Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Switch, Chapter 1

Clark/Chloe, Clark/Lois, Chloe/Ollie, Lois/Ollie (offscreen)
Season 9 (my version; spoilers for "Escape")
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Author's note: This story displays a cheerful disregard for much of season 9's canon.

Chapter 2

When Clark Kent stepped out of the shower, dripping wet and stark naked, Chloe Sullivan was standing there.

Taken utterly by surprise, Clark uttered a long, high-pitched scream and ducked back behind the dubious protection of the floral shower curtain. On the other side, he heard Chloe burst into laughter.

"That was great," she gasped out between giggles. "You sounded exactly like a thirteen-year-old girl who's just spotted Robert Pattinson."

He pulled back a corner of the shower curtain and glared at her, being sure to remain hidden... or as hidden as possible behind the flimsy vinyl. "Chloe, what the hell are you doing here?"

"Getting quite an eyeful."

He could feel himself blushing all the way down to his toes. "I don't mean what are you doing in my bathroom. I mean, why are you here? At this bed and breakfast? We're an awfully long way from Smallville."

"Oh, that." He heard her voice shift toward a more serious tone. "Come on out, and we'll talk."

"Could you possibly hand me a towel first?"

"Gee, I don't know, Clark..."

"Chloe."

She giggled again and tossed a towel over the shower curtain. He wrapped it around his waist and knotted it tightly-- very tightly-- and stepped out of the shower again. She looked him over.

"Nice," she said. "Even with the best parts covered."

He blushed again, because Chloe hadn't teased him in a long time, and he wasn't used to being mostly naked in front of her, anyway. He glared at her again, simply because he couldn't think of anything else to do.

"So how did you wind up at the very same B&B as me and Lois?"

She smiled up at him. "Lois invited me."

He frowned. "Invited you? Why? Lois said she wanted to come up here for a romantic weekend because things between us have gotten a little.. well, not as romantic as she likes."

"Meaning you're too busy to pay her any attention. Yeah, I know how that works, believe me."

He heard the bitterness in her voice and bristled, because she wasn't being fair. He hadn't been the one to back away from their friendship. She had. She'd asked him for something he couldn't give, begging him to go back in time and save Jimmy, and when he'd refused, she'd gotten very cold and angry with him. She'd hardly spoken to him since.

He missed her a lot. And yeah, he knew it was partly his fault, because he'd responded by acting just as cold around her. He couldn't seem to help it. He knew he ought to be more sympathetic after everything she'd been through, but he'd just been really hurt by her behavior.

"Things have been a little rocky with Lois lately," he said with dignity-- or as much dignity as a guy dressed only in a towel could manage. "I'm just trying to smooth things over."

"Yeah, but here's the thing." She looked straight into his eyes, a faintly accusing expression on her face. "You're not in love with Lois."

He could barely stop himself from cringing. Oh, God, here it came. The protective cousin thing. Lois and Chloe were as close as sisters, and they always had each other's backs. Woe to the guy who hurt one of the Sullivan-Lane girls, because the other one would be right there to kick him in the balls.

He didn't want to make her mad, or to make their already rocky friendship worse, and he wished he could deny her words. He wished he could claim he loved Lois madly. But they both knew he didn't.

"Um," he said. "Well, Lois and I-- we work well together-- and we've gotten to be pretty good friends--"

"But you don't love her."

He couldn't argue it. He'd started dating Lois mostly due to an aching void in his life. Over the course of the past year, he'd lost his girlfriend, and then his best friend, and he was lonely. And Lois was a lot of fun, when she wasn't driving him crazy with her nagging and her little snide remarks.

"Um," he said again. "I like her a lot."

"So you were going to sleep with her because you're in like with her?"

"Sleep with her?" He boggled at her. "Chloe, you know that I can't-- I mean, I have powers and she doesn't, and--"

"Clark." She gave him a look that was almost pitying. "Couples come to B&Bs to have sex. You know that, don't you?"

He gazed blankly at her, and she sighed, shaking her head.

"Lois said you were naive enough that you wouldn't plan on sex," she muttered. "But naive doesn't begin to cover it."

"I don't understand."

"Obviously not. Clark. You do not bring a girl to a B&B unless you intend to sleep with her."

"Um..." He frowned. "But Lois said they have a really good brunch here..."

