Saturday, January 05, 2008

Lane Change

Chloe and Lois, offscreen Chlark
Season 7
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Author's Note: I wrote most of this fic back in January. As a consequence, the story does not fit perfectly into current series canon.

"Everyone here hates me, cuz."

Lois Lane kept her voice low as she spoke into the phone. "I swear, the other reporters act like they want to spit on me. They're all treating me like a pariah. I think they're jealous."

On the other end of the line, Chloe Sullivan's voice sounded wry. "Jealous might not be exactly the right word, Lo."

"Well... you could be right. I think maybe it's gotten around that Grant and I were, uh..."

"Shagging on his desk?"

"I prefer to think of it in slightly more romantic terms, especially now that Grant's dead. But yeah."

"I told you that sleeping with your editor would get you in trouble, Lo. You should have taken my advice and broken it off, a lot earlier than you did."

"Yeah, yeah. I know. I'm sorry I didn't listen to you."

"You aren't listening to me now, either. When Lex started trying to force us to write those puff pieces about how great LuthorCorp was, you should have done like I did and refused to write them."

"Uh... you got fired, Chlo."

"So?" Chloe sounded determinedly perky. "There are other newspapers out there."

"Except that Lex has managed to blacklist you, and no one will hire you. Which is why you're working at the Cafe Cup."

Privately, Lois thought it was awfully ironic that she'd wound up at the Planet, even though she wasn't all that great a writer, and Chloe, whose dream had always been to write for the Planet, had wound up at a coffee shop a lot like the one Lois used to work at.

Chloe had dreamed of being a journalist and had worked toward that goal since she was eight, whereas Lois had kind of fallen into writing last year, just because Chloe was a reporter, and what she did for a living looked kind of cool. Journalism had always been Chloe's dream, not Lois', and Lois was fully aware she wasn't half the writer Chloe was.

And yet here she was, sitting pretty under the Tiffany lamps, while Chloe was serving espresso.

It just went to show you that talent wasn't everything. Sometimes being willing to bend a little, to cooperate with people you didn't necessarily like, was all it took.

What Chloe called working for the enemy, Lois called keeping her job.

"That's what you get for not being a team player."

Chloe sounded huffy. "At least I still have my journalistic integrity."

"Journalistic integrity doesn't pay the rent," Lois drawled.

Chloe sighed and changed the subject. "You only call me from work when you want something nowadays, Lo. What do you want this time?"

Lois sighed too, staring at the clutter on her desk. She'd gotten a lot of front-page headlines lately, but they'd all been stuff Lex had practically spoonfed her. She really wanted to prove herself to all the snotty, stuffy journalists at the Planet, who didn't believe you could be a real journalist without a degree, or a lot of experience she didn't have. They all hated her, and they didn't believe she'd earned her spot on the front page.

But Lois was going to prove them wrong, damn it. She was going to prove she was a real reporter. She was going to prove she belonged on the front page.

She just wasn't sure exactly how.

"I need a story," she said.

*****

"You have got to be pulling my leg," Chloe said that evening. She wore a dark blue apron, and poured coffee with smooth, efficient movements. Her golden hair was pulled into a tight ponytail at the back of her head, and she managed to look like she'd been born to pour coffee.

Chloe always looked like she was born to do whatever she set out to do, Lois thought with a touch of envy. Chloe was good at everything.

Especially journalism.

She reminded herself that she was the one getting the front-page headlines now, while Chloe was reduced to pouring coffee. Talent wasn't everything.

"I'm not pulling your leg," she said, sitting at the counter, on an old, ratty barstool that had seen better days. This coffee shop wasn't as nice as the Talon in Smallville. "I need a story. A big one."

Chloe finished topping a frappuccino with whipped cream and walked across to a table to deliver it, then came back. "What makes you think I have any leads?" she said warily.

"Please." Lois rolled her eyes. "Just because you aren't writing right now doesn't mean you don't have a lead. You always have leads."

