Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Silver

Clark/Chloe
Season 5, "Splinter"
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.

Written for the Chlark 24/7 prompt of "silver kryptonite."
Cap from Dynamic Duo.

He's standing just outside the Daily Planet, watching her through the wall of the basement. He doesn't ordinarily spy on her this way, without her knowledge, but today he's realized he can't trust her. He can't trust anyone.

Earlier he found emails on her computer, emails from Lionel Luthor, of all people. Then his father betrayed him, agreeing to give him to Lionel for experimentation. And then he saw Lex and his girlfriend Lana, working together on a spaceship. And now...

He doesn't even want to imagine what the next betrayal might be.

She's moving around the basement, doing her normal work, finding papers she needs for research, filing things. And then a blond man walks up behind her.

Clark doesn't recognize the guy. It's one of her co-workers, he guesses. The guy grabs her by the shoulders , spins her around, and plants a kiss on her mouth, right in front of the entire basement.

She doesn't object. She lifts her arms, wrapping them around the guy's neck, and kisses him back.

Clark stares, shocked.

Worse than shocked. Betrayed.

Not that he's dating Chloe. He's dating Lana, and has been for a couple of months now.

And yet... Chloe is his.

She's not supposed to be kissing other guys. She's not.

The guy pulls away, looks down into Chloe's eyes, and smiles. And then he turns away.

Dark, unreasoning rage explodes inside Clark, and he bursts into superspeed.

*****

"I want... I want to talk."

He's stalking back and forth in front of her, because he can't hold still. Something inside him is making him twitchy and anxious and restless. She stands in the alley, looking wary, almost frightened. He supposes the way he just picked her up and supersped her out of the basement freaked her out a little.

"Clark," she says, hesitantly. "Does this have to do with those messages you think you saw on my computer earlier? Because I swear..."

He shakes his head. God, he's hot, so hot and sweaty. Why is it so hot?

"This has nothing to do with Lionel," he says, still stalking. "I want to know how long you've been dating that guy, that's all."

She blinks. "Dating?"

"Yes." He comes to a sudden, complete halt and steps toward her, looming over her. "You didn't tell me, Chloe. You didn't even tell me. I saw you. Kissing-- kissing another guy. And you didn't tell me."

She hesitates for a long moment. "Clark," she says at last, gently. "I didn't kiss anyone."

"Don't lie to me!" Sudden rage gusts through him, and sweat pours down his back. He's so hot. "I saw you! I saw you and that guy, damn it!"

"Even if I did," she says, keeping her tone very even, very calm, "I don't really see why it would be any business of yours."

"So you admit it!" He's right up in her face now, snarling with rage. "You kissed him! You've been dating him. Haven't you? Haven't you?"

"No," she says steadily. He can hear the rapid beating of her heart, and he knows she's scared, which proves she's lying. "No, Clark. I'm not dating anyone. But if I were--"

"Stop lying!" Rage and jealousy twist inside him, driving him to a need for violence he's never felt before. She needs to be punished. She was kissing that guy, kissing him, and she won't admit it, and she shouldn't be kissing-- shouldn't be kissing--

Anyone except him.

His hand wraps around her throat, and he shoves her up against the brick wall of the alley. She chokes, helpless, and struggles, but there can be no escape, because he's strong and she's fragile and weak, and she should have thought of that before she kissed another man, before she betrayed him. She's been dating another man, kissing him, maybe even having sex with him, and the thought makes him so furious that his hand tightens on her even more.

And then he's kissing her, hard, brutal angry.

"Mmmppphfff!"

She's trying to get away. She doesn't want to kiss him. Damn her, damn her, all he wants is to kiss her, to make her his, and instead she wants to go back to the blond guy. Anger twists his guts into knots.

"I loved you," he chokes out. "I loved you, more than anything else, more than anyone, and you betrayed me. Twice, you betrayed me. First with Lionel, and now with that guy. It shouldn't have been him, Chloe, it should have been me, why didn't you choose me..."

