Pairing: Clark/Chloe, also Lois/Ollie
Season 6, "Rage"
Length: Oneshot, 1300 words
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Note: This is my horribly delayed fic for the Chlark Secret Santa. My apologies for the delay, and my gratitude for your understanding. I wanted it to be a little longer, but it just wouldn't cooperate. This is for mariko, who wanted: post-episode/fill-in-the blank, hurt-comfort, a happy ending (I don't mind Chlo-Lo or Clark-Lois friendship, and I love Lollie. Somewhat AU-- Jimmy who? No such character, darn it!
Maybe this time...
-"Chances," Five for Fighting
Lois and Oliver looked so happy together.
Seated at the Kent farmhouse table, Chloe watched her cousin and the billionaire with a touch of envy. Lois was gorgeous, with long dark hair and a spectacular figure, and men always looked at her like she was something special. But no man had ever looked at her quite the way Oliver Queen did.
Chloe, on the other hand... she supposed she was pretty enough, but she was hardly the sort of girl who made men fall in love at a glance. In fact, plenty of men had looked and looked and still never fallen in love with her. Case in point: Clark Kent, currently carrying in steaming dishes of food and putting them on the table. He'd known her since middle school, but he'd never seen her as anything but a friend.
Admittedly, that was partly her fault. Maybe more than partly, really. A month or two before, when the world had seemed to be ending, he'd gone off to battle an alien conqueror, and she'd grabbed him and kissed him.
And he'd kissed her back.
But the next day, when he'd come back from saving the world, she'd backed off, just like she always did. Well, not right away. At first she'd been so shocked at his unexpected appearance, so delighted to see him safe and sound, that she'd run across the room and hugged him. And the first words out of her mouth had been utterly honest: Everything's great now that you're here.
But then she'd backed away emotionally, afraid to tell him what he meant to her. Just as she always did, she wanted to push him away before he could push her away. She could still hear her own voice, high-pitched and artificially cheerful: It's not like I'm expecting us to hook up or anything.
Which had been an idiotic thing to say. Of course she'd wanted to hook up with him. Clark was gorgeous, not to mention a true hero, and she'd loved him almost since the very moment she met him. Hell, if it hadn't been for all the other reporters in the Daily Planet basement, she probably would have just shoved him up against the wall, put her hands all over him, and kissed him again.
But no. She knew she wouldn't have. Because when it came to guys, she was a wimp. And when it came to Clark Kent, she was an absolute coward.
Stupid, she thought. Stupid stupid stupid.
But Clark hadn't exactly tried to change her mind, either. He'd looked a little surprised by her words, maybe even a bit disappointed-- but he hadn't argued about it.
She sighed, knowing that was only an excuse. She'd been the one to end whatever might have been, not him. He'd held her in his arms and gazed at her, expectant, hopeful, almost eager-- and she'd slammed down a door between them.
No, she couldn't blame this one on him.
Clark put a platter of ham down on the table, then walked to the head of the table and stood there, tall and handsome and grown up. He'd changed so much from the short, skinny boy she'd first met in middle school, and yet deep down he was the very same boy, as good and decent and solid as ever.
She looked at him, dressed up for Thanksgiving, wearing a blue button-down shirt and a pair of chinos, his hair more neatly combed than usual. He looked really adorable, she thought. And for about the eight hundredth time since that morning in the Planet, she wished she hadn't opened her big stupid mouth. She wished she'd done things differently.
Her first impulse had been to run across the room and hug him. That had been a good impulse.
If only she'd followed up on it with her second impulse, which had been to grab him and kiss the hell out of him.
Too late now, she thought sadly. That moment was gone, and she could never, ever get it back.
Clark began speaking, and she tried to focus on what he was saying.
"If I could have everyone's attention, please," he said. "I'd like to make a little announcement. Our family has a tradition that goes back way before I was even born... where everyone takes a moment to say what they're most thankful for in their lives. I would just like to say that I'm thankful for my mom and dad... whose faith in me taught me to have faith in myself."
Chloe offered him a sympathetic smile, along with everyone else. Clark had lost his father not too long ago, and everyone knew it hurt him to be the one at the head of the table, in what should be Jonathan Kent's place. At the other end of the table, Martha Kent sniffled, smiling through her tears.
"Also," he said, "I'm thankful for my best friend, Chloe, who supports me in everything I do. I..." He swallowed audibly, then went on. "I really don't know how I could live without her."
His eyes turned to her, and for just a moment she saw everything he felt for her reflected in the green depths. She saw affection, and longing, and a need as deep as her own. She saw hope.
She saw possibilities.
She wanted to offer him a breezy smile, to pass off the moment as nothing important, just as she always did. To fall back on her tired old routine of pretending that there was absolutely nothing between the two of them except friendship. To fall back on a comfortable, safe lie.
But then she remembered what she'd been thinking a moment before. Too late now.
It wasn't too late. Clark was giving her a second opportunity to admit what she felt. He'd put himself and his feelings out in the open, right in front of everyone they knew. He was practically holding his heart out to her on a platter.
The moment wasn't gone forever, after all. This was her chance.
And unless she wanted to spend the rest of her life calling herself stupid stupid stupid, she had to take that chance.
She jumped to her feet and walked rapidly around the table. He was tall and she was short, but she yanked down his head, and he didn't seem to object.
She did what she should have done that morning in the Daily Planet. She grabbed him and kissed the hell out of him.
She planted her lips on his, and he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her back, right there in front of everyone.
Vaguely, she was aware of applause, and Lois hollering, "Get a room, you two!", but she was hardly aware of anything but Clark's mouth on hers, the warm scent of his skin, and the feel of his arms around her. She could have kissed him forever. But eventually she remembered they weren't alone, and she pulled away, blushing, and looked into his eyes.
"What I'm most thankful for," she told him, loud enough for everyone to hear, "is you."
Lois whistled and applauded some more, and Chloe blushed again, and went back to her seat. But after Clark had served everyone, he took her hand and held it in his, with the gentle, firm grip of a man who didn't intend to ever let go. He smiled across the table at her, and spoke very softly, echoing her words back to her.
"Everything's great now that you're here, Chlo."
"Yeah," she said, and smiled back at him. "Everything's great now."