"Okay. Fine. So what if I have a lead or two? Why exactly would I hand them over to you?"

"Because you have no possible way of getting them printed?"

Chloe shrugged. "Lex may not own the Planet forever, Lois."

"But in the meantime, you have leads you're not using, stuff you probably want to get out there, so people know about it. Come on, Chlo. Don't be a dog in the manger. Give your leads to a girl in need."

Chloe bit her lip as she poured coffee into a styrofoam cup. "What exactly are you looking for?"

"Something big. Something that'll impress all those stodgy, arrogant journalists at the Planet who hate my guts."

"Something big, huh?" Chloe looked even more thoughtful, and Lois frowned at her suspiciously.

"What do you have?"

Chloe smiled, a little wryly. "Nothing you can print, unfortunately."

"Why the hell not?"

"Because," Chloe answered, "it's all about Lex."

*****

So Chloe had a story on Lex, Lois mused that night as she was getting ready for bed. Lois was still living in the apartment over the Talon, but Chloe wasn't. Lex owned the Talon, and after Lex fired her, Chloe had announced she'd rather live on the streets than have Lex Luthor for a landlord. So she'd packed her stuff and stalked out.

She wasn't living on the streets, of course, but with her best friend, Clark Kent. Lois wasn't sure exactly what was going on there, and didn't want to, really. All she knew was that Clark had been living with Lana Lang, but that Lana had moved out when she and Clark broke up, and Chloe had moved in. She had a feeling maybe Clark and Chloe were comforting each other, helping each other through their losses by...

Ugh. Just the thought made Lois wrinkle her nose in disgust. She'd never been a big fan of Clark Kent, and the thought of Clark and Chloe comforting each other made her stomach heave.

Although if she were going to be perfectly honest with herself, she'd admit that wasn't true. Not really. Despite her years of pretending to loathe Clark, deep down she thought he was a really great guy, and gorgeous besides. Deep inside she thought she might even be a little envious of the closeness between Clark and her cousin.

When she'd first come to town, she'd flirted with Clark, just a little, but the hurt look in Chloe's eyes had been enough to make her back off in a hurry. She'd taken to teasing Clark instead, in a less than kind, big-sister way that made him roll his eyes and snark back at her.

Clark was even-tempered and courteous, and she was one of the few people alive who could really piss him off. And she did, on a regular basis, because it was a whole lot safer than brooding over any residual envy she might feel.

Anyway, as great a guy as Clark was, she wasn't about to risk hurting Chloe by chasing him. She and Chloe had always been closer than she and her own sister were.

But now that Clark and Chloe were shacking up, or whatever it was they were doing-- and she really didn't want to know-- she didn't have Chloe as a roommate any more. Lois had the place to herself. It was a nice apartment, too, one she was very happy to have. She had a good job, and a nice place to live.

And it was all due to Lex.

Writing an expose on Lex would be terminally, mind-blowingly stupid. Even if she could slip it past Lex and somehow get it published in the Planet, it would mean the end of her front-page headlines. Probably the end of her career. Because Lex would blacklist her, too, not to mention kicking her out of the apartment.

And she loved this apartment. She'd lived here for years. At this point, it felt like home.

So no, the Lex story was totally not going to happen. But Chloe almost certainly had some leads on other, less explosive stuff. Stuff that Lois could use to impress Lex and the obnoxious old guard at the Planet.

Lois just had to figure out how to get Chloe to give up her leads.

*****

"No," Chloe said on the phone the next day. "No, no, no. I told you already. No leads."

"Why are you being so mean about this?" Lois demanded.

"It's for your own good, Lo. If you're ever going to become a real journalist, you have to find your own stories."

Anger flared inside Lois at Chloe's dismissive words. "I am a real journalist, thank you very much. I've had eight front-page headlines, in the best newspaper in the world. That's more than you ever had."

Chloe sounded irritated. "At least I earned mine."

Bitch, Lois almost snapped, but hung the phone up before she could actually say it. She'd never used that word to her cousin, and didn't want to start now.

