Season 8, MHE for "Plastique" (SPOILERS for later in season 8)
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 2 here.
She felt Clark stiffen beneath her. His hands lifted from her ass and pressed into her shoulders, pushing her away, and his eyelids flickered open. In his eyes she saw unmistakable pain.
"Maybe this isn't such a good idea," he muttered.
"Clark..." She clung to him, refusing to be pushed away. "I didn't mean to say that."
"Obviously." He uttered a short, humorless laugh. "When you say the name of one guy when you're making out with another one, it's pretty much a given that it was an accident. I think that's what they call a Freudian slip."
"No." She dug her fingers into the flannel of his shirt. "Clark..."
"It's okay." His words were clipped and terse. "I was wrong, putting the moves on an engaged woman. I mean, you wouldn't have agreed to marry Jimmy if you didn't love him."
"No!" Her voice rose. "I don't mean it was an accident. I mean, I didn't say it."
He tilted his head on one side, studying her. "What do you mean?"
"I..." She closed her eyes in anguish, trying to figure out how to explain without sounding as if she were crazy. Maybe she was crazy. She certainly had entertained the possibility more than once lately.
"When I saw Jimmy again," she said, very slowly and carefully, "I meant to tell him no. I didn't want to marry him. I wasn't sure that... I felt that way... I was pretty sure... I didn't... and we were... so young..."
She broke off, gasping. Saying the words was getting more and more difficult, as if something was trying to block her from saying them. Her arousal faded, and an odd sensation of panic rose inside her, squeezing her heart, and the dark voice whispered at the back of her brain. Run away from Clark. He doesn't love you. He'll only hurt you. He'll never understand...
She shoved the panic back, and went on. "And just now... I didn't say that, Clark. I swear I didn't. It was... something... else."
"Chloe..." He sighed. "I heard you say it."
"You aren't listening!" Her voice rose in panic. "There's something inside me, Clark. There's something inside me-- and I can't get it out!"
The panic overwhelmed her. She jumped off his lap and ran for the door, fleeing from him, heedless of the fact that it was her apartment, her place of refuge. But before she could fling the door open, he was there, one big hand flat against the door, holding it closed. He looked down at her, and she saw the concern in his emerald eyes.
"I'm listening," he said, very gently. "Tell me what's going on, Chlo."
"I can't..." She heard a raw sob tear its way out of her throat. "It doesn't want me to tell you... it's trying to keep us apart..."
"Chlo." His arms wrapped around her, and he pulled her against his chest, holding her the way he'd held her earlier, in a warm, comforting embrace. "Relax. Your heart is going about a million beats a minute. Take a deep breath and calm down."
She buried her face in the warm, solid wall of his chest, and tried to relax. But the panic pouring through her veins was very real, and if he hadn't been holding her in his unbreakable grip, she would have fled right out the door.
He was silent for a few moments, just stroking her hair. At last he said softly, "So you didn't want to agree to marry Jimmy?"
"No," she choked out. "I... I..."
It was getting harder and harder to speak, and she was terrified that something wrong would come out, that she'd say something she had no intention of saying.
"And you didn't intend to say Jimmy's name just now."
"I didn't," she whispered. "I swear, it wasn't me."
He was silent again, as if processing that. "Then who is it?" he asked at last.
"I don't know. But I... I..."
Panic squeezed her throat again, and she tried to whirl away, to run. He held onto her, his grip gentle but inexorable.
"Easy," he said softly. "It's just me. Just Clark."
"You're going to hurt me!" Her voice rose shrilly. "You always hurt me! Just let me go!"
"No." His voice was unexpectedly firm. "I'm not letting you go, Chloe. Whatever it is... we'll deal with it together."
She struggled for a moment longer, then surrendered to his far superior strength, sagging against his chest and gasping, struggling to draw oxygen into her lungs. He held her tightly and stroked her hair, and eventually the panic began to recede.
"Okay," he said, apparently hearing that her heartbeat had slowed. "Tell me about it now. What is it, Chloe?"
"I don't know." She let the words come out in a rush, before the entity in her brain could recover and begin controlling her again. "It hasn't exactly introduced itself. But... but I have a new power."
"A new power?"
"Uh-huh. I can process information like a computer, Clark. I can figure out codes I could never have figured out before. I can scan pages with a glance. I can do huge math problems in my head..."
Beneath her hands, the muscles in his back stiffened. "Brainiac," he said, his voice soft but charged with a protective anger.
She nodded, pressing her face into his chest. "Probably. I think... I think that when he invaded me, maybe he left a little piece of himself behind. I think there's a little part of him in my head. And I-- I'm scared, Clark. I'm so scared."
He was silent for a long moment, stroking her hair. At last he spoke.
"Yeah," he answered. "Me too."
Read Chapter 4 here.