Title: Secret life of Lana Lang
Author: Hollywood Recycle Bin
Pairings: (mainly) Chloe/Lana, Lana/Adam, Chloe/Lionel
Disclaimers: I don't own Smallville
Author's Note: Season 3 (story follows SV timeline)Author's Note: Thank you to my beta reader Chaney. This story is a sequel to 'The Secret Life of Chloe Sullivan'
Feedback Email Address:firstname.lastname@example.org
Like a butterfly flying amongst fresh green leaves in the afternoon sun; the rockstar of the insect world and ruler of all things bright, young and pretty. That was the first thing that came to mind when I saw Chloe Sullivan walking down the school corridors for the first time. It was the start of eighth grade and I remember I was wearing my favourite baby pink sweater and a pair of jeans and sneakers. It felt so plain compared to Chloe’s purple faux fur scarf, rhinestone filled denim jacket, and thin floral patterned skirt over bell bottomed jeans. I remember watching her as she walked past, looking more than a little out of place. I felt my eyes drawn to her in a way that they never were with anyone else.
I volunteered to give her a tour of the school that first day. I remember shaking her soft hand as I introduced myself, “Hi, I’m Lana Lang, welcome to Smallville.” God, I felt like such a geek, staring at her long glittery blue nails as my mind raced. Will she like me? What if she doesn’t? What if she thinks I’m just a hick farm girl from nowheresville who doesn’t know anything? Will she ever want to hang out with me?
I never felt that way about anyone before; a need to impress, to show her that I do know about the real world, that I’m not just a pretty hick. It was strange because I’d never had an issue about growing up in a small town before. Seeing this girl, this big city glamour girl, in front of me just brought out something in me that I’d never realized existed.
It wasn’t that I’d never been to the big city before, either, it’s just... Chloe seemed different somehow. Special. Unique.
At that time, Chloe was... civil, to me. She was always polite and careful, though she seemed a lot more eager to hang out with my next door neighbor, Clark Kent, than me. Her infatuation with him had started since then, just like my infatuation with her.
It wasn’t until the end of the day that she asked me, “So, umm... What do Amish girls do for fun?”
I was completely stunned. Frozen and tongue tied beyond words. Is that what she thinks of me? I thought as I began to panic. Chloe was looking at me expectantly, playing with a strand of her long blond hair, (she cut it before high school). When her expression turned from expectant to concerned I knew I must have stayed silent for too long.
“Um, are you ok? I haven’t said anything that offended you have I?” She asked, and for the life of me I STILL couldn’t find the words to answer her. It was as if my brain and my mouth got disconnected somehow and though my brain was yelling “SAY SOMETHING!” my mouth was still just hanging there, not letting out a single sound.
The blond came to apologize the next day. Apparently Clark had told her that we weren’t Amish and she just assumed that I was so angry at the implication of her words that I couldn’t say anything. We didn’t hang out much after that. Chloe had already made close friends with Clark by then and I had started dating Whitney.
I never stopped watching her, though.
It felt strange to think about it now as I lay in bed, sleepless, with the girl still meters away in the next bed, snoring softly. I hadn’t slept alone in my own bed for months; it felt strange now, not having her bare skin pressed against mine, her warm breath caressing my neck as I slept. This isn’t an arrangement I’m looking forward to adapting to. I guess, like everything else in life, I’m just going to have to deal with it.
It’s not like I could keep her chained to me forever. It might have been me who broke up with her but I wasn’t the one who wanted out of this relationship. Chloe never loved me. How could I have been so stupid? Every Saturday afternoon she said she had to check in at the Daily Planet office and write her article. Sometimes she’d come back early, sometimes she’d stay till night fell. I really don’t know much about journalism but from what I’ve seen you don’t have a schedule to chase stories. Chloe usually writes her articles up at the Torch rather than the Planet anyway. I should have known she was actually sneaking off to spend some quality time with the new and not-so-improved party boy, Clark Kent.
I never would have thought that Chloe would ever settle for anyone so unlike our Clark, but I guess she was just as desperate to be with him as I was to be with her. Beggers can’t be choosers, I should know; I’ve more than been there myself.
Ugh! Girl’s day out. Why do I even bother? God, I can’t believe I agreed to this.
It’s been nearly two months since Chloe and I broke up and so far we’ve done a pretty good job of pretending the other didn’t exist, especially for people who live together, go to school together, and hang out at pretty much all the same places. The arrangement was...painful. It was hard seeing her everyday getting dressed, going to school, ordering an Almond Mocha Frappuccino at the Talon, coming out of the shower with her wet hair sticking to her face and her skin all flushed.
Still, the arrangement was tolerable. I could live with just looking at her from afar and dreaming a dream that would never come true.
I can’t be expected to spend the whole day with her, acting like nothing had ever happened between us. I’m not even sure I can carry out a whole conversation with her without accidentally bringing something up again.
God, I hadn’t talked to her in what felt like centuries and suddenly she came up to me and says, “Hey, let’s go out tomorrow.” And then I just HAD to go and say “yes,” didn’t I? Even though I knew full well that I was going to be feeling like this. God, am I so pathetic that I would do anything just to be around her again? I don’t even like the Smallville fair, it commercializes the meteor shower too much, like all the tragedy that happened that day just became a tourist attraction.
It wasn’t until I looked into the mirror that I realized that I was wearing pink yet again. I’ve been wearing it a lot more than usual lately. I remembered my mother telling me how pretty I looked in pink when I was younger, one of the few memories of my parents that survived through the years. Since the meteor shower I’ve developed this habit of throwing on as much pink as possible when I’m feeling nervous or unsure. It makes me feel closer to them, like they’re there for me, cheering me on. It’s stupid, I know, but I just can’t help it.
I won’t be able to do that today, though. Chloe’s one of the only two people who knows about the pink thing and I can’t let her see what a wreck I am.
“Hey, Lana! You ready yet?” I hear her calling from the other room. No time to change now, I thought as I pulled on a blue blazer over my pink shirt. It’ll just have to do.
Chloe Sullivan is exciting. Even when she’s sitting in front of the computer obsessing over a new story there’s always some new villain, some new meteor mutants, out there that she just has to know about and get her hands on. It’s hard finding a dull moment in her life and it’s hard to be bored with her around. At least that’s the case with me. Even here at the Smallville fair after everything that’s happened between us I’m still excited and am, surprisingly, having a really good time.
“It’s nice to see that smile again,” She said suddenly, her eyes sparkling as she gave me her own smile.
“Yeah, well, it’s nice to see you again,” I replied, before I realized what a mistake that was. Suddenly there was a cloud of tension around us that wasn’t there before, dripping sadness onto that pretty smile.
“You can see me whenever you like, Lana. That’s one of the benefits of living together.”
“I know, but it still hurts sometimes, you know,” I reply, thinking of all the time I spent watching her; seeing her right there next to me but unable to touch. “Sometimes I get the feeling that maybe Clark was right to try and get away from it all. Just leave all this mess behind.”
“I thought we agreed not to mention him,” she said after a moment. There was sadness in her eyes and I knew exactly why. Even though she had Clark all to herself for the three months when he ran away, the moment I went to get him back he dropped her like a brick, not evening mentioning her as we kissed in the flickering neon light of that club.
“Sorry,” I say with a forced smile.
“Hey look, there’s Seth at one of stands!” Chloe abruptly changed the subject. “Come on, let’s see if he’ll sneak you a prize or something.”
And before I knew it I was being dragged away by a seemingly happy blond girl again like I have been all day.