She really wasn't happy with the way her relationship with Chloe was starting to fray. When Lois had started working at the Planet, a few cracks had begun to appear in their formerly solid relationship. Chloe had been jealous of the ease with which Lois had been hired, and the fact that Lois had been sent on assignments right away, while Chloe had just stayed at her desk in the basement, writing boring, tedious crap.

Chloe had been even more jealous when Lex took over the paper and promoted Lois upstairs, into the bullpen, while Chloe had remained in the dark, dank basement.

Chloe's jealousy was the whole reason for any problems between them, Lois thought. It had nothing to do with her.

The truth was, she could sort of understand why Chloe was jealous. After all, Chloe had been working at the Planet for a couple of years, and to have her own cousin come in and show her up had to sting. But it wasn't Lois' fault that she knew how to work the system. She'd gotten ahead because she'd made the right choices, and she didn't see why Chloe should blame her for that.

At least that was what she told herself. Deep down, she wasn't quite so sure she was blameless.

She shrugged, doing her best to put Chloe out of her mind, and frowned at her desk. Aside from a piece Lex wanted her to write extolling the miraculous advancements of LuthorCorp's pharmaceutical subsidiary, she didn't have much to write.

Damn it, she thought. She really needed Chloe's help. Chloe really ought to help her. That was what cousins were supposed to do, to help one another through the hard places in their lives. Especially when the cousins had always been like sisters, the way she and Chloe were.

A little flame of resentment lit inside her. Chloe had leads, probably whole stories, that she wouldn't give up. If she had leads, she'd share them with Chloe in a heartbeat, after all. Chloe was just being mean and selfish and petty.

That made Lois angry.

And anger always impelled Lois to act.

*****

The old yellow farmhouse was quiet and still when Lois pulled up in her Ford. Chloe's Yaris wasn't in the driveway, and neither was the old blue truck Clark drove. Lois was pretty sure Chloe had to work at the coffee shop this morning, and Clark, she thought, had classes over at Kansas A&M today.

She had the place all to herself.

She went up the steps and pushed open the front door. She had a key, because she'd lived here for months at one point, but as it happened, the door was unlocked. Which figured. The Kents had never been much for locking their doors. People who lived out in the sticks tended to trust their neighbors to a ridiculous degree.

As she walked into the house, the old golden retriever, Shelby, lifted his head and thumped his tail. He figured she belonged here, because not only had she lived here, but she'd worked for Martha and Jonathan for a while, too. When he'd been younger, he'd followed her around the house, irritating her allergies, but he was getting older, and he only dropped his head back onto the carpet and went back to sleep.

Lois went up the stairs. She checked the spare room, but Chloe's stuff wasn't there.

She looked a little further, and found all of Chloe's things in Clark's room.

So the two of them were bumping uglies, after all. She was so totally not surprised. She rolled her eyes, trying to suppress the little spark of envy deep inside, then looked around and spotted Chloe's laptop on Clark's desk.

Cool, she thought. She'd been worried Chloe might have taken it with her, because Chloe rarely went anywhere without her laptop. But apparently Chloe took her work as a waitress too seriously to write on the job.

Lois flipped open the laptop and booted it up. Naturally, Chloe had her files password protected-- the girl had such a suspicious nature-- but Lois was able to figure out the password pretty easily. She'd known Chloe forever, after all. And given the fact that Chloe and Clark were apparently an item, it wasn't at all surprising that she was using Clark's middle name, Jerome, as her password.

She looked through Chloe's files, finding extensive notes and half-written stories on a lot of subjects. Good stuff, she thought. There were notes on all sorts of cool things, from Metropolis' mayor and his funding of projects that benefited his neighborhood, to a guy in Smallville who'd broken into a bank using some sort of weird telekinetic power. All interesting leads, and all about stuff that needed to be printed now, before it was so old no one cared.

Really, she told herself, she would be doing the public a favor by getting this stuff out where they could see it. The public had a right to know. It was wrong of Chloe to keep all this stuff under wraps, just because she couldn't use it herself.