Her eyes are wide with surprise and shock, and she's still struggling for air, but her struggles are weakening. He lets her go, shoving her back agains the wall, and she slowly collapses to the ground.

And then there's a voice behind him, speaking his name, and he turns to confront Professor Fine, who's holding a strange object in one of his hands.

And when the confrontation is over, the little silver splinter has been extracted from his body, and suddenly he's not hot and angry and violently possessive any more.

He feels normal.

And very, very guilty.

He lifts Chloe in his arms and superspeeds her to the hospital.

*****

"Chloe." He's standing at the door to her hospital room, because he doesn't even dare cross over to her, let alone sit down. He figures she's going to tell him to go to hell, and God knows he deserves it. The bruises on her throat fill him with a miserable guilt. "Chlo... I'm so sorry..."

"Sit down," she says gently. He's grateful she can speak, although her voice is hoarse. Hesitantly, he walks across the room and sits next to her. Her golden hair, which she's been wearing in a very straight, professional style, is tousled and rumpled, her natural curls reasserting themselves. He likes her bedhead. It's cute.

"Chlo..."

"Clark." She pats his hand. "It's okay. I know that what happened wasn't your fault."

"I'm so sorry," he says wretchedly. "You know that I would never hurt you on purpose..."

"Of course I know that." Her hand settles over his, holding his hand lightly in reassurance. "It was the silver kryptonite, Clark. And whatever you thought you saw-- it was just the silver K playing tricks with your mind. It wasn't real. I'm not dating anyone."

"I was imagining some pretty crazy stuff," he says, sighing. "My dad selling me to Lionel for experiments. You sharing information with Lionel. Lana and Lex working together on a spaceship. And then, you and that guy..."

She smiles a little, but it doesn't touch her eyes. "I don't quite see why it mattered to you, anyway. But I guess that was just part of the silver K infection."

He remembers kissing her, a hard, hungry, almost violent kiss. He remembers his angry words: I loved you. I loved you, more than anything else, more than anyone, and you betrayed me... It shouldn't have been him, Chloe, it should have been me, why didn't you choose me...

Those words don't make sense, because both of them know that the woman he loves is Lana. And yet they seemed to make sense at the time. Then again, a lot of things made sense at the time that don't now. Under the influence of the silver splinter, everything was bizarrely surreal, like a bad dream or a Dali painting. He nods hesitantly in agreement.

"I guess so," he says. The memory of Chloe kissing that guy rises up, and anger follows it.

He's still angry at the thought. That's strange. Maybe he's still got a little residual craziness floating around in his brain.

She squeezes his hand. "I'm just glad you're all right, Clark."

He swallows. "If I'd killed you..."

"But you didn't, so stop beating yourself up about it. I mean, silver kryptonite. Who knew?"

"I just don't want it to happen again. I went to Lex's mansion, but I couldn't find the rock. It seems to have disappeared somehow. Not that he ever admitted to sending it to Lana in the first place. But I don't trust him."

"Well, he is a Luthor," she says. A brief pause. "And speaking of the evil dynasty... well, I need to come clean about something. Those e-mails that you saw on my computer from Lionel... you weren't imagining them.

Shock stabs through him. "So you are talking to Lionel?"

"Yes, but not about you --about Lex. Lionel's been feeding me inside information about Lex's campaign for state senate."

He nods. That makes sense. But she seems to take his silence as an accusation, because her hand tightens on his.

"Clark," she says softly. "I understand that you haven't been yourself, but you know that I would never tell Lionel your secret. I'd never tell anyone. I'd die before I'd ever betray you."

"Yeah," he says, very softly. "I do know that."

He looks into her eyes and sees the steady, unwavering loyalty that's always there. And he sees something else there, too.

He sees love.

Suddenly he realizes why he felt so betrayed when he thought he saw Chloe kissing someone else. Because he knows she loves him-- knows that she's loved him for years-- and he just can't imagine her ever loving anyone else. Chloe's love is one of the great constants of his life.

But he can't expect her to wait around for him forever. His sane self understands that. Eventually, she'll lose her heart to some other guy, a guy who can return her love, who can give her the affection and adoration she deserves.