Chloe’s always getting herself in trouble. Not the way I do with people coming after me, no; she actually goes and seeks them all out and gets herself in a jam. If she can’t save herself, Clark Kent’s always there to help just in time. I hate that about him. Not about the saving Chloe’s life thing, but I just wish she didn’t need him so much. That I didn’t need him so much. I know karate and can kick ass as much as the next regular person, but we’re never really up against regular people, are we? Clark, well I guess he’s something else as well, no matter how much he tries to hide it.
Chloe’s been acting very strange lately, secretive, more so than usual. Sneaking off in the middle of the night and whispering into her cell phone in hidden corner, hiding records all over the house. I wondered what she’d gotten herself into this time.
I discovered that she wasn’t the only one involved when I got a phone call from Clark one night asking me to meet him in the stables.
“I got your message. I brought the food. Now tell me what I'm doing here in the middle of the night,” I said to him before I turned to look upon the crouching form hidden in the shadows. His eyes were vacant as they stared at dirt covered hands. He looked battered.
A twinge of sympathy touched me as I stared at his broken form, my anger for Clark melting away. No one should ever have to see someone they love like this.
At least it’s chemically induced, and not something permanent, Clark had told me.
“What exactly are we mixed up in?” I asked, wondering if I’d get a straight answer out of him for once. I didn’t.
“I need you to stay with him,” Clark said. “I've got to get some evidence to Chloe that may prove that he's being drugged. She couldn't come here because we think she's being watched.”
So she is involved in this. No wonder she’s so secretive. I wish she’d come to me about it, we may not be together anymore but she should know that I care more about her than anyone in this god-forsaken town. She probably does, but like every single person here, she wants to protect me. Everyone wants to protect me. God, I’m so sick of that.
“Don’t worry, Lana,” Lex said, breaking me out of my thoughts. There was a glint in his sharp blue eyes, one that told me that the Lex Luthor I knew was still in there. “I’ll tell you everything,” he said with determination.
I gave him a soft smile. Maybe not everyone in this town is trying to protect me from everything after all.
It was the last thing I remembered before waking up in a hospital bed. Lex though I was trying to poison him and there was yelling. Then I remember falling on the harsh dirt ground before feeling heavy hooves on my legs and excruciating pain, over and over again. Then nothing.
The memory of it was blurry; I guess I passed out from the pain since I didn’t seem to have hit my head anywhere. The doctor said I nearly died and I should be thankful I survived, yet again. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a curse; to always survive. I seem to be getting into near death situations a lot, yet I never die, even if the people I love do over and over again. Maybe I’m secretly immortal. Too bad I’m not invincible as well. Then I wouldn’t be in so much pain.
The doctor said I might never walk again. I was distraught, but a small part of me was actually quite thankful. Maybe I won’t walk myself into trouble ever again. And maybe all those people who thought I was “perfect” will see that I’m not anymore. All those crazy stalkers going away is nearly worth everyone treating me like a glass sculpture. More so than they usually do, I mean.
The next time I woke up at the hospital Clark was there, all concerned and nervous and awkward. I told him to stay away from me, using his own excuse of himself being too dangerous to be around. I tried to be gentle about it but I still felt horrible for it because I knew the real reason why. Danger had nothing to do with it. That was something I’d been wanting to do since Chloe and I broke up. I mean, I know it’s not his fault, he didn’t know Chloe and I were together but still... Who would want to spend that much time with someone whom the love of you life (at least the life you’ve had so far) was cheating on you with, and whom she loved more than you? That is if she ever loved you at all to begin with.
Still, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to pull away from Clark, one that will last longer than the usual ‘tell me your secret’ thing I’ve been doing for over a year. To be honest I don’t really think I have the right to know. I mean, it’s his secret to tell and it’s not like I’m his girlfriend or anything, god forbid. I still regret that decision to get together with him last year, I didn’t know who I was fooling but it certainly wasn’t myself. I know where my heart truly lies.
I may not be interested in Clark romantically but he’s always been a great friend. It was kind of lonely without him around. For someone everyone seems to love in this town, I actually have very few real friends. Maybe the fact that no one really knows me is why they love me so much. If they all knew the real me the way Chloe does then they probably wouldn’t, just like Chloe doesn’t.
I guess sometimes it’s better to keep them all away.
“No one's ever honest with girls like you. I bet you have a boyfriend that's always protecting you, right?” The stranger had said in a cool and confident voice with a knowing smirk.
“Girl’s like me.” How dare he make that assumption? He has no idea who I am, what I’ve gone through. Nobody ever does, even if he is half right. Sort of.
I tried not to say anything even if my mind was swearing at him at a thousand words per second. I don’t know why I couldn’t just tell him to fuck off like I wanted to. Habit, I guess.
I remained silent even as he walked away, and cursed at myself for my own weakness.
His words stung every time they repeated in my mind, as they had been doing for the past few days. I haven’t said a thing to the stranger since that day, only changed the dates of my physical therapy. I didn’t think I could stand to see his face again.
And of course it’s just my luck that I did run into him again. Well, him into me more precisely. It went better this time. He was trying to be nice. He even apologised to me.
I decided to be honest with him; it was only fair since he was so honest with me. I told him how scared I was of going back out there. Seeing Clark’s hurt face again, knowing that I’m the one that caused it. Seeing Chloe smile at him again, knowing that she’ll never smile at me that way. Seeing the fear in her eyes, knowing that she’d gotten herself into some really deep shit and there’s absolutely nothing in the world I can do about it because I’m too weak to help.
I didn’t really tell him all of that. Just that I’m scared. That’s enough honesty for one day.
Adam Knight. That was the name of the cruel stranger; though for someone named Knight he wasn’t exactly a knight in shining armour. Which is actually pretty good, I don’t need another hero in my life to make me feel weaker than I already do. And who knows? Maybe more exposure to this guy will make me stronger. I already was after a single meeting.
I had to stop by Lex’s today. Apparently he had my medical bills completely covered. I wanted to go over there and thank him, especially since I hadn’t gotten the chance to go visit him yet since the incident. I know he blames himself for it even if I don’t. Oh well, at least he had Clark with him. I still feel kinda bad about pushing Clark away but at least it got him to be where he was really needed rather than with me, even if Lex can’t remember a thing about it. It’s usually the thought that counts, after all.
“I'm sorry I couldn't be there during your rehabilitation, but I'm sure Clark was more than able to pick up the slack,” Lex said smoothly, leaving the large invisible question mark in the air. I saw both the implication and the real question there. He wanted it to seem like he was helping me, wanting me and Clark to get together somehow, like the good friend he was. But the small glint in his eyes gave him away. He wanted to see who Clark was worried about more.
“I told him not to,” I said with honesty.
I gave him a weak smile and elaborated. “I didn’t need him there, Lex. Not like you do.”
There was an eternity of silence before Lex started to open his mouth. I cut him off.
“I know how you feel about him, Lex,” I blurted out before I could back out. The surprise in Lex’s blue eyes had cracked the mask of calm on his face just a bit. “I know you’re in love with him.”
He grimaced and suddenly I could see his guards were all back up again, this time with a few machine guns placed at the top. His eyes betrayed nothing as he sharpened his slightly mocking smile. “And what makes you say that?” He asked.
“The way you look at him.”
“And how do I look at him when I look at him, Lana?”
“Like he’s the most beautiful and amazing creature you have ever seen in your life, and you want to give him everything he’s ever wanted in the world, even though you know you can’t.”