Seen that way, her little jaunt into Chloe's private files seemed almost... noble. All for the good of the reading public. Really.

She spotted a file marked Lex, and clicked on it. The title read, Lex Luthor's Crimes Against Humanity, and unlike much of the other stuff, it seemed to be a complete article.

Lois read through it, and by the end, she was gaping.

"Now you know why he fired me," a voice said behind her.

Lois spun around, her hand at her throat. Chloe was standing behind her, looking less than delighted to see her.

"Oh, my God, cuz. You scared the hell out of me."

"Maybe," Chloe said, walking into the room, "you wouldn't be so jumpy if you weren't in the middle of snooping through my stuff."

"I thought you were at work."

"Nope." Chloe lifted the cup she held. "Just grabbing a latte at the Talon. I don't have to be at work till one today. But if you thought I was at work, I guess you didn't come over here to see me." She narrowed her eyes at the open laptop. "I didn't realize you were such a fan of my writing."

Lois lifted her chin, trying to look haughty. "This is all good stuff, Chlo. It needs to get printed."

"Don't try to justify this, Lo." Chloe's voice was sharper than usual. "You had no business trying to steal my stories, and you know it."

Lois shrugged, refusing to let the embarrassment and shame she felt show on her face. Desperate times call for desperate measures, she thought defiantly, and then felt even more ashamed.

Because it sounded exactly like something Lex Luthor would say.

"You have no business keeping all this stuff from the world," she said, trying to sound haughty and self-righteous. "Some of it's really important."

"The only story here that really matters," Chloe said, "is the one about Lex. And that's the one that can't be printed."

Lois lowered her eyes, looking away from Chloe's steady hazel gaze, and frowned down at the laptop. "Did he really do all those awful things, Chloe? I mean, I knew about some of them, but..."

"Yes." Chloe stepped right in front of her and stared at her, a compelling intensity in her eyes. "He's been imprisoning people. Experimenting on people. Torturing and killing people. That's why you shouldn't be working with him, Lois. That's why you shouldn't be helping him. He's not just a bad guy. He's a villain."

Lois swallowed. All of a sudden she felt ill. "Did this article have anything to do with why he bought the Planet?" she asked in a small voice.

"It had everything to do with it," Chloe answered. "He knew I was writing it, and he put Grant at the Planet to keep an eye on me, because he knew I was researching him. I wrote most of the story almost a year ago, but I couldn't print it, because I didn't have the proof. But I've been working on getting the proof together, and once Lex realized how much I had, he bought the Planet and blacklisted me so I couldn't ever get it printed."

"Oh, my God, cuz. You're lucky he didn't just kill you."

"He threatened me. But I guess he figured this was easier. Less messy."

Lois was almost afraid to ask the question, but she had to know the answer. "Exactly what do I have to do with all this?"

"I think," Chloe said, "you're just Lex's way of getting back at me for daring to go after him. He made sure you were hired, made sure you got all the opportunities I didn't. That's Lex for you. He plays mind games. He punishes people when they cross him. He uses people."

Lois blinked against the tears that stung her eyes. She hadn't been hired because Grant saw the potential in her writing, or even because Grant thought she was sexy. She'd been hired solely because Lex wanted to hurt Chloe. She was only a pawn, being used by Lex Luthor in a complex, twisted chess game.

On some level, she'd always known she didn't belong at the Planet, but having it confirmed hurt.

She wasn't a real journalist, and never had been.

"And when he fired you, he moved me upstairs and made sure I had front-page headlines just to tweak you a little more," she said, her voice shaking.

"That's pretty much the size of it, I think." Chloe looked at her steadily. "Look, Lois, it's not your fault. Lex is a user. He'll use anyone, for anything. He even used Grant, and Grant was... well..."

Lois lifted an eyebrow. "Grant was what?"

Chloe hesitated a long moment. "Grant was a clone of Lex's brother Julian," she said at last.