She snorted. "Pathetic."

He didn't see why it was all that pathetic to take a girl away for a nice weekend and not have sex with her. Girls didn't want to be used for sex all the time, did they? Didn't they like it when guys took it slow? Didn't they appreciate guys who respected them, instead of guys who just wanted to screw? He shrugged, declining to argue about it, and squinted suspiciously at her. "You still haven't explained exactly what you're doing here."

"Oh," she said airily. "Ollie brought me."

Sparks exploded behind his eyes in a sudden brilliant flare, and he felt his eyebrows drawing down. Way down. "Excuse me?"

"Ollie," she repeated. "We've been planning this for a while. We thought we'd take a weekend to get away from it all."

Her words ran through his brain: You do not bring a girl to a B&B unless you intend to sleep with her. The sparks behind his eyes snapped and sizzled and grew hotter.

"Are you telling me," he said through his teeth, "that you and Ollie...?"

"Well, of course," she answered, as if it were completely obvious. "Didn't you know?"

"You've been sleeping with him?"

She lifted an eyebrow regally. "Is this a problem?"

Yes. It was definitely a problem. It was absolutely, totally and completely a problem. Fury swelled in him, beating at him like waves on a shore. He wanted to rip the room apart with his bare hands.

He wanted to rip Ollie apart with his bare hands.

"Chloe," he said, trying to sound like he wasn't mad enough to spit nails. "I didn't know you and Ollie were even dating."

"Well, we aren't, really." She smiled sweetly. "It's more of a sex thing."

Fireworks exploded in his brain, so hot he thought his heat vision might go off. "A sex thing," he repeated in a low growl.

"Yeah. You know, like friends with benefits."

Friends with benefits? Seriously? She'd been friends with Clark for years and years, and she had never ever suggested to him that there should be benefits involved, goddamn it.

"Benefits," he repeated, very carefully trying not to spit out the word.

"Benefits." She smiled more sweetly than before.

Gah. Rage exploded inside him. So Chloe would sleep with Ollie, but it had never occurred to her to sleep with him, the guy who'd been her best friend since middle school. And okay, so he wasn't fabulously wealthy and well-dressed, and he'd never been on People's list of the Ten Most Gorgeous Men in America. Still. Why would she pick Ollie instead of him?

He ran back through his thoughts, and realized he'd answered his own question all too well. Hello, genius, you're an ordinary-looking farmer, and Ollie's a rich, handsome celebrity.

Even so, he'd known her a lot longer than Ollie had. Didn't that count for something?

Apparently not, moron.

He told the snide inner voice to shut the fuck up and ground his teeth together. "So you and Ollie came here for... more benefits?"

"Something like that."

"Which still doesn't explain why you're in my bathroom. Get lost on your way to a booty call?"

"Not exactly."

He scowled, because the words friends with benefits were still swirling around in his head and making him very, very angry. "Well, you need to get out," he said, more harshly than he intended. "Lois will be back any minute so we can go down to dinner."

"Actually... she won't."

He blinked. "What?"

"Lois and I..." She sighed, and all the mischief drained out of her expression. She looked at him seriously. "We got to talking last night, and realized we were both coming here with the guys we like, not the guys we love. So..." She shrugged and flashed him the mischievous wide grin that had been so much a part of her when they were younger. "We decided to switch."

He gaped at her. "I don't understand."

"Oh, I think you do." Her grin grew wider. "Drop the towel, Clark."

Read Chapter 2 here.

5 comments:

chloista4ever said...

LOL brilliant LOL yes Clark drop the towel!. ppms!

Tracey L said...

I already love the direction this is going. :3

thepuppeteer said...

Loving this so far <3 Keep writing, Elly!!

DeeDee said...

Drop it! Drop it!! :-D

Now if Escape had gone like this, the ratings would have been through the roof!

Great start, Elly - looking forward to more!

Anonymous said...

I don't read your stories as obsessively as I once used to but I still love them. This is the one place I come to read Chlark stories and I can't thank you enough.
Anyway, I'm supposed to be commenting on the story itself, so thank you for switching things around the way I'd love them to be. I love Clark seeing RED literally at the thought of Ollie benefiting from Chloe's friendship and forwardChloe is perfection. Off to next chapter.

Chlarkstheword from Kryptonsite.