I looked into his eyes and saw straight into his soul then, just like I know he saw into mine. In that long silent moment I found something I’d been longing for, for even longer than I’ve longed for Chloe. Someone who understands. Someone I can talk to.
Lex flashed me a bright smile then. Not one as bright as Chloe’s but it was still very beautiful.
“I never knew I was that cheesy,” he said playfully and I knew I’d just found my new best friend.
I never told Adam about Chloe. Better to let him think it was Clark with whom I had a bad break up, which was sort of true I guess. It’s just easier this way. I didn’t lie to him about Clark exactly, just let him assume certain things. A few true but misleading sentences like, “We’re just friends,” “we’ve got a lot of history,” “Clark doesn’t know what he wants,” and “whatever there was between us, it’s gone” and such were used. I thought about telling him everything but I guess it was just too soon to trust someone again. I know it’s wrong to mislead someone like this but hey, just because everyone thinks I’m this perfect little angel doesn’t mean I have to be.
Other than the awkward conversation in which Adam probably established Clark as his number one rival, things were going great. Adam was so different from anyone I’d ever been with. He’s never seen the picture of the fairy princess on the cover of Times magazine, hasn’t had the Smallville etiquette (i.e., be nice to the fairy princess or she’ll break down and cry) drummed into him through years of exposure, and doesn’t seem to really care what anyone here thinks of him. That made it much easier to really relax around him. It was so refreshing to be with someone that so honest about how they felt in this very secretive little town. So nice to meet someone who’s not nice to you just because they’re taught to or who believes you’re perfect. They genuinely like you despite all of your flaws, which they accept and verbalise to your face rather than ignore or complain about behind your back.
I was having so much fun with Adam I didn’t even try to sneak a look at Chloe. Not as much as usual anyway.
Adam saved Chloe’s life today. Saved her from me. Shocking isn’t it?
I don’t remember anything that happened, only that I was getting my history book and then I woke up on the floor of the girl’s locker room. I had a small throbbing in my head and Chloe and Adam were watching me like I was growing a second head. Apparently I went after Chloe with an axe, though for the life of me I don’t know how I could have or why. I may be hurt by what Chloe did but I would never want to hurt her, ever. I mean it’s not like I could ever blame her for sleeping with Clark behind my back. He’s everything she had ever wanted after all, even if he wasn’t himself. I’m actually grateful she didn’t just drop me the moment she had him, like Clark did to her with me a few years back. I guess she probably thought I’d break if I knew so she stayed with me out of pity. I hate to think about that, but still, at least she cared enough to stay with me even after she got what she wanted. Or very close to what she wanted.
Clark Kent doesn’t deserve someone that amazing.
Maybe a part of me did want to hurt Chloe. Maybe. I mean, it’s not like I wasn’t angry at her for what she did. Maybe logically and consciously I was ok with it, I knew her reasons and understood why she did what she did. But maybe subconsciously I never let go of my anger. Maybe I did finally crack and went after the one person I care about the most, love the most.
Maybe they should just lock me away in Belle Reeve. That way I could never hurt Chloe ever again.
“Hey,” a familiar voice said, stopping my train of thought. I looked up to Chloe’s concerned face through the steel bars of my cell.
“Oh my god, Chloe!” I cried before rushing over to her, my hand automatically going to the cut on her head. “What have I done to you?” I reached out to touch her face but hesitated. What if I blank out and hurt her again?
“Nothing worse than what Clark did last night,” she replied. Before I could ask her what she meant she cut me off. “We’ll talk about it later. Don’t worry, Lana, you didn’t succeed on your mission,” she said with a tired smile before letting the police officer open the cell door.
“You’re free to go,” he told me.
“Chloe, what…? How did you…?”
“If I tell you I might have to kill you,” she said before pulling me into her arms and giving me a hug. My arms held into the familiar body tightly, she smelled just like she always does; like coffee and lavender with just a hint of ink. The unique Chloe smell I never thought I could live without. God, I haven’t touched her in so long, she feels so amazing. I can’t believe I didn’t die from Chloe deprivation before. It’s so easy to get lost in this warmth, this smell, this body. I wish I never have to leave it.
Reality started again the moment the embrace ended and all the questions and worries came crashing back in. I stayed quiet as we left the police station. I knew I’d get answers soon enough.
That’s what happened. Apparently some psycho’s been sending emails that send subliminal messages to kill Chloe because she was doing an expose on a Summerholt Neurological Institute for its mistreatment of patients.
Just another day in Smallville.
Oh, well, at least it wasn’t me going after Chloe due to my screwed up sub consciousness or anything. I still have no idea how Chloe got me out but I guess I could not look a gift horse in the mouth every once in a while.
As for school, well, the rumour mill going that fast can sometimes work to your advantage. By the time the whole school knew, the story had been that I had chopped off Chloe’s leg, threw acid on her beautiful face, and tried to burn her with a blow torch because she was trying to steal Adam away from me or something equally ridiculous. When Chloe got back, limps completely attached, face still amazingly gorgeous, and no burn marks anywhere, the rumours sort of died down and got replaced by something else. There were always things like this going on in Smallville anyway.
And Adam; all those little stunts he pulled with the martial arts and computer hacking that he didn’t know how he pulled, he said he doesn’t know how he did them. “There are patches of my life that I just can't piece back together,” he had said. I guess something must have happened to him, something really traumatic and maybe he really doesn’t remember. I can’t blame him for that, even if I don’t really trust him yet. Ironic to think that as guarded as he is he’s still probably more honest to me than most people I know.
Either way I’m not ready for him to leave. Things have been so great between us despite the occasional hiccups. Though I know I’m not over Chloe yet, I want him to be here with me. When he’s with me I don’t think about Chloe anymore, and maybe if he stuck around longer, I wouldn’t think about her ever again.
I offered him the apartment above the Talon. He accepted. I can only hope this is a beginning to something great, something true. For once.
Lex and I have been spending an increasing amount of time together over the past few weeks since I told him the full truth about what happened between me and Chloe. He in turn told me the same about him and Clark. Apparently they’d been having sex for the past two years and Lex was completely head over heels, but Clark didn’t exactly feel the same. He was still insistent that he loved me the most and that he and Lex were just friends with benefits and nothing more. I told Lex that Clark was just in denial land. I’ve seen the way he looks at Lex when he thinks no one’s watching.
Lex said he was worried about me. He’d gotten the invoice for fixing all the furniture Adam broke during his increasingly violent nightmares. I told him having Adam around was worth it.
“When you’re on the rebound it’s easy to let your emotions outweigh your common sense,” he said, with a look in his eyes that spoke of experience. “Look, it's your call. But at the very least, you should be asking yourself, how much do you really know about your new friend?”
Lex said he’d look into it for me. I told him not to bother. If Adam wasn’t ready then violating his privacy wasn’t going to help. Knowing Lex he probably went ahead and did it anyway, no matter what I said. He’s very protective that way, and with good reason too. He has even less friends than I do.
The first person who came to me with the low-down on Adam wasn’t Lex, though. It was Chloe.
It was rush hour at the Talon when she came over, I had just gotten Lex’s words out of my head when she came in and brought them back again.
“I'm having one of those ‘it sucks to be a reporter’ days,” she started. There was a concerned look in her eyes. “I know you and Adam have been spending a lot of time together, but...”
“Chloe, just spit it out,” I said, tired of the invisible “fragile” sticker that must have been stuck to my head. I can’t believe after all we’ve been through we’ve come back to that again.
“I saw Adam at school during lunch break today,” Chloe started nervously. “Found him using this in the old computer lab.”