Lois' mouth fell open. "You are kidding me."

"I wish I were, believe me. But it's true. Julian died when he was just a baby, and a year or two ago, Lex cloned him. So Grant was just another of Lex's scientific experiments, but a more personal one."

Oh, God. She'd been sleeping with a guy who was essentially a toddler. The squick factor there was off the charts. She stared at Chloe, shocked and horrified. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't learn Grant was a clone until after he died," Chloe assured her. "If I had, I would have told you right away. But since he was already dead by the time I found out... well, I figured you probably didn't need to know."

Lois blinked hard, thinking of Grant's broad smile, the sense of snark that had matched her own. She hadn't been in love with him, but she'd liked him a hell of a lot, and the realization that he'd been using her at Lex's behest cut deeply. "Maybe you're right. But I never had any clue he was a Luthor."

"I know. Not your fault, Lo. And honestly, I'm not sure what happened there. I think Lex had him killed, but I can't prove it. The point is, if Lex will use his own flesh and blood... he'll use anyone."

Lois lowered her head and looked back at the article on the laptop's screen. She thought of all the people she'd known who'd been hurt by Lex. Wes, the first guy she'd ever kissed. Grant, the guy she'd fallen for against her better judgment. And Chloe, who'd never wanted anything more than to write for the Daily Planet, and who'd had that taken away from her.

Anger, hot and genuine and righteous, began to burn inside her.

"Do you really have proof to back this up, cuz?"

"Hey, it's me." Chloe smiled wryly. "Do you even have to ask?"

"Real, solid, iron-clad proof?"

"Yeah. Clark and I spent months getting it all."

Lois frowned. "This could put Lex behind bars, Chloe."

"I know." Chloe sighed. "And believe me, I've been trying to get it published. But most editors won't even take my calls. Lex has them all intimidated into ignoring me. Even the ones halfway across the country, like the Star City Post, hang up the minute they hear my name."

Lois stared at the laptop, and a lightbulb suddenly came on in her head.

"Maybe you need to use a different name," she said.

*****

Two days later, the Star City Post broke the story, with the byline Lois Lane. Almost instantly, it was picked up by CNN and other online sites. Over the course of the morning, normal programming was preempted on the broadcast channels like NBC and GBS, too, as their news crews followed the unfolding story.

Lois half expected Lex to stalk into the Planet and confront her, but he never showed. Around lunchtime, Lex was arrested.

Lois sat at her desk in the bullpen and watched the events unfurling on the flatscreen TV hanging overhead. Then she picked up the phone and called Chloe.

"Hey," she said. "Are you watching this?"

"Yeah." Chloe sounded grimly pleased. "I'm glad Lex is headed for jail. I just hope they can keep him there."

"With all the evidence you found? He'll be lucky if he gets out before he's a hundred." Lois paused. "Listen, cuz... I'm sorry they keep using my name."

"Oh, well." Chloe sounded resigned. "Whatever. I mean, your name is on the article."

"But I didn't write it, Chlo. It isn't like it was just your lead. You wrote the whole thing. You did the research. I can't take the credit."

Chloe had admitted that Lois' idea of using a pseudonym was a good one. She'd tried to sell the article using a made-up pen name, but it rapidly became evident that most papers wouldn't even take a look at such a big article if the reporter that offered it to them had no credentials. Lois had some front page articles to her credit, even though they were all puff pieces, and she wrote for the best newspaper in the world. Using her name, they'd been able to convince an editor to take a look at it pretty easily.

And after that... things had moved fast.

"It's okay, Lo. The truth is... you were right. It was too important a story to keep to myself. I knew you'd get the credit for it, but it doesn't really matter, as long as Lex is behind bars."

Lois shook her head, even though she knew Chloe couldn't see her. She'd done a lot of soul-searching since yesterday, and she knew she didn't ever want to find herself going through the private things of someone who trusted her again, or working with a man she despised. That wasn't the kind of person she wanted to be.

She'd been sliding down a slippery slope for a while now, but damn it, she was going to climb back up if it killed her.

