Manip by CircularTime. Used with permission of the artist.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Inspired by the manip above, as well as by its wording.
Title by CircularTime.
"Trust me, Chloe."
He'd said it the day he'd put a glittering diamond onto her finger, and again when he'd slipped a plain gold band onto the same finger. He'd said it over and over and over again through the years.
"Trust me, Chlo. I'll always be there to save you. Always."
And he always had been there for her. No matter what danger she found herself in, she could always count on him to save her. Usually she could manage to save herself. But every now and then she got into serious trouble, and somehow Clark was always right there when she needed him.
He could hear her voice from quite a distance away, especially if she called his name. She knew that. She knew he could hear her heartbeat, too. But she had no idea where he was right now, or even if he was in Metropolis.
He hadn't been in the office this morning, hadn't been sitting at the desk next to hers, his dark head bent intently over his keyboard, as he usually was. He hadn't mentioned he'd be out of the office, so she assumed some crisis had come up.
For all she knew he could be in Coast City or London or somewhere even further away. And wherever he was, she really had no clue whether or not he could hear her voice right now.
She hoped he could. She hoped very, very hard.
She'd been standing on the roof of the Daily Planet, getting some midmorning air, when the door to the roof opened behind her. She'd turned around, smiling a bit, figuring some coworker or other had joined her. The roof was a popular place, offering as it did a glorious view of Metropolis. On a sunny, clear day like this, it felt like you could see forever.
But instead of the friendly face of a coworker, she saw the unpleasant, scarred face of Zachariah Taylor, a career criminal who'd found himself in prison as a result of one of her articles.
Apparently, she thought, he'd been released. Or possibly he'd escaped. Either way, she doubted very much that he was here to thank her for her concern.
The instant she saw his face, she began to move backward, very rapidly. That was a prudent move, because a second glance showed her that he held a weapon in his hand. God only knew how he'd gotten the gun past the building's metal detectors, but somehow he'd managed it.
"Zach," she said, holding out a placating hand. "Let's talk about this, okay?"
Taylor lifted the gun, giving her a leering, twisted smile-- the only kind of smile he was capable of producing, given the extensive scar tissue that marred the right side of his face. Chloe realized with dismay that she, as well as her professional dark green suit, was about to develop more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. Taylor was a violent criminal, and he certainly hadn't brought the gun up to the roof to scare her. He meant business. And he didn't want to talk.
Realizing she was in deep shit, she opened her mouth and screamed.
There was no reply.
She remembered his words: Trust me, Chlo. I'll always be there to save you. Always.
She did trust him. She always had. Intellectually, though, she knew even Superman had his limits. He might be busy, or incapacitated, or simply out of hearing range.
She screamed Clark's name again, then ran as fast as she could-- surprisingly fast, considering she was wearing heels. A shot rang out, but it missed her, because it wasn't easy to hit a moving target. She kept moving, knowing it was the only thing standing between her and a rather messy demise.
Taylor fired again. She realized she couldn't move fast enough to avoid getting shot. Sooner or later, he'd get lucky, and she'd get dead.
She was out of options. She had to put her faith in Clark.
She hesitated, just a second, then lunged for the edge of the roof.
And then she was leaping over the low wall that bordered the roof, calling Clark's name one more time, and falling toward the sidewalk, far, far below.
It didn't feel like flying. She didn't have any sense of exhilaration, of Oh, wow, this is how Clark must feel. Plummeting toward the sidewalk like a boulder was a sickening, horrifying sensation. She knew she was screaming, but she couldn't hear herself past the wind rushing past her ears.
She wasn't even screaming Clark's name any more. She was just screaming, a long, high-pitched screech of panicked terror.
She had faith that Clark would save her, but that faith didn't do much to ease the instinctive, deep-rooted fear of freefalling through the air.
And then she was in his arms, and her descent began to slow. He didn't just grab her and stop her instantly in the air, because that might snap her neck and kill her just as dead as slamming into the sidewalk. He drifted downward with her, slowly, his red cape rippling behind him.
She blinked, mentally adjusting to the idea that she wasn't going to die, and looked up at him. He was giving her a gentle, reassuring smile, and relief poured through her. She was torn between flinging her arms around his neck and kissing him, and snarking at him. She settled on snarking.
"Took you long enough," she grumped.
"I was kind of busy, Chlo." He slowed to a stop and hovered in the air, still cradling her in his strong arms. "I got here as soon as I could."
She was still very freaked out, and she couldn't help grumbling a bit more. "Barely soon enough."
"I had plenty of time left." He grinned. "I had at least a couple more seconds to work with."
She rolled her eyes, and he squeezed her in a gentle hug and spoke more seriously. She could see anxiety and adoration in his green eyes as he gazed at her. "I'm sorry, Chlo. I was honestly kind of tied up. But I got here as soon as I could."
She leaned her head against his shoulder. "I knew you'd get here in time."
"Uh-huh. Sure. That's why you were screaming."
"I was screaming because I was scared. I was falling pretty fast, in case you didn't notice."
"I noticed. You really ought to learn to fly. It makes things a lot easier."
She snorted. "Unlike you, I have all the aerodynamic properties of a freefalling safe. The flying thing just doesn't seem to be working for me somehow."
"Yeah," he said with a mischievous grin, quoting something she'd told him years before. "You really need to get on that."
She smacked him on the shoulder, none too gently. "Look, could we get out of here? There's a guy on the Planet roof who wants to shoot me."
"Oh," he said, heading for the next block over. "Is that why you jumped? I figured you were just trying to get my attention."
She snarled. "Clark..."
"Shutting up, Chlo." He put her down on the sidewalk, paying no attention to the stares and gasps from the bystanders. As Superman, he'd gradually grown accustomed to being stared at. "Let me go take care of the guy with the gun, okay?"
"Okay." She couldn't even kiss him goodbye, not with all the other people around. All she could do was stand there in the midst of the crowd, feeling the wind blow wildly as he leaped up into the sky.
Wow, she thought admiringly, watching the crimson cape ripple in the breeze as he flew upward. She'd married quite a guy.
But of course she'd known that for a long, long time.
The cape disappeared, and she looked down at the rings on her finger, remembering the long-ago day he'd knelt before her and slid the diamond onto her hand, asking her to trust him. The diamond gleamed in the sunlight, flawless and strong and beautiful, a fitting symbol for love.
According to the old saying, diamonds were forever.
But diamonds, she thought, were only a thing. And no matter what the diamond industry claimed, they weren't eternal. Diamonds could get lost, or stolen, or even damaged. Like any other object, a diamond was ephemeral.
Lovely though her engagement ring was as it glittered in the morning sunshine, it was merely a symbol. But what it symbolized wouldn't ever fade away.
Trust me, Chlo. I'll always be there to save you. Always.
She did trust Clark, quite literally with her life. She believed in him. She always had, and she always would.
Because trust, she thought, was forever.