Season 8, MHE for "Odyssey"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Screencap from keakack.
Read Chapter 1 here.
She watched as the intense need in Clark's eyes slowly shifted to rage. Clark didn't get mad very often, and almost never at her. But there was no doubt that he was angry. His lips drew back and his eyes narrowed, and in his irises she thought she saw a glint of orange heat vision.
"You what?" he snarled.
She refused to be intimidated. "Jimmy asked me to marry him a month ago," she answered steadily. "Tonight he stopped by, and I... I told him yes."
"But you don't love him."
She sighed. "Clark, I've been dating him for two years. Of course I love him."
"No. You don't." His arms tightened around her. "At least, not enough to marry him. So why the hell did you say yes?"
She closed her eyes against a flood of remembered pain. She remembered Clark's white shirt soaked burgundy with blood, his eyes wide with fear as he struggled to breathe. She remembered the desperate hitching of his breath. She remembered the pain in his eyes.
She remembered the pain in her own heart.
Chloe stood on the landing, staring down at Clark's body. Their friend Ollie Queen knelt over Clark, trying hopelessly to stanch the bleeding, but Clark was clearly struggling to breathe, and his white t-shirt was saturated with copious amounts of blood. He was clearly dying.
"Clark, please..." Ollie sounded like he was on the verge of tears. "Clark, can you hear me?"
She ran down the stairs. As she reached them and dropped to her knees, Ollie looked up, his eyes frantic, as if imploring her to help somehow. She spoke as calmly as she could.
"I can save him."
"I couldn't stop myself..." Ollie spoke, sounding almost hysterical, and Chloe raised her voice.
"Ollie, move back! I can save him!"
"No." Clark spoke in a harsh rasp, struggling weakly against her. It was obviously a huge effort for him. "Chlo. No, Chloe..."
"It's going to be all right," she said soothingly.
He clearly wasn't soothed. His struggles grew more frantic. "No... don't heal me..."
Both times she'd used her healing powers to heal someone with a major injury, she'd wound up dead. Both times she'd come back from death, eventually. But she knew that Clark was afraid that this time, she might not rise from the dead.
She knew he was right, that it was a possibility that this time, she might die dead. But she didn't care. Clark was dying.
She wouldn't let him die.
Slowly, she lowered her hand toward his blood-soaked t-shirt. Clark struggled, very feebly, but she didn't let his struggles deter her. She placed her hand against his ruined chest and focused.
She expected to see golden light radiate outward from her hand, healing him.
Instead... nothing happened. Nothing at all.
"It's not working," she whispered, shocked and bewildered. She'd been so certain she could save him. She cradled his head in her arms. "Clark?"
He struggled to breathe, staring into her face. Behind her, a voice spoke.
"I'm here, Kal-El."
She hardly noticed the voice. She didn't turn around to see who it was. All her attention was focused on the man in her arms.
The man she loved.
Clark drew a last rattling breath, and then his head fell back and his body relaxed.
"Clark?" she whispered, her voice trembling. She stroked his hair, but there was no response.
Clark was gone.
She bent her head and let herself sob.
It wasn't the first time she'd lost him. Clark had a habit of putting himself in harm's way, even when he was powerless. She remembered another time she'd watched him die, watched him slowly drop to his knees, then collapse onto his back, his blood soaking the light blue shirt he'd worn and puddling on the asphalt beneath him. Every dreadful detail was etched into her memory as if it had happened yesterday, rather than three years ago.
Both times, she'd wept for him, shedding tears from the depths of her soul. One of these days, she was terribly afraid she was going to lose him forever. And losing Clark hurt. It hurt so much she could barely stand it.
And right now, Clark was only her friend. Her best friend, but still just a friend.
If he became even more to her, if she admitted everything she felt for him, if she let him press his way any further into her heart and soul... she didn't think she could possibly bear losing him.
And she'd known-- she'd known-- that when he came to see her, relief would send her right into his arms. So she'd done the cowardly thing, and bound herself to another man rather than risk handing her heart over to Clark.
But Clark couldn't know how much she loved him, or he'd never let her go.
She steeled herself, and lied.
"I told you. I love him. I want to marry him."
He made a noise of disbelieving scorn, and then he was sweeping her up into his arms, and heading for the bed. She could hardly believe it. It was totally unlike her mild-mannered friend to go all caveman on her.
"Excuse me," she said, wiggling. "But maybe you didn't hear what I said..."
"Oh, I heard it." He tossed her down on the bed and glared into her eyes. "But I heard what you didn't say, too."
He lowered himself over her, pinning her between his big body and the mattress, and began brushing kisses over her throat. She felt a rush of heat and warmth between her thighs, and tried to ignore it.
"Clark," she whispered. "I can't... I'm engaged to Jimmy..."
"And that's a really convenient excuse for you, isn't it?" His voice was harsh, whether with anger or passion she wasn't sure. Maybe both. "It's an easy way to push me away, same as you always do. Just another way of maintaining the status quo, so you don't have to face what's really between us."
"There is nothing between us." She heard her voice wobbling. "You and I-- we're just--"
"Friends?" he jeered. His tongue trailed along the tendons in her throat, and she quivered. "Is being friends that much safer, Chlo?
Tears rose to her eyes, and she remembered his blood-soaked t-shirt beneath her hand.
"Yes," she whispered. "It is safer."
He captured her small hand in his big one, wrenched off the plastic ring, and flung it away with contempt. Then he buried his big hands in her hair and lifted his head, glaring down into her eyes.
"No more playing it safe," he growled, and kissed her again.
Read Chapter 3 here.