"No, Chlo," she said firmly. "I'm not taking credit for this. It's not my story. It's yours."

The story printed under the name of "Lois Lane" was now famous nationwide, maybe even worldwide... but it wasn't because of her. It was because of Chloe. That knowledge stung, but only a little. She knew that she hadn't done anything to deserve the recognition.

Despite the name on the byline, it was Chloe's story.

*****

That afternoon the head editor of the Planet resigned. Lois was half afraid that with Lex in jail, the Planet would close down, but it turned out that the Planet was actually owned by LuthorCorp, which meant Lionel Luthor seemed to be running things now. And to everyone's shock, for the new editor in chief he picked the man whose article had once put him in jail.

The next morning Perry moved into the corner office in the bullpen and began making the rounds of the desks, speaking with each reporter personally.

"Perry White," he said, smiling as he held out his hand to Lois. "I know we've met, once or twice, but I think my attitude has been, shall we say, less than gracious."

Lois made a face as she took his hand and shook it. "I guess I deserved it."

"Not at all," he said warmly. "If I'd realized you were using your close association with Lex to gather this kind of information and take him down, I wouldn't have treated you that way. None of us would have. We're all very impressed with your work, Miss Lane."

Lois closed her eyes for a moment. She wished she had been using Lex that way. But it had never really occurred to her. She'd been so focused on keeping her job that she hadn't really thought much about taking Lex down.

Still, it sounded good. It would totally redeem her in the eyes of all the journalists here if she let them believe that.

"In fact," Perry said, "I'd like to offer you a promotion, Miss Lane. To full reporter."

Lois' mouth dropped open. For a long moment no sound emerged, and then she started to stammer. "I can't... I mean, I..."

Perry held up a hand. "Just think about it," he said. "We need more writers like you, Miss Lane. Writers who can write and research. Writers who can topple giants. Writers with guts."

He smiled at her, and then turned around, heading for his office. She closed her eyes, because God help her, she loved being treated with that kind of respect. The way he'd looked at her, as if she were really somebody, somebody who belonged here.

And she could stay here if she wanted. All she had to do was claim it was her article, and she'd get a promotion, a fat raise, and national recognition as a serious journalist.

She watched Perry walking away and remembered her words yesterday.

No, Chloe. I'm not taking credit for this. It's not my story. It's yours.

A great job, respect, and a raise would be awesome. But what she wanted, more than anything else, was to climb back up that slippery slope and get her feet back on solid ground.

Slowly, she rose to her feet and spoke, firmly and resolutely.

"Mr. White," she said. "There's something I need to tell you."

*****

Chloe walked out of Perry White's office later that afternoon. There was a dazed look on her face. Lois looked up at her and smiled.

"Good news, cuz?"

Chloe looked back at her. "He hired me back," she said softly. "Not only that, but he offered me a position as a full reporter." She looked upward, a dreamy expression on her face. "Right here in the bullpen. Under the Tiffany lamps."

"I hope you said no," Lois drawled. "It gets awfully hot under these lamps."

Chloe blinked at her, clearly taken aback, and Lois burst out laughing. "Just kidding, cuz. I'm happy for you. Really. Too bad I won't be working here with you."

"About that." Chloe held out a hand. "I talked to Perry about it. I told him you were trying hard, and that I thought with some work you could become a really good reporter. So he agreed to keep you on if you want. Now, it'd be in the basement, but if you don't mind that..."

Lois looked back at her, and saw the truth written on Chloe's too-honest face. "You refused to come back if he didn't keep me on, didn't you?"

Chloe shrugged. "It was your idea that got the article printed," she said.

"Yeah, but it was your article, cuz. Listen, I can't..."

"Yes, you can." Chloe looked stubborn. "You have potential. Honestly, you do."

Lois shook her head. "I don't think so. I mean, thanks. Really, it was nice of you to step up for me. But if I've learned anything in the last two months, it's that I'm not cut out to be a reporter."