She pulled out a plastic bag. In it laid a used blue syringe.
“I don’t know what that is yet but I’m gonna find out. Either way Lana, I think you should be careful,” she said before stuffing the bag back into her purse and walking out.
“Chloe wait,” I called out just before she could leave. She turned back round to face me; there was something in her eyes, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
“Thanks for telling me.”
“No problem, what are friends for?” She smiled. It was starting to get awkward, but I still had to ask her.
“Chloe, what were you doing in the old computer lab in the middle of lunch break?”
“Oh, I was, err, looking for some ink. The printer at the Talon broke and the supply closet was locked and I needed some stuff printed out.” Chloe gave me another quick, nervous smile before walking out.
And here I thought Clark was the worst liar ever. Chloe always had spare ink in the second drawer at her desk in the Torch office. Loads of them even.
Last year Chloe had proven herself to be a very jealous person, especially concerning Clark. It had always been one of the few things I really hated about her, how jealous she was that Clark always had his eyes on me instead of her. I’d never thought I’d like that quality in her until she revealed to me that she had been spying on Adam, giving me the dream that she was actually jealous of me and him.
Of course a dream is just a dream, as I found out when I discovered another piece of information about Adam, just a while after Lex cleared him for the syringes.
It was an article from a newspaper from a school in Tulsa. There on the flimsy thin paper it stated the death of a very talented student by the name of Chad Nash He was 17, valedictorian, in the computer club, karate club, and orchestra. Right next to it was a picture of none other than my potential boyfriend, Adam Knight.
It was lying there on my bedside table when I got back to my room. I have reason to believe it was Chloe who left that for me, we do live together.
I sat myself down in front of Chloe’s computer and Googled Chad Nash.
“Please promise me you won’t tell anyone about this, Lana, please. My life could depend on it!” He said to me after I showed the news clipping to him. He didn’t even explain anything about it, he practically threatened me into keeping quite. Didn’t even explain why he was crying out blood.
I think I may win the ‘Worst Luck with Men’ award, or at least get a nomination.
I’m so glad I didn’t tell him I found it on my desk rather than found it on my own. He might have actually gone after whoever it was that revealed his secret to me. I couldn’t bare the thought of him going after Chloe because of me.
Anyway, that’s why I’m going through his stuff. I’m looking for some sort of explanation, anything that might be a clue to explain what’s going on here. I stopped when I saw a notebook taped to the underside of a shelf. It’s a journal. Hopefully I’d find something helpful in it.
Oh my god! Not again. Why does everything in this goddamn world seem to involve Clark somehow? Is he the secret center of the universe or something?
“Lana? What are you doing?”
Oh damn! Caught. I really should get Chloe to teach me some of her breaking and entering skills. I decide to take the offensive strategy and read him the entries of himself spying on me and Clark.
“You threatened me, and now I find out you've been keeping tabs on me? I want you to leave.”
The man I never knew gave me a smug look.
“I guess you haven't checked tenant laws. It's not that easy to evict someone. I’m not going anywhere.”
I’m gonna die today. I know it, I just know it. I cheated death so many times and it’s finally coming to get me in its weird, Smallvillian way. With a phone call from myself, telling me (and Clark and Chloe) that tonight Adam would come at me with a shotgun, in the rain, while the Vipers were winning, and kill me.
I should have moved away when I had the chance, maybe then I’d at least have the chance of having a normal death.
Right now both Clark and Chloe are running around, doing whatever they can to stop it from happening. They told me that it’d be better off for me, the damsel in distress, to go and hide. They didn’t say exactly where.
I guess staying in Adam’s old room might be considered hiding. I mean, everyone’s out looking for him, no one’s expecting him to come back here and no one knows I’m in here either so it sort of works.
It doesn’t feel that way though. It feels more like I’m waiting for him; waiting for him to come back. The place still smells like him, I can feel him in every part of it, still here, lingering in the now empty room.
I sat myself down on his bed, taking it all in. I’m going to die. The man who used to live in this room, a man I thought I liked very much, is going to kill me.
They say when you’re about to die your life flashes before your eyes, but I guess that only happens when it’s sudden, and that’s happened to me more times than I could count. It’s different when you have more time to think about it, about your life, about death, about what comes after, the people you love, the people you don’t want to lose.
The people who have responsibilities and time try to make plans for when they’re gone. Some try to do what they’ve always wanted to do but didn’t get to before, but I guess most people try to spend as much time with the person or people they love as much as possible before they go. Well, the ones who aren’t spending all their time and resources on trying to get out of dying that is.
I went for the third option.
I picked up my cell phone, speed dial 2, Chloe Sullivan.
“Hey, Lana, I was just about to call you, where are you?”
She went silent for a minute. I could feel her tensing up over the phone.
“Lana, what are you doing there? He still has a key and there’s no one guarding the back door.”
“Then what thehell are you doing there?” She sounded angry. I didn’t know what to say. I heard an exasperated sigh before she finally hung up.
And I sat there, waiting.
“What the hell are you thinking, Lana? Are you insane?!” She yelled the moment I opened the door. Her face was red and the outrage was evident in her eyes, I could see a hint of fear in there, too. Chloe has never been one for hiding her emotions.
“I was waiting,” I said simply as I shut the door behind her. It was the backdoor, meaning that no one in the Talon knew that she was there.
“Waiting?! What do you mean waiting?” The pitch of her voice heightened, the desperation in them louder than anything I’d ever heard before. There were tears in her eyes as she took my face in her hands.
“Lana, please, don’t do this to yourself. We’re gonna get through this, Lana. We’re gonna be fine, I am NOT going to let him get you!”
“Thanks,” I say calmly as I looked into her. “But I was actually going to say that I was waiting for you.”
Before she had the chance to reply my lips were on hers, taking in the familiar taste of cotton candy lip balm. It was just as soft as I’d remembered it. Just as sweet, just as intoxicating.
We were naked on Adam’s bed before we even realized it. Her skin was all over me, her smell; I missed it so much. I clung to her like a drowning person holding onto a raft. I traced the freckles on her skin with my tongue. She moaned and rubbed her body against mine. I thought there was nothing in the world more right than the moment we were sharing together. I relished in the feel of her slick, wet heat around my fingers as I thrust them into her, and hers into mine; my face pressed against her soft, round breasts.
We came seconds after each other with our bodies pressed so close I couldn’t tell where I ended and she began.
There’s a strange thrill one gets when one is making out in someone else’s place. And it feels even better when it’s make up sex.
Not to mention the fact that it is totally and completely wrong to do anything with someone in the bathroom of the home of a guy who’s in love with you, with his parents just a few rooms away.
Still, I couldn’t help it, these could be my last moments on Earth and I wanted to spend as many of them with her as possible.
I let go of her swollen lips to let her breathe. My hand was still kneading her breasts as I took a moment to just look at her and feel her; to memorize the exact color of her eyes, how they half closed in ecstasy, how her breasts moved against my hands, the texture of her nipples when they harden, the shape of her lips when she moans, the smoothness of her ass as I cup it, the feel of her legs when she spreads them for me. There will never be a sight more beautiful than Chloe Sullivan in the heat of passion. I don’t know how I got so lucky; to be able to see her like this, touch her like this.
Beauty like this need to be worshipped. So I kneeled down on the cold tile floor in front of her.
“Lana, we can’t go far, the Kents are outsi- Oh god!”
Her taste; her smell, I wanted her so much, I wanted to have her all to myself, I don’t care if she still has feelings for Clark, she’s mine now, here, at this moment.