And then he'll have to watch her flirting with someone else, kissing someone else, getting close to someone else.

And in a sudden burst of clarity, he realizes that watching her fall in love with someone else will rip him apart from the inside out.

Chloe means more to him than he ever understood. The words he spoke under the influence were true. He does love her, more than he loves anything. They're friends, very close friends-- but they're also more, much more than he was ever willing to admit to himself.

He has the silver K to thank for showing him exactly what was hidden in the depths of his subconscious. All that jealous rage boiling inside him when he'd thought she'd kissed that guy-- if Chloe ever turns to another man, that's exactly how he'll feel. He won't become violent, of course, but inside... inside he'll hurt like hell.

He wants to tell her what he's realized, wants to kiss her again.

But there's something he needs to do first.

He squeezes her hand and stands up. "I'll be back," he says. "But right now, I need to talk to someone."

He sees a flicker of disappointment in her eyes, but she lowers her lashes, veiling the reaction. "Okay," she says, obviously trying for a light tone. "I'm not going anywhere."

He looks down at her for a long moment, and then turns and walks away.

*****

"Lana. We need to talk."

Lana Lang smiles at him. "Hi, Clark. I haven't seen you for a couple of days, since you got that splinter in your finger. Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," he says. Thankfully she never caught a glimpse of him during his Captain Paranoid phase, so she has no clue what he's been through recently. "Chloe's doing fine, too. I just saw her at the hospital, and she's recovering from, uh, the mugging. Um... I stopped by because we need to talk."

She looks at him, tilting her head on one side, so that her hair cascades over one shoulder like a shining curtain. He used to think her dark, glistening hair was beautiful, but suddenly he realizes he prefers Chloe's tousled mop of blonde curls.

"All right," she says. "What do we need to talk about?"

He takes a deep breath, and then blurts out the truth, the truth that the silver K made him face. The truth that deep down, he's known all along.

"I've fallen in love with someone else," he says.

-The End-

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aghhh!! You can't stop there! Please let the words "the end" be a typo; he's gotta go tell Chloe!

Thanks for another great story.

Sarah

DeeDee said...

I always like your episode rewrites, and this one far outshines the Lanafest that was given to us.

I liked Clark's realisation that he'd still be jealous and hurt if Chloe started seeing someone else. And yay to him for manning up and calling it a day with Lana.

Thanks for sharing, Elly!

Tracey L said...

I agree 100% with DeeDee. What more is there to say?

Anonymous said...

I've always had a thing for silverK Clark.

And the way you wrote him was spot on!
His violent outburst and erratic behavior was understandable though I still for a second thoguht this would have a tragic end.

I loved this and I'm totally reccing this on "DarkThursday" at EC on Twitter.

LUNA

Anonymous said...

Oh snap! lol I loved it, the ending was surprising I loved it.

Great job, as usual. I love your twist and turns and you still manage to keep the episode in tact. Brilliant!

This is how the episode should've went.

Chris said...

I agree with all of the above. Much better ending! Thank you. Chris

BkWurm1 said...

Whoa! Intense. Great retake of Splinter. My of my, what a show we would have had after that.

Rhonda said...

I so like your version of splinter better. How about a sequel?

Sue Denim said...

Hi ya Elly! Another great little gem here. I think the reason why this one is good is your introduction. I didn't know you were rewriting Sliver to remove Clana, so as it unfolded, it felt truthful and familiar but more right--if that makes sense.

The fact is Clark never really appreciates what he has until he's gone. The idea that Chloe might not be his and someone else sets him off (Sire).

The result of this story is that I want to go back and rewatch Sliver and enjoy what this show used to be and thank you for painting a slightly different picture that has a more logical end.

BabyDee said...

Just re-read this one, and boy, does it represent what Chlark really mean to each other. A pox on the current showrunners for wrecking a show I once loved.

But we'll always have fanfic, and for that I am truly grateful. :-)

Thanks so much for this, Elly!

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