"That's not true," Chloe said loyally.

"Oh, it's totally true, and you know it. Maybe my writing has potential, maybe not. But I don't have the drive. The truth is... I just don't care about it that much." Lois shrugged. "No big deal. I mean, jobhopping is what I do. Maybe one of these days I'll figure out what I'm meant to do. But reporting isn't it."

"Well..." Chloe bit her lip. "Okay, Lois. If you're sure."

Lois looked around at the Tiffany lamps and felt a little tug of sorrow. Up here, she felt like she'd accomplished something, like she was one of the big dogs. But the truth was she hadn't accomplished a damn thing on her own. She'd done it all because Grant and Lex had been using her. And even the nationally famous article published under the name "Lois Lane" hadn't been her achievement.

"Trust me, I'm sure. As a journalist, I left something to be desired." She sighed. "And maybe as a person, too."

"We all make mistakes, Lo." Chloe patted her shoulder. "What matters is where we go from here."

Lois gave her a wry smile. "I don't know where I'm going from here. All I know is... it won't be journalism."

She felt a little twinge of regret as she said the words. For a little while, she'd let herself dream of becoming an award-winning journalist. She'd let herself dream of fame and Pulitzers and enormous headlines.

But the truth was that had never really been her dream. It had always been Chloe's dream. She'd just kind of borrowed it for a while, tried it on like a child trying on her big sister's clothes.

And in the end, it just hadn't fit right.

"Seriously..." She waved a hand in a gesture meant to encompass the bustle of the bullpen. "You were meant for this, Chlo. I wasn't."

Chloe blinked hard, started to say something, and then just wrapped her arms around Lois. The two of them hugged, and then Lois picked up her purse and her few personal items, and headed for the door.

She paused just outside the etched glass doors and looked back into the bullpen. Chloe was sitting down at what had been Lois' desk, and suddenly Lois realized she'd failed to grab her nameplate. It was still sitting there in front of Chloe, on what was now Chloe's desk.

Lois watched as Chloe took her nameplate off the desk, stashing it gently in a drawer and replacing it with a nameplate that read "Chloe Sullivan." Lois thought about walking back into the bullpen to retrieve it, but decided against it.

Her nameplate might as well be hidden away in a drawer, forgotten. After all, despite her five minutes of fame, her name would be forgotten in journalistic circles before long. It would be as if she'd never been a reporter at all.

And that was okay. Because the truth was that for her, journalism had just been one job among many, rather than something that sparked in her soul and consumed her, the way it did Chloe. The truth was that Lois Lane had never been destined to be a world-famous, Pulitzer-winning journalist.

That was Chloe Sullivan's destiny, not hers.

-The End-

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Outstanding fic!!! All is right in this world, now if only Smallville could follow your example.

BkWurm1 said...

I really enjoyed this one. Very moving and organic. Plus loved the guest room being empty.

Anonymous said...

its all so true!!

wish we'd gotten more Chlark :P but I can see it didn't need it!

Anonymous said...

Oh thank goodness someone knows where the show is supposed to be going. I wish this was happening on the show. Great fic. ;)

blackheart_me said...

EXCELLENT!! I love how all of this played out. I was angry when Lois tried to go behind Chloe's back because she desperately needed a story, it's was a low move. I was very relieved and glad that Chloe caught her and then that she didn't lash out. What I mostly loved about this was how Lois took the high road and even though the biggest article EVER was published under her name she was big enough to admit to Perry that it was Chloe who did all of that. It made me respect her for her decision and then I also loved how Chloe also wanted to stick by Lois. The Chlo-Lo relationship here was amazing and it was very beautifully written Elly. I loved it ^_^

BloodSugar said...

Aw.
I was almost crying by the end of the fic.
Very wonderful (hehe).
<3

chloista4ever said...

"She'd just kind of borrowed it for a while, tried it on like a child trying on her big sister's clothes. And in the end, it just hadn't fit right."

I loved this part, I think is fatalistically written, awesome work Elly.