Knock, knock. “Chloe? Lana? Is everything ok in there?”
I didn’t stop.
Chloe bit her lips to keep from moaning as my tongue played with her clit. Then, a little breathlessly, she said, “We’re fine Mrs. Kent.”
“Are you sure? I thought I heard something.”
“Oh!” The sound of pleasure escaped her lips again. I could almost feel the wheels in her head trying to spin up something that sounded plausible through the haze of pleasure that had taken over her. I considered stopping, but at some point her hands had moved up and were now holding my head in place against her crotch like she’d die if I stopped.
Finally after what seemed like forever but must have been seconds, I heard Chloe say, “Yes! We’re fine Mrs. Kent. Lana’s just very (gasp) emotional, right now. She needs to be alone. With me. Alone with me (breathes), she’s my best friend. She’s most comfortable with me (breathes). Most open (gasp) talking to me.”
She so close, so very close, I can feel it my lips and on my tongue; just a little bit more and she’ll go over the edge.
“Oh, well honey, we’re all doing whatever we can to stop this, but well, I can’t imagine how Lana must be feeling right now. I still don’t think it’s a good idea to handle this emotionally all by yourselves. It’s a lot to take in and I know it’s hard, but maybe opening up more could help. I’m not pushing you to talk to me, but well, I don’t think locking yourselves into our bathroom is a good idea either.”
Mrs. Kent’s voice was fading away more and more as Chloe’s body tensed, her legs wrapped tight around me, her hold on my head became an iron grip as the hot flesh beneath my tongue tightened and quivered. And then she came, flooding my mouth with her pleasure, and I lapped it all up. My eyes moved up to her. Bright green eyes half closed, breathless, lips parted just a little, skin slightly damp with sweat, hair sticking at odd angles, a look of pure bliss on her face; god, she was beautiful.
And then it was over and I wiped my hand over my face.
“I guess you’re right Mrs. Kent; hiding away isn’t the best solution. Just give us a few more minutes and we’ll be right out.”
I sat silently watching the raindrops splat against the window; they looked almost like they were trying to break in. It was starting to get cold, but Mrs. Kent’s sweater was helping a little, as was the black coffee Mr. Kent made me.
With Chloe gone to the Torch, and Mr. Kent not quite knowing what to say, my mind was left to wonder at the thoughts I left behind the moment I saw Chloe. Death.
I wonder what will happen once I’m gone. How long would Chloe grieve for me? Would she do that at all? Maybe she’ll be too busy consoling Clark and getting him to give up my ghost so she can have him all to her self again. I mean, she only did it with me as a sort of ‘you’re gonna die’ thing, it’s not like we’ll be together after this thing’s over if I do survive. I wonder what kind of flowers she’ll put on my grave. Maybe she won’t at all. I wonder if she’ll cry, and if she does, what kind of tears will they be? Tears of loss? Pity? Love?
And what about Clark? Would he ever move on from this? Knowing him he’d probably blame himself if he failed to save me, though without him I’d be dead ages ago. Clark always feels responsible for things, everything really, even things outside of his control. Even when I bring up my parents’ death he would have that look on his face, the guilty look, like that too was his fault. Kind of ridiculous, really, but Clark can be that way sometimes. I think I’ll miss him, as well. He’s a good guy and a good friend, despite everything.
And Lex; a man I’ve only really just come to know very well. He’s one of the closest friends I have. I didn’t even get a chance to drop by and see him today. Everyone had wanted me to lay low and I don’t think anyone’s told him what’s going on with me yet. Maybe I should give him a call.
“LANA! I know you’re in there!”
I turned to look out the window. Adam. But not the Adam I used to see everyday at the Talon, no, this one had yellow skin, really yellow, and there were strange purple bruises all over him. He looked like something out of a horror movie. Not like a zombie though, his eyes weren’t glazed enough, there were still clear, focused. I could tell he was scared; desperate.
Worst of all, he had Chloe.
“Come out, Lana, or I’ll kill your little blond friend here.”
He pointed the shot gun at Chloe. Mr. Kent’s shot gun.
My heart was pounding so loudly in my chest. I took a deep breath before I walked out.
“Don’t hurt her!” I shouted as I got out.
“Give me what I want and I won’t.”
“What do you want?”
“My stuff! What did you do with my stuff?”
Somehow I didn’t think that was all he wanted. Must be something else hidden within his stuff that he wants.
“Walcott Storage Facility,” I replied shortly.
“Well, then that’s where we’re going,” he said before hitting Chloe on the head with the shotgun. Her body fell to the floor, unconscious.
“You bastard!” I ran to him but he grabbed me before I could punch him. So much for the self defense lessons.
“Down Lana, it was either that or we take her with us at gun point.” His mouth was pressed against my ears, his strong arms were gripped tightly around my body even as I struggled. I elbowed him in the stomach and stepped away. He pointed the gun at me. “Don’t even think about doing anything stupid.”
I didn’t. Just something sentimental. I think I’m entitled to that since it looks like I’m going to be dead before tonight is over.
Very slowly I bent down onto the floor next to Chloe and gave her Mrs. Kent’s jacket as a pillow. Her face was really pale and she was soaking wet. I hope she doesn’t catch a cold after all this.
“I love you, Chloe. Goodbye,” I said before giving her a soft kiss on the lips. I hope it won’t be the last one but well...
When I got up again Adam was giving me this look. It was somewhere between understanding and intrigue.
“Well, that explains a lot,” he said before forcing me into the truck.
I never knew shotguns were so heavy. In the movies they always seem so light, and they make aiming seem so easy. It really wasn’t. Well, maybe it was, I wasn’t sure, everything was happening so quickly. I panicked and he grabbed me and the gun dropped from my hands so I grabbed the cell phone instead. And now Adam’s shooting at me with that damn gun and I can hardly hear Clark over the phone.
“Clark! Help me please!” I yelled at the phone, hoping for a miracle... or more specifically a Clark-Miracle.
“Lana, where are you?”
“Walcott Storage Facility!” I yelled. That guy always manages to save the day. Oh my god, please let this be one of those days. I don’t want to die due to bad signals. I’ve only just kind of got back with Chloe.
“I can’t hear you, Lana!”
“I said, ‘Walcott Storage Facility!’” I yelled again, just seconds before I heard two loud bangs. Then, in that moment, time seemed to have slowed down. I could feel my body falling to the ground. A million thoughts flashed through my head. Happy moments, bad days, things I regret, things I love, things I hoped for, things I’ll miss, my parents, my Chloe. I didn’t feel any pain, not like I thought I would; just this feeling of endlessly falling down.
And then I was on the floor, and it hurt. Not badly, just enough to let me know that I was still here, still alive. Still breathing.
“Lana! Are you ok?”
I turned around to the familiar voice. Of course, Clark; he saved the day again. He helped me up and held me in his warm muscular arms, making sure I was really still here no doubt.
“Lana!” I heard another voice called. A prettier one this time. I turned around to see Chloe, still pale and soaking wet with a large bump on her head. She came towards me and I stepped away from Clark.
“You’re alright! Clark wasn’t too late. I was so worried,” She said through her panting before her arms wrapped themselves around me. She felt so cold and her arms felt so small compared to Clark, but she held onto me tighter, so much tighter.
I felt something press against my back, so I pulled away and looked at what it was.
“Chloe, where did you get this pistol?”
“Nowhere,” She replied. There was something flashing in her eyes, telling me not to ask further.
