Season 7, MHE for "Fracture"
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 Chapter 3 here.
Despair and exhaustion finally pushed Clark back into his chair, as effectively as kryptonite exposure. Unable to sit upright any longer, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes, and despite his determination to watch over Chloe's still form, he drifted into a restless sleep almost instantly.
His sleep was punctuated with bittersweet memories. Her bright, wide smile. The sound of her voice, saying teasingly, "Come on, big boy. It's for the cause of truth and justice." The taste of her mouth against his. The sound of her heartbeat.
It was her heartbeat he missed most. Whenever they'd been together, he'd been conscious of the steady thud of her heart. Hell, he'd often been aware of it at a distance, too. With a very slight effort, he'd been able to hear it all the way from Metropolis.
And now it was gone, and he'd never hear it again except in his dreams.
The memory of her heartbeat grew, until it filled his consciousness. He listened to the sound echoing in his head, and a terrible grief filled him. He honestly didn't think he could go on this way. If the only way he could hear her heartbeat was in his dreams... then he didn't want to wake up.
But he couldn't live in dreams the rest of his life. She wouldn't like it. She wouldn't want that. Sooner or later, he had to wake up and face reality.
Even so, the thought of waking up to that appalling silence cut into him like a knife blade.
He focused on the memory, and the thudding grew even louder, filling the empty, echoing spaces inside him. He hadn't realized how badly he missed the sound of her heartbeat, how much it mattered to him. Until now, he'd never realized how difficult it would be to live without it.
He listened intently, half afraid it would fade away, as terribly important things tend to do in dreams. But it didn't fade away.
It grew even stronger, and even in his sleep, a tiny flame of hope began to flicker inside him.
Alive, he thought. She's alive.
But she couldn't be. She'd been dead for eighteen hours, and there was no possible way she could come back to life at this point. It was all a dream, a wonderful, terrible dream, and when he opened his eyes her heartbeat was simply going to fade away, leaving him more crushed and shattered than before.
His own heart pounded wildly in his chest, and he couldn't breathe. He was too terrified to open his eyes.
He took a deep, steadying breath, and opened them anyway.
Chloe was gazing back at him.
Her eyes were as vividly golden as ever, and as he stared at her, she blinked, her eyelashes fluttering. She looked pale, but her cheeks were beginning to flush pink. He tried not to look as stunned as if he'd just been clubbed by kryptonite. He opened his mouth, and to his amazement, words came out in some semblance of order.
"Chloe," he said, very evenly. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine." She rubbed at her arms as she sat up, looking weak but resolute. "A little cold, though."
He shrugged off his beloved red jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders. She pulled it around her, cuddling into its warmth, and he was suddenly very jealous of the jacket. He shouldn't have put the jacket around her-- he should have wrapped his own arms around her, pulling her against his chest and never, ever letting her go.
She'd been dead for eighteen hours, and he'd been frantic with worry, filled with despair and grief, and utterly overjoyed when he realized she was alive. He should have hugged her. He should have told her how much she meant to him. He should have kissed her.
He remembered his earlier thoughts. If she wakes up, I'm going to kiss her again. And again, and again, and again.
And instead, he'd just handed her his jacket.
God, he was a total dumbass.
Read Chapter 5 here.