Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Based on a prompt by shop_gal08: How about a fic based on Chlark's first official date?
It was ridiculous to be this nervous.
It wasn't like he hadn't hung out with Chloe ten thousand times before. They'd gone to movies together, gone to the lake together, had dinner together, shared coffee together.
But they'd never actually called it a date.
It's no different, he assured himself, smoothing his dress shirt beneath his hands and making sure the tail was tucked in, then checking the knot on his tie to make sure it wasn't crooked. It's just like every other time you and Chloe have done something together.
Except it wasn't, and he knew it. This time, it was A Date. And that scared the hell out of him.
Letting his mind drift, he recalled their conversation yesterday.
"I really need to get back in the swing of things," she'd said, sighing as she sipped at a frappuccino. "Jimmy didn't work out, but that doesn't mean I have to be a nun for the rest of my life. Right?"
"Totally," he agreed. "I've been thinking about getting back into dating, too. I mean, Lana and I broke up almost a year ago now."
She poked him in the ribs. "You should have gotten back into it six months ago."
"I didn't want to do the rebound thing," he said honestly. "But now-- now I feel like I can get back into dating without comparing someone to Lana all the time. The truth is, I don't think about her much any more."
She nodded. He noticed a little smear of whipped cream on her upper lip. It was oddly distracting.
"I know what you mean," she answred. "I mean, yeah, Jimmy and I almost got to the altar a few months ago, but it was mostly due to the fact that I had an evil machine lurking in my head. Otherwise, I think Jimmy and I would have been done a long time ago. And I hardly think about him at all any more."
"Well, there you go, then. We're both ready."
She grinned. Her tongue slipped out and licked off the whipped cream off her upper lip, and that was even more distracting. He knew he was staring at her mouth, but he couldn't quite help himself.
She didn't seem to notice his preoccupation. She looked over the crowd of people in the Talon. "Now I guess it's just a matter of finding an available male who likes smart women."
"I'm available," he blurted.
She turned her head back toward him and regarded him with as much surprise as if he'd suddenly started reciting the Declaration of Independence. He blushed, wondering if he would have blurted those words out if he hadn't been distracted by the whipped cream, and the subsequent licking away of it.
She stared into his eyes for a moment, then looked him over as if she'd never seen him before, her gaze sweeping from head to foot, lingering on his shoulders and abs. She was very visibly checking him out, in a way she rarely did, and he blushed a little redder under her scrutiny.
"So you are," she said at last.
"And..." He swallowed, suddenly and inexplicably nervous. But having gone this far, he couldn't stop. "And I like smart women."
He was tempted to wimp out at that point. The slightest frown from her would have made him shut up. But instead of frowning, Chloe smiled.
"And I like you," she said softly.
A warmth blossomed inside his chest at the words, giving him courage. "So how about a date?"
The corners of her mouth curled up.
"A date would be awesome," she answered.
He got into his red truck. He rarely used it any more, but he wasn't lugging Chloe around in superspeed on a date. That just didn't strike him as gentlemanly behavior. The truck bounced over the rutted dirt road that bisected the Kent farm. He turned onto the smoother main road, hit the gas, and headed toward town.
As he drove, he flipped on the radio, and a Nickelback song flowed from the speakers:
'Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
'Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares.
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me like that
'Cause nobody wants to go it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
Is there somebody else that feels the same somewhere?
There's gotta be somebody for me out there
He frowned slightly as he listened to the lyrics. He'd known Chloe since middle school, and only rarely given consideration to the idea that she was the "somebody" for him. They'd had one date in high school, but it had ended badly, and since then they'd been content to be BFFs. They'd been friends for so long at this point that it was really difficult for him to think of her as a possible mate.
And yet, he did love her. He knew he did. He loved her like crazy, and couldn't live without her.
But friendship love wasn't the same as romantic love.
He remembered how distracted he'd been by the little smear of whipped cream on her mouth yesterday, and sighed, confused. He turned onto Main Street and pulled the truck up to the curb, then headed for the Talon. Making his way through the crowded coffee shop, he walked up the curving staircase that led to Chloe's apartment.
His heart pounded, and his chest felt tight. He realized he was more nervous than ever.
He stopped in front of her door, steeling himself, then squared his shoulders and knocked. He never knocked when he dropped by, but for a date it somehow seemed like the appropriate thing to do.
A few seconds later-- an eternity, as far as he was concerned-- she pulled open the door and smiled at him.
"Hi," she said, and stretched out her hands, taking his in a friendly greeting.
That was all. But it was enough. He looked at her, wearing a spring green sundress and a big smile, and his mind instantly flashed back to the Nickelback song: Someone to love with my life in their hands, there's gotta be somebody for me like that...
Chloe, he suddenly realized, was the only person he trusted to hold his life in her hands.
She was his somebody.
"Hey," he said, smiling at her, her small hands in his big ones. To his surprise, he found that he was no longer nervous. Suddenly this felt very, very right.
In fact, it felt inevitable.
More lyrics ran through his head. Nobody wants to go it on their own, and everyone wants to know they're not alone...
But he wasn't alone. He never had been. He had her.
He thought back over their long friendship, over all the time they'd spent together, all the laughter they'd shared, all the almost-kisses. And suddenly he wondered why it had taken him so long to get to this point, and why on earth he'd ever hesitated.
Suddenly he wasn't confused about his feelings for her, not in the least.
He loved Chloe Sullivan. He'd loved her for years. Whether he called it friendship or romance-- it was love.
And it wasn't ever going away.
He looked down at her, all dressed up for their date, and smiled.
"All ready?" he asked.
"Yes." She smiled back at him, a dazzlingly bright smile that was so brilliant it made his heart melt. "I've been ready for a while."
He held her hand as they walked down the staircase. Someone to love with my life in their hands...
"Yeah," he answered. "Me too."