That’s when I finally turned to see Adam. He was lying on the floor; bleeding blood that I’m sure was already rotting away. I went over to him and saw that Chloe had shot him through the side. But he was breathing his last breathes even before that.
“I guess I’ll be taking everyone’s secrets to the grave with me after all,” he said with a strange sort of self-mocking smile. “Goodbye, Lana.”
And then he was gone, and even though I’d liked him before, I breathed a sigh of relief.
He was gone, but I’m still here. And so is Chloe. Hopefully we’ll be able to be here together; at least for a while.
“So...” I started, breaking the silence that had built up on the ride home and all the way up the steps to the room we shared together. Chloe looked at me and smiled before grabbing me into another hug.
“I was so scared of loosing you, Lana,” Her voice sounded a bit broken, like she was going to burst into tears again. When she let go I saw the tears running down her face. I wiped them away with my fingers and realized that she was still shaking and her skin felt like ice.
“I’m so sorry about what happened between us,” she started. “I never wanted things to end the way that they did. These past months, living with you, not being able to be with you, seeing you flirt with Adam all the time,” there was a look of pain on her face. “And then this thing with the phone call of you dying, I just got so scared; I don’t want to loose you. I can’t loose you, Lana. I want you here with me”
My face was in her soggy hair as she cried into Mrs. Kent’s equally wet sweater. The smell of rain was all over her, and we were both freezing but in that moment I knew, I’d never be any happier.
Chloe wanted me. Wanted to be with me. After all these years of pining, she said it; she wants me to be with her. She can’t loose me.
She never will. Not if I can help it.
I think that word describes her best, not because she was cheerful and happy all the time cause she isn’t, no one in the world is (though she does seem to shine when she’s happy) but more because there’s this intensity about her, this energy. It’s bright and it’s powerful and so very exhilarating.
She’s also always warm. Ever since that night when we got back together, it was like all the cold left her, like after we got back together all the cold went away and never came back. It’s a silly idea, that I could banish the cold away from Chloe just by being with her, but still, it’s nice to think about.
We spend most of our time together now. At school, at home, at the Talon, I even kept finding excuses to go see her at the Torch. I miss her all the time I’m not with her, which really isn’t anything new cause I missed her all the time when we weren’t together too. But it’s different now, it’s good missing her; it’s happy and mushy and would make quite a few people throw up kind of missing her, not sad, pathetic, pining girl she doesn’t want kind of missing her. It’s definitely a step up, even if she’s never told anyone about us. She doesn’t have to, because I know she wants me. Chloe Sullivan wants me. Chloe Sullivan who always knows what she wants has me up there on her list, along with becoming a reporter at the Daily Planet and getting a Pulitzer. I might not be that high up on the list but at least I’m there. She wants me in her life; wants me for more than just sex; wants to be with me. She knows me more than anyone else and still she wants me. I’ve never been so happy in my life.
And if she gives those wanting looks to Clark, too... I didn’t notice them.
“So, am I officially your girlfriend now?” I asked her one day. Just out of curiosity. The previous round of our relationship hadn’t been one that was defined at all, and yeah, I guess considering how it was back then it was better off that way. Better have it be an undefined thing that happens rather than something like a sex buddy or pity sex or a one night stand that repeats itself or something like that. It just doesn’t sound right, it’s sounds crude and dirty and I guess what we had back then was, but still, I hate the sound of it.
“Is it official if it’s still a secret?” Chloe replied from the other side of the bath tub, there was bubble in her hair and her skin was glowing with post orgasmic bliss.
“It could be official to the parties involved,” I replied as I rubbed my legs against hers. The tub was hardly big enough for the both of us but it didn’t seem to matter.
Chloe thought about it for a few seconds.
“Ok, sure, you could secretly be my official girlfriend,” she said, and then there was a mischievous glint in her eyes. “But what would you do for that title?” She said with exaggerated eyebrow movement.
“Pervert,” I muttered teasingly before splashing her face with bubbled water. Chloe pulled me on top of her and gave me a soapy kiss.
“I assume things are going well between you and Chloe now that Adam’s out of the picture,” Lex said with his usual cool smile, “I’ve never seen you so happy before”
“Yeah, well, Adam struck a cord in her, made her a little jealous; made her realize certain things. And now I’m her girlfriend, so I’m perfectly happy.”
Lex gave a doubtful look for a moment, a small fraction of a moment, before glazing over it with a smile. It was a long enough moment for me to know he’s not telling me something.
“Lex, what is it?”
“What’s what, Lana?”
“What is it that you’re not telling me?”
“I can assure you, Lana, there’s-“
“No! Lex, please. Don’t lie to me,” I said, looking into his steel blue eyes. “When I became friends with you, you were the only one that didn’t coddle me. You told me exactly what was going on and didn’t treat me like a china doll. Please don’t change that now. Whatever’s going on, please don’t let me lose that from you.”
Lex gave a heavy sigh. He was gonna tell me everything.
“Oh, Mister Luthor!”
Not Lionel. She doesn’t call him Lionel. Not even as his hands gripped her ass and pulled her down onto his dick; over and over again. They both glistened with sweat, even in the coldness of the “War Room;” a sign that they’d been doing this for a while now.
The room didn’t smell like sex when Lex opened the door; not like I imagined it would be, walking in on someone having a tawdry affair. The furniture wasn’t out of place, the room didn’t look like a hurricane just went past it. In fact, everything was tidy. Everything looked like it was where it was supposed to be. Everything except Chloe.
I didn’t see her at first when the door was open just a peek. I just heard the familiar moans, ones I’d heard many times before. I knew right then what I was walking in on. Somehow I’d always expected this scene, Chloe cheating on me with someone else, never like this though. In my head it’s always been a barn, the smell of hay all around, Chloe’s naked body writhing beneath solid golden muscles. Or maybe in the Torch office, on a table, plaid shirt thrown on the floor along with all the papers swiped off the desk in the heat of the moment. Never in a million years would I ever picture her with him, not with him. Not with the town’s boogieman, not with the man that’s hurt Lex, hurt this town so much, a man I only knew by reputation but was now seething with hatred for. Lionel Luthor, who corrupts and destroys everything he touches, now had his hands all over my Chloe. Or maybe not my Chloe, never my Chloe, never has been.
Another thing suddenly clicked in my head then. The Daily Planet, giving a column to a teenage girl, all those late nights at the office, and I didn’t even question it, didn’t question it because Chloe was brilliant at everything she puts her mind to. She was a rising star who worked hard to get whatever she wanted. Lex had told me once Lionel has some pull at the Planet... I guess Chloe is always willing to do anything to get what she wants, just not in the way I thought she would. I guess I didn’t really know her at all. I guess nobody really did.
I stood there watching them for a few quiet seconds before shutting the door and walking away. They didn’t even notice I was there and I didn’t have the strength to stop them right now.
I have no more words to describe her.
Clearly I never knew her the way I thought I did and the only words I can think of right now, I don’t want to use. They’re too crude, and maybe too harsh. After all, Chloe’s only human and everyone knows humans make mistakes, do stupid horrible things sometimes, and that doesn’t always make them a bad person... I just always thought Chloe was above that sort of thing somehow. Not above mistakes but above that, above Lionel Luthor. Maybe I’m just too naive.
Chloe knew something was wrong, probably easy to tell since I haven’t looked her directly in eyes for weeks, not that either of us are saying anything. Communication has never been our strong suit. No, fake smiles have always been more my thing and Chloe seems to be picking it up too. I guess couples do start to act alike after a while.
