Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Meant To Be

Season 9
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Inspired by the manip above, by christina_kat.

"I miss this."

Clark's voice is low, rumbling almost in her ear. She turns her head, startled, because she's been so engrossed in the words she's been editing onscreen she'd almost forgotten his solid presence at her elbow. She's surprised to realize how close he is, his face only inches away from hers.

The basement of the Daily Planet is empty, because it's one in the morning, and being so near to him feels strangely intimate. She tries to put things back on an ordinary footing by flashing a snarky smile. "What's to miss? You're here every day."

"Yeah," he says softly. "But you're not. And you should be. I miss working with you, Chlo."

Earlier she'd gotten a call from Clark, who asked her to come over to the Planet and help him with an article that wasn't flowing well. She was happy to help, even though she doesn't write any more, and even though it's a little weird to be sitting in a chair that used to be hers.

It's strange how familiar this environment seems to her, she thinks, looking around at the Art Deco building and its stained glass windows. She hasn't worked here in over a year, and yet it feels so right to be here. She worked this late so many times, the only person left writing under the dimmed lights, struggling to make her mark in the journalism world.

"We never really worked here together, Clark. Not as colleagues."

"We worked here all the time solving problems. And before that, we worked at the Torch together. We always made a good team."

"We did," she agrees, nodding. "But now you and Lois are a team."

He snorts. "Yeah, except for the part where I lie to her all the time and she tries to steal all my stories. Except for that, we're totally a team."

She blinks at him, a little taken aback by the aggravation in his voice. "I thought you guys liked working together."

"Lois is a pain," he says, rolling his eyes. "She's always been a pain. And anyway... she's not you, Chloe. You and I were meant to be partners."

His words touch her deep inside, but she sighs and turns away. "I'm not a journalist any more."

"You are." His voice is soft, but filled with certainty. "You don't ever stop being a journalist, Chlo. You're the one who told me that. You always told me I'd get back into journalism eventually, and you were right. Once a journalist, always a journalist."

"No." She stares glumly at the screen in front of her. "I lost my instincts, Clark. I lost my ability to write a good story. I lost my drive."

"No, you didn't." His voice gets a little louder. "You lost your confidence. And that isn't surprising, since you had an alien computer in your brain, messing you up. But Brainiac's been gone for a while, and it's way past time for you to get back in the game."

She's silent a long moment, staring at the monitor.

"I can't," she whispers at last. "I just can't."

"Yes, you can." One big, blunt fingertip taps on the screen in front of her. "Look how much better my writing is after you've edited it. You're a better writer than I am. You're better at investigation than I am. You were meant to be a journalist, Chloe."

Her eyes sting with tears at the quiet assurance in his voice. He really believes what he's saying. But that shouldn't surprise her, because Clark's known her a long time. He saw her staying up late night after night to get the Torch out, working late at the Planet, risking her life for stories.

The truth is, she'd never intended to quietly accept her unjust firing from the Daily Planet. She'd meant to go on and find a job somewhere else, to keep fighting to get the truth to the people. But the alien AI had moved into her brain around the time she was fired, and by the time it had been forced out, months had passed, and she'd lost her self-assurance. After long months of not really being herself, she'd been afraid to go back to what she loved. She'd been paralyzed by self-doubts.

But now she glances around at the Daily Planet's basement, and at the man leaning over the desk beside her.

It all feels so familiar. So comfortable.

"You could be right," she says softly.

He flashes his happy grin, looking pleased that she's at least considering his words. "Of course I'm right. Come back, Chlo. I miss working with you."

She turns her head and smiles back at him, just a little.

"Maybe I will," she says.

He bends his head a little more, still smiling into her eyes, and suddenly their lips are only an inch or so apart. There's a long, long pause, weighted with uncertainty and awkwardness and the heavy awareness that this could be a life-changing moment.

And then her fingers are twining in his hair and his arms are around her, and their mouths meet as if drawn together by gravity. But it isn't gravity pulling them together, just the long history of affection and loyalty and love between them.

And love is the right word, she admits to herself as he lifts her in his arms and places her down on the desk, shoving papers out of the way first. She's always resisted using that word with regards to Clark, preferring to cloak their relationship in more mundane terms. Friends. Buddies. BFFs.

But the deep-down truth is that she's always loved him. Whether as a friend or a lover doesn't really matter. She loves him more than she loves anyone else in her life. Always has, always will.

And his big body on top of hers feels exactly right.

Clark's right, she thinks as she kisses him deeply.

They were meant to be partners.

-The End-


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update!

I always thought SV was kinda weird for making Chloe just 'la-dee-daa maybe I wanna try something other than journalism' at the beginning of season 8. It seemed so strange for her to feel that way, so I like the loss-of-confidence braniac angle you took.


MonicaOP said...

Oh wow.. this was so completely beautiful, if only the SMV Clark this smart!!! I love it, the way he knows her and he cares, the fact she really gets the fact that she's meant to be the most amazing journalist... with him :D, and the romance at the end... Oh Elly, you rock :D hugs!!!

Anonymous said...

Awwww,i like the perspective you gave to this fic, we Chloe fans felt so betrayed by the direction producers of SV gave her. We, like her lost the focus. That's the main reason why i stopped seen SV and started to stick more and more with fanfics and see? i was right.

such a wonderful fic Elly, it melted my hear for sure :-)

WaveDancer said...

I really empathised with Chloe in this, her reaction to her situation seems very realistic, yet heartbreaking. Excellent writing as ever.

I only hope that in SV she finds her way back and gets the happy ending she deserves.

Thank you Elly!

DeeDee said...

This, dear Elly, is exactly how it should be. Enough of Chloe faffing about at Isis. She needs to get back in the bullpen where she belongs.

Yay for Clark manning up and taking the girl in his arms for once!

Lovely story. Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

Fantastic as it is, but this needs some smutting up (I'm still all bothered by your Chlex story, I guess). The intimacy between Chlark is sweet. The story is a wonderful read.

Just needs more smut! LOL

acelinex said...

*slowly cracks open door and peaks inside* Hi there! I decided to take my first venture into the world of hetfic.. (since I'm on your page like every day looking for clex updates :P)..and it was wonderful! This story was just so sweet! :)
I completely agree that they should get Chloe back in the DP! Let's hope the SV writers figure it out too. :) Great job!

Anonymous said...

Great fanfic!!!!! Really, I need something like this on SV!! I want back Chloe in the DP, She's the BEST (sorry Lois). With no Lex, writers messing with Chloe's character, Clois ( I'm Chlarker), I'm thinking of no watch SV... But thanks to you, Im happy, thanks for this story, you're the best!!!!


Sue Denim said...

And love is the right word, she admits to herself as he lifts her in his arms and places her down on the desk, shoving papers out of the way first. She's always resisted using that word with regards to Clark, preferring to cloak their relationship in more mundane terms. Friends. Buddies. BFFs.

Oh man, did you nail Chlark perfectly. I really wanted to read more about this and was shocked to see the "The End" finish. This is wonderful.

dh1031 said...

Sorry I missed commenting on this one. This is a 4-dot story! The infection by brainiac was an excellent explanation for why someone who'd always loved journalism just up-and-quits. Too bad TPTB at Smallville don't have the smarts to see what's right in front of them.