Season 8, MHE for "Legion"
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 3 here.
An hour later, Chloe found Clark out in the barn, driving nails into planks with his thumb, as only he could. She stood for a moment and watched him work, taking in the grim look on his face. If he'd noticed her, he gave no sign of it. He seemed totally absorbed in his own thoughts.
She glanced around at the barn, noticing the tattered remnants of her own wedding. Damaged flowers, ripped taffeta, trampled bows. A banner that proclaimed "To the future."
She stared at that for a long moment, wondering how she could have a future when she couldn't remember her past.
She looked back at Clark. "Hey," she said softly.
He jolted, just a little, and turned his head. "Oh," he said, and his mouth curved in a wry smile, as if he were embarrassed to be caught unawares. "Hi."
"You looked... lost in thought."
"I guess I was," he admitted. He straightened up and looked at her. "How are you doing, Chlo?"
"Better, now that the thing is out of my head." She sighed, walking toward him. "I'm confused, Clark. I don't know how I got to this point. Everything that led up to this--" She gestured around at the barn, and its tattered wedding decorations-- "is so blurry."
His dark eyebrows drew down. "What exactly do you remember?"
The memory of her dancing with Clark flashed through her mind. She paused next to him and looked up into his eyes. "Bits and pieces," she answered. "I mean, I remember some things that happened over the past six or seven months, but a lot of it is out of focus, or just... not there."
"Do you remember anything about me?" His stare grew more intent. "I mean, anything a little... strange?"
She blinked at him. "Are we talking about your secret, Clark? Because nothing could ever make me forget that."
He swallowed, and his gaze flickered away from hers. "Oh. Okay. I wasn't sure, because for a while there, you didn't remember..."
"Really?" She tried to recall forgetting his secret, but couldn't. "I guess maybe Brainiac was trying to cut me off from you, huh?"
He looked distinctly uncomfortable. "Something like that, I guess."
She glanced around, noticing that the barn was empty. "Where are your friends?"
"They left a little while ago." He turned back to his work, driving in another nail. "I was just thinking about everything they told me."
"What did they tell you, exactly?"
He shrugged a big shoulder and spoke solemnly. "That I'm still known in the thirty-first century. That I'm going to be a big part of history."
He looked so serious about it that she couldn't help but smile. "Wow," she said perkily. "That might be a little more than anyone ought to know about themselves. Better watch that you don't get a big head, Kent."
He hesitated, then picked up on her teasing tone, and grinned. "You mean bigger than I've already got?"
"Yeah. That's a scary concept, believe me." She tilted her head. "Not to sound bigheaded myself, but did they say anything about me?"
His expression instantly changed, becoming shuttered. "No," he said flatly. "They didn't."
"Nothing at all?" She offered him her best come-on-you-can-tell-me smile. "I was surprised they knew anything about me at all, really. I was just curious if they let anything else slip."
He heaved a sigh. "They didn't know anything about you, Chlo."
"Yes, they did. Garth told me I was going to become a reporter again. We had a little conversation in the kitchen."
"What?" He lifted his head and looked at her, frowning in puzzlement. "But they told me there was no record of a Chloe Sullivan. That's why they were willing to kill you, because you weren't part of history."
"Ow." She winced, because although she really didn't have a big head, no one wanted to hear they were irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. "But... but they must have realized they were wrong. Didn't you hear Garth, right after you guys did the exorcism? He said if they'd killed me, they could have changed everything."
Clark blinked. "He said that?"
"Maybe you need to get your superhearing checked."
"I guess I wasn't listening. I was still kind of freaking out."
A warmth filled her chest at the idea he'd been so freaked out over her. "So they didn't say anything about my future to you?"
"No." He studied her carefully, as if he'd never seen her before. "But they definitely didn't know the name Chloe Sullivan. So if you matter to history-- it must be under a different name."
She grinned. "Maybe I'll get famous under a pen name, then."
"Maybe. Or maybe... maybe they knew you as Chloe Olsen."
She sighed, and looked around the barn, where she'd apparently uttered vows of lifelong love and devotion to Jimmy just a day before. "Clark," she said, very softly. "Why did I marry Jimmy?"
She saw his body stiffen and his fists clench. "Don't you remember?"
She shook her head. "I told you, the past six or seven months aren't too clear, Clark. There were so many times I found myself standing somewhere, without any memory of how I got there. There were so many times I found myself in a strange situation I didn't remember getting into, or finishing up a conversation I never started. The honest truth is that I don't remember agreeing to marry Jimmy. I have no idea how it happened."
He gaped at her, looking as startled as if she'd suddenly sprouted tentacles. "Are you telling me you don't love Jimmy?"
"I... well... I mean, we've been dating a long time. I guess I figured we might... someday... but I don't..."
His eyes filled with an intense emotion she couldn't identify. "You don't love Jimmy," he said softly, as if the thought was a revelation to him. "It wasn't even you marrying him."
She was silent, because there was nothing she could say. He stood there for a moment, staring at her. Then he spun around, and his big fist came down on the railing he'd just repaired. It shattered.
"Damn it," he growled. "I let you go through with it because I thought you were happy. I even... I even... I just wanted you to be happy, Chlo. But I was wrong. I should have tried to stop it."
"Clark..." She reached out and patted his forearm, which felt rigid beneath her hand. "You didn't know."
"I should have known. You're my best friend, damn it. I should have realized you weren't totally in control. I should have known."
"No. Stop that." She let her hand tighten around his forearm. "Quit blaming yourself, Clark. You're always blaming yourself, taking on extra guilt you don't need, for things that aren't even remotely your fault. You didn't ask Brainiac to take me over."
"But I let Brainiac push you into something you didn't want. I even... helped."
She looked around at the barn, at the wedding decorations hanging askew. "Clark," she said, very gently. "Offering your farm for the wedding and giving me away-- that's nothing to blame yourself for. You were just trying to be a good friend."
He lowered his head and hunched his shoulders, looking oddly ashamed. "I only wanted to be a good friend," he said, very softly. "But I screwed up, Chlo. I screwed up bigtime. And... I'm sorry."
She had the peculiar impression they weren't talking about him giving her away. "Clark," she whispered, squeezing his arm. "It's okay."
His other hand came up and settled onto hers. They stood there in silence for a long moment. She was pretty sure she could be happy standing here all day with his big, warm hand resting on hers, but at last she sighed.
"Listen, Clark, even if I don't remember marrying Jimmy... I still need to get to Star City. He deserves that much."
"Chlo..." His voice was low. "If you don't remember marrying him, if you married him under an alien influence... you can't let yourself be trapped that way. You need to get the marriage annulled."
"I intend to," she admitted. "But right now, it sounds like Jimmy is in bad shape. I'm not going to annul the marriage while he's lying in a hospital bed."
"No. I guess you're right. You can't do it right now." He fell silent again for a long moment. "You want me to run you to Star City?"
She thought about it, then shook her head. "We don't want Lois or Jimmy suspecting anything," she answered. "I'd better book a flight."
"Okay," he answered.
Yet another long silence fell. At last she said, hesitantly, "Well, I guess I should get going..."
"Yeah." He looked down at the shattered railing, avoiding her eyes, and she sighed, and pulled her hand out from beneath his.
His hand moved, recapturing hers and holding it. She looked up, startled, and saw him staring at her, his eyes intense. She stared back.
They stood there for a long moment, staring at each other, and then suddenly his arms went around her, and they were kissing each other. And not the way he'd kissed her earlier, either. This was a long, deep kiss, a kiss that got more and more intense with every passing moment.
A kiss that just didn't stop.
Read Chapter 5 here.