I still let her touch me, though, night after night. Somehow the image of her and Lionel together doesn’t come up when we’re together like that, even though it fills my head every other time we’re together. Talking, having breakfast, taking away all the little comfortable moments we had started to have when we got back together, little moments that used to tell me that she’s really with me, that she really wants me, that she’s really mine. I don’t know how much longer I can take this. It’s like one little moment just stains everything else. I’m sick of all the lies, I’m sick of all the secrets, I’m sick of everything, of Lionel and Chloe in my head, of Chloe hurting me over and over again, looking at Clark and sleeping with Lionel and just looking at me like she really fucking cares. I’m sick of Clark looking at me like he loves me when he doesn’t have a single clue who I am. I’m sick of this whole damn town, everyone being so nice and acting like everything’s so perfectly normal even though people are dying and getting infected and going homicidal almost every week. I’m sick of how they look at me and all think they know me, pretty sad little Lana Lang with her dead parents, like I’m some tragic Disney princess; or Beauty Queen Lana, who doesn’t see anyone besides herself.
Amazing how all of that still melts away when Chloe touches me. Like a drug, makes me not see reality anymore, makes me not see anything but her. Makes me feel so good and then it’s just gone and I need more, always need to go back for more. I really can’t keep doing this.
“Is it just me or did I completely clear out the lunch crowd?” Chloe said as everybody got up and left, giving her dirty looks on the way out. Printing a story about everyone’s favourite teacher as being a murderer and a fugitive tended to not make you their favourite person. Usually I would defend Chloe to everyone but I guess today was just not one of those days, hasn’t been one of those days for a while actually, not since I learned what Chloe would really do for a column.
“No, it was you,” I replied a lot more honestly than I ever intended to. “Ever since you turned the Torch into your own personal gossip column, no one can stand to be around you.” Oh god! What did I just say?
Chloe didn’t seem fazed by it. “Well, at least you’re still talking to me right?” She said with a smile.
“Yeah, if you can call it talking,” I said before turning my back to her. I needed to get away before I said something I’d really regret, since I couldn’t seem to not tell the truth.
“Wait! What’s that supposed to mean?”
I stopped and sighed, the words spilling out of my mouth again. “It means that for the past month I haven’t even been able to look you in the eye, let alone talk to you about anything more substantial than homework and the weather. And I know you noticed but you haven’t said anything, which makes me think that maybe you do know what’s going on but you just didn’t want to rock the boat by bringing it up. I didn’t want to bring it up because I knew that if I said it out loud it would be more real and I have enough trouble with it as it is."
Chloe looked more subdued, but I knew she wasn’t the type to back out once the door’s been opened. “So what is going on with us, Lana?”
“I know that you’ve been cheating on me with Lionel Luthor. I also pieced a few things together. Your column at the Daily Planet. You slept with him to get it, didn’t you?” There was hope in my voice, hope I didn’t expect to be there, like Chloe would have this whole other reasonable explanation somehow, that none of it was true.
There was regret and an apology in Chloe’s eyes when she looked at me.
“Not exactly,” she said carefully. “The deal wasn’t that I sleep with him and get the column. It was that I give him some information on Clark and get the column, the sex just sort of came later somehow.”
“Oh so my assumptions were wrong. You’re not just a whore you’re a traitor too?!” I wanted to shake her, I wanted to hit her. I wanted to ask her how, I wanted to ask her why, but I wasn’t sure I could take her honest answers. The questions were still there on my face all the same.
Chloe’s eyes had widened at my harsh words, her eyes glittered with pain but only for a moment. Then her stance hardened, ready for battle.
“I guess that makes everyone in this relationship a whore and a traitor then.”
Chloe didn’t have to say it. I knew immediately what this whole situation was all about; the reason for her betrayal, her fall into Lionel Luthor’s arms. “I never slept with Clark,” I defended.
Chloe moved into my personal space and leaned in, her lips grazing softly against my ear in a mockery of affection. “I didn’t say you were his whore,” she whispered, her voice dripping with venom. Nothing like the quick biting sting of sarcasm she had given before, no, this sent a slow, painful burn through my entire body. I suddenly felt like prey as her body circled me.
“You know how much I want Clark, don’t you Lana?”
“Yes,” the words felt like a shard of glass in my throat.
“And yet you let me have you anyway, any time I wanted, kept as a dirty little secret. Even when you found out about me and Lionel you kept quiet about it and still let me have you, over and over again. You’re addicted to my touch,” she placed her left hand on my hip and let it drop down to my denim covered thigh, I feel my breath quicken. “Tell me Lana, what does that make you?”
“Your whore” I say, small and broken. Tears had started to run down from my eyes but the damage wasn’t complete yet, and Chloe continued forcing painful truths out of my mouth.
“And tell me Lana, even after all this, do you still want me?”
“I don’t know. Maybe because you’re the sun in my tiny pathetic little world; and you warm me and burn me, and I never felt this much before in my entire life. Maybe because you know me more than anyone does, see through every barrier, every facade, every lie and still haven’t abandoned me. Even when we weren’t together, even after I betrayed you, you’re still here. Maybe because you make me blind and stupid and I don’t see anything else but your smile or your tears, and you make me wanna write stupidly decorative scribbles with your name and little hearts all over it. You make me wanna scream and rip out all my hair and scratch myself till I bleed. And I want to be naked, with you all over me, and I don’t want to ever want to do that ever again and I know that you’re using me and I know that I’m your whore. It was why I was with Clark last year, because I’m not that person and I can’t be that person so I blindfold myself to everything and made myself believe you feel even a little affection for me. You said you didn’t want to lose me, so I didn’t let you lose me and now I can’t escape it. I really am that person, that desperate whore at your feet and as long as I’m near you I’m going to still be here, just letting you use me until there’s nothing left.”
I feel raw, exposed, stripped naked and gutted open, waiting for her to rip another piece out of me. I’m not sure how much of me is left at this point.
Chloe was silent. Her body still, eyes averting me, fixing on the ground like she’d just thrown glass on the floor and only now realizing that she had nowhere else to stand, nowhere to move to, trapped and surrounded by a sea of broken shards.
“I don’t think I can be around you anymore,” I say of my own free will this time. “I applied to the Paris School of the Arts. If I get accepted, I start in the Summer.” Chloe looked up at me this time, shock and pain clear in her bright eyes.
“Lana...” I can feel the apology in it but the usually witty reporter was gaping like a fish, suddenly out of words. She reached up to touch me but then thought better of it, both her hand and her eyes dropping down again. She moved a step away from me.
“If I don’t get accepted, I’ll move to Metropolis with Nell.” Chloe winced like she was in pain but I couldn’t stop now. “If I stay here, I’ll not only forgive you, I’ll get down on my knees and beg you to be with me. We’ve hurt each other so much Chloe. I can’t be this close to you and not be with you, it’ll drive me crazy. But if I stay with you something will happen and all this, it’ll start all over again and I don’t know how many more rounds I can take. We’re going to destroy each other, Chloe.”
There was silence again; both of us trapped this time.
“I didn’t even know you did any art,” Chloe mused softly, still not looking at me. I didn’t answer, but instead went into the office to one of the locked drawers on my desk. I took the whole drawer out and went back to where Chloe was and unloaded the contents onto the counter, all the bits and pieces of paper piled onto it. There were bigger painted pictures and tiny little sketches on pieces of paper ripped from notebooks and even some doodles on napkins. All of them were of Chloe. I never showed them to anyone before, never told anyone I did them. Chloe was the subject of every single piece. There was one of her at the spring formal with Clark, walking away from me, a number of them with her smiling and laughing, one drawn from memory of her with a gun in the icy rain. There was even one I did of her when she was asleep after we had sex, lying on her side facing me, her face peaceful with the tiniest smile gracing her lips, her hair getting messy against the pillow. The one Chloe picked up though was a painting of her in eighth grade with the faux fur and rhinestone filled denim jacket and butterfly shaped clips on her long hair.
