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 2 here.
Clark's body felt warm against hers. He sank down onto her further, uttering a long, soft sigh, like he'd been waiting for this forever, and his mouth moved hungrily over her throat and jaw and face. She tried not to react, but her arms lifted, wrapping around his waist of their own free will, and her hands flattened out against the strong muscles of his back.
He was warm and solid and whole. She remembered seeing him pale and still, his blood spilled everywhere, his body limp and lifeless. But blood and life pulsed through him now. She could feel his heartbeat beneath her hands, could feel the warmth of his skin against hers, could hear the rapid rasp of his breathing.
She thought of him lying there this afternoon, bleeding his life out. She remembered her own inability to heal him, and a choked noise rose from her throat.
He was kissing her ear aggressively, but at the small sound, he raised his head, looking worried. "You okay, Chlo?"
She clamped her eyelids closed, but hot tears spilled out anyway. "I didn't save you," she whispered.
A beat of silence, then a gentle hand on her hair, offering comfort. "You tried."
"But I didn't succeed. You came to save me, Clark. You got killed saving me. But when I tried to save you-- I couldn't."
His hand stroked her hair gently. "What happened to your power?"
"I don't know. It just wouldn't work. Maybe it's gone." She decided not to mention the new and much scarier power she'd recently developed. She didn't want him to know about it just yet, because, well, it was weird. Meteor freaks usually only had one power, and they certainly didn't go around adding new powers. She wasn't sure what was going on, but she worried it wasn't actually meteor related, and she didn't want to let Clark in on it till she had a better understanding of it.
"Or maybe," he suggested, "your power just doesn't work on Kryptonians."
"Maybe. Either way... I couldn't save you."
"And for some reason, you're blaming yourself for it."
More tears slid out of her eyes, and she admitted to herself that he was right. She wasn't so much afraid of losing him, as she was afraid of it being her fault. Maybe that was selfish, but she couldn't help it. She never wanted to see him bleeding his life out because of her again.
She tried, in a quavering voice, to explain the problem.
"It's my fault you got hurt in the first place, Clark. You came back for me. You put yourself into harm's way for me."
"I see." His thumb caressed her cheek, brushing away her tears. "So you figure if you drive me off, if you get rid of me by marrying Jimmy, I won't be saving you as much, and I'll be safer. Is that it?"
"I try to save everyone, Chlo. My family. My friends. People I don't even know. It's not like I'll leave you to die just because we aren't hanging out together anymore."
"But if you're not around as much-- if you don't know I'm in danger--"
"I always know," he said, his voice soft but filled with conviction.
She opened her eyes and looked at him through the blur of tears, struggling to explain. "I can't-- I can't let you get hurt for me, Clark. I just can't."
"Silly girl," he said softly. "Don't you know I'll always come for you, no matter what?"
She swallowed back a sob. "That's exactly... what... I'm afraid of," she choked out.
He sighed. "Chlo," he said, more gently than before, "pushing me away won't change the way I feel about you. Even marrying another man won't change it. I'm your protector. I've always been your protector. And I won't stop protecting you, even if you marry Jimmy. I can't stop."
She closed her eyes again, but the image of Clark's blood-saturated shirt, his wide, terrified eyes, wouldn't go away.
"Please," she whispered. "Let me go. If you ever get hurt again... I don't want to be the one who's responsible. I can't stand being the reason you're hurt. Or... or... killed. Just let me go, Clark."
"I can't let you go." He lowered his head, pressing his face into her throat. "Believe me, I've tried. I can't."
There was a world of love and longing in his voice that she'd never noticed before. Or maybe she'd noticed it, but done her level best to ignore it. She lifted her hands to his head, caressing him. They lay there quietly for a moment, his head against her shoulder, her fingers twined in his dark hair. She and Clark had been emotionally close for a long time, but they'd never allowed themselves to be this physically close, and the rightness of it made her throat tighten. For the first time, she let herself admit the truth.
She belonged in Clark's arms. And he belonged in hers.
Clark was the man she loved. And agreeing to marry Jimmy wouldn't change that. Even marrying Jimmy wouldn't change it. Nothing could change it, not really. She'd loved Clark for years now, and she always would.
If she married Jimmy, she realized, all she'd accomplish would be to make all three of them miserable. Somehow, she had to get past her fears, and accept the fact that she couldn't walk away from Clark, no matter what.
"I can't let you go either," she whispered into his ear. "I tried. But I can't."
"I'm glad." His voice was just as soft as hers, and his arms tightened around her. "I'm going to make love to you, Chloe." She heard a low chuckle against her throat. "So whatever you do... don't let go."
Read Chapter 4 here.