eye on her from a distance. She hoped the two of them wouldn't talk, or try to resolve their issues.

More to come...

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