“You can have them if you want,” I said as I looked at her, mesmerized in her own image caught on paper in charcoal or acrylic paint. “I’m going to get my stuff from your place tomorrow; I’ll be staying at the apartment upstairs for a while before I leave. I think it’d be easier for us that way”
Chloe stilled, she didn’t reply. I took that as my cue to leave.
“Lana,” Chloe started when I opened the door. I had been staying at the apartment above the Talon for a while now but the place still looked empty. I didn’t really unpack much; I’ll be going to Paris soon anyway.
“I heard you’re selling the Talon,” Chloe cut to the chase after I gestured for her to come in. I wasn’t sure me and Chloe alone in the same room was a good idea, but still, whatever it was Chloe wanted to talk to me about, I’d rather it not be overheard.
“I got accepted to the Paris School of the Arts but they rejected my financial aid. I figured since I was leaving anyway I could use the money.”
“But Lana, this place is yours, you were the one that created it and you poured your heart and soul into it. It’s your domain.”
“Yeah well, my domain’s starting to feel a little too restrictive these days.” There was a quiet and defeated kind of civility between us, like we’d been having a war with each other and we’re now negotiating peace just out of sheer exhaustion. “I just want to go somewhere where I can start over.”
“Do you really believe that people can have a new beginning?”
“I hope so.” There was that silence again where we just stared at each other. There was that apology in Chloe’s eyes again, and an uncertainty she usually doesn’t show except when she’s talking about Clark.
“Lana, I know that I can’t convince you not to go, no matter how much I wish I could. I know that once you find something you want, you don’t stop until you get it; I always admired that about you.” She gave me a sad smile. “Anyway, the reason I’m here is because I know you’re looking for buyers for the Talon. I thought I’d give you an offer.”
“You’re going to buy my shares of the Talon?!”
“Well, I’m sure you’ve heard about my dad getting laid off. Lionel’s been threatening that for a while now and I guess me using my truth serum breath to get him to confess to him murdering his parents was the final blow. I’ve kinda been a double agent for Clark ever since he found out about my deal with Lionel, we’ve been working together to bring him down. I’m sorry I never told you, but I didn’t want to put anyone else in danger for my major lapse in judgment, especially not you, Lana. And before you say anything, no Lionel didn’t threaten me into having sex with him, that was all me and Clark doesn’t know anything about it and I’m very very sorry I hurt you Lana.”
I wanted to say I didn’t need her to protect me. I wanted to say she should have told me what was going on. I wanted to strangle her.
I wanted to say I’m sorry I’m not her knight in shining armour.
I stayed silent.
“Anyway, Lex has been working to bring down his dad too and he’s working with us now. He knows about my dad getting fired and he feels bad about my dad being a pawn in all this. I think if I have a talk with him he can give dad and me a small business loan. We can buy your shares of the Talon and you can go to Paris and the Talon would still be here for you.”
I thought about it for a little while. Chloe sat by, unusually patient. When the silence had gone on for too long though, she stood up to leave. “I’ll give you some time to think about it,” she said hopefully.
“No,”I said, and it was a definite answer though I felt more than a little guilty. Chloe looked crushed. I tell myself that she’ll survive, she always does. “I’m sorry, Chloe, I just don’t want to be tied back.”
“I understand,” she said softly without looking at me.
“I’m sure Lex can help your dad get another job though,” I tried for comforting.
“Yeah, I know he can.” There was something in her voice that told me she wanted to say more. She didn’t though. Instead she stood up and walked out the door.
Chloe Sullivan was alive; every part of her shines with it, life and energy that radiated from her like a warm halo that blazed with every smile and every tear and every shout of anger. Not like those people who do every stupid, crazy, impulsive and immature thing and claim that they’re alive while the rest of us are merely existing as sheep and stuff, no. Chloe was really alive, she has a thirst for life, she drinks it all in, everything around her, it’s like she feels with more intensity than the rest of us and it just shines out from her.
Sorry, had, drank, felt... shone. Chloe Sullivan was alive. She’s not anymore.
This isn’t right, damn it! It isn’t! I was the one with death inside of me, all my life, people leave and die and I get myself stalked and trapped and hurt. It was supposed to be me, Clark was going to be too late one day and it was going to be me! Not Chloe! Chloe was the one with nine lives, the one who faces danger with a million questions and come out the other side with answers and even more questions and never ever stops. She can’t be killed! She has too much life in her, it should shine out again; it should resurrect her!
I lay myself down across the grave and stared at the headstone. I used to do this with my parents, just imagining their faces looking back at me, telling me everything was alright. I haven’t done that for over a year now, I never thought I’d be back like this, never thought it’d be Chloe’s grave I laid across, imagining my head on her lap and her stroking my hair like she used to before she leant down to kiss me. I didn’t even try to stop the tears flowing, I’ve been crying on and off for days now.
Chloe Sullivan; 1987 – 2004; beloved daughter; that was all the simple headstone said, it was grey and cold and hard and reflected nothing of the life of the girl it was supposed to represent. It’s so wrong, Chloe’s life shouldn’t end there, it shouldn’t just say beloved daughter; there should be more on it! Something about the truth to honor the death of the world’s greatest reporter, or maybe beloved wife or beloved life partner, beloved mother... It shouldn’t end at 2004.
I felt tired, the coldness of the night made me shiver but I hardly acknowledged it. I felt like whatever life I have was draining out of me, like Chloe’s death created a black hole that sucks the life out of everything else, soon there will no more life left. No more all nighters, no more movie dates, no more goodbye kisses, no more fights, no more make up sex, no more Almond Mocha Frappuccinos.
It wasn’t like I hadn’t already said goodbye to all of those things with Chloe when I left for Paris, it’s just now it’s final. Not only will I not have those things with Chloe, but Chloe won’t be able to share those things with anyone else anymore. I let my eyes shut for a few minutes, just taking in the scent of grass and dirt on the new grave, I wonder if I’ll spend the rest of my life like this, at the grave yard in the middle of the night like a ghost, surrounded by the graves of people I love.
I heard foot steps coming towards me but I didn’t move. Whoever it is can come and kill me if they want to; with Clark missing again there won’t be anyone to save me. I won’t fight it. I don’t mind dying next to Chloe.
The footsteps stopped right next to me. I still haven’t moved. I felt something covering me; it was warm, not big enough to be a blanket, probably a jacket. I tried my best to gather up the energy to care enough to say thank you. I opened my eyes slightly to the sight of very familiar shoes.
The person bent down and sat on the ground next to me and softly stroked my hair. I opened my eyes fully this time.
“Chloe!” I sat up, completely awake. I gave myself a small pinch again as I looked once more at the face people told me had completely been blown to bits. Chloe’s eyes widened, they looked dark in the dead of night. The girl put her hand over my mouth before I made any more noise. The hand was so warm.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you. You’re usually not a light sleeper.”
“I wasn’t really asleep,” I said, still dazed.
Chloe smiled. “I see you’ve reverted back to the habit of sleeping in grave yards in the middle of the night. I thought you’d outgrown that. It’s kind of creepy.”
