Clark, Chloe angst
Season 8, spoilers for "Bride"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Screencap from andreas at LJ.
They walk down the stairs of the barn together, her arm in his, as the assembled crowd smiles up at them. She's beaming from ear to ear, and he forces his brightest smile onto his face.
He can't cry at Chloe's wedding. It wouldn't look right for him to cry.
He glances down at the woman by his side. She's beautiful, the loveliest woman he's ever seen. He knows brides are always beautiful on their wedding day, but he's never seen one so radiant.
She's so clearly happy. Joy shines in her eyes and lights her smile. Beneath the filmy veil, she is simply glowing with happiness.
There's nothing weighting her down any longer, because last week, he took away her burden. No... his burden. The burden he's let her carry for him for years. And now she looks more joyful and carefree than she has since their freshman year of high school.
And yet, despite her obvious happiness, he's spent every night this week tossing and turning in his bed, wondering if he did the right thing.
No. The truth is, he doesn't have to wonder.
He knows what he did was wrong.
As she'd succumbed to amnesia, she'd told him she loved her memories of him and his secret, that they'd made her who she was, that she wouldn't give them up for anything. She'd begged him to help her hold onto them.
And yet, when her memories were restored, he'd had Jor-El strip the knowledge of his secret from her anyway.
Chloe was his best friend, and he worried constantly about her safety, worried about her sacrificing too much to protect him, worried about the effect his secret had on her personal life. He'd thought removing her knowledge was for the best.
And looking at her happy glow, maybe it was. Ignorance is bliss, isn't that the saying? She certainly looks blissful.
But then again, he thinks, happiness isn't everything.
Maybe happiness isn't as important as he thought it was.
The problem is, over the past week he's grown to realize she's not the same person she was. He recognizes her bright, happy smile, but he doesn't recognize anything else about her.
She's lost so much more than he meant her to. She doesn't know him, not really. He's not her hero any more, just her dweeby redneck friend from high school, a guy she's on good but somewhat distant terms with.
And even worse, she doesn't know all the things she fought to learn over the years. She doesn't give a damn about the things that she once passionately cared about. She no longer cares much about working with the meteor afflicted, or even about journalism. Those things don't matter to her any more, because she doesn't really remember the stories she's written, or the people she's helped. Her memories of everything she's had to do with those subjects over the past four years have been severely edited, if not wiped away entirely.
In fact, most of her memories have been edited. So much of her life involved his secret that removing her knowledge of the secret impacted her far more than he'd imagined it would.
The memories that seem to have remained the most intact are her memories of Jimmy.
And so all she really cares about... is Jimmy.
They come to the bottom of the staircase, and he hesitates, looking into her eyes very seriously, trying to tell her without words how much she means to him. Trying to tell her that he never meant to mess up this badly.
All he ever wanted to do was protect her.
She doesn't seem to notice the look in his eyes. She's smiling, without a care in the world, marrying the man she thinks she loves best.
She is happy, he thinks, guiding her toward the pastor. But the cost for her happiness is too damn high. Because she isn't Chloe Sullivan any more, not really. She looks like Chloe, but she's missing Chloe's passions, her drive. Her soul.
And it's his fault.
He screwed up. He's the one who stripped her soul away from her. He did something to her he had no right to do, took something from her he had no right to take, and now he doesn't know how to fix it.
He can't fix it. All he can do is hand off the empty shell of the woman who was once his best friend, his loyal secret-keeper, his protector and his savior and his partner, to another man.
He stops at the front of the barn, and she lets go of his arm, then turns to Jimmy, a radiant smile on her face. Clark steps back, his own smile still fixed on his face. Because he has to keep smiling.
He can't cry at Chloe's wedding.
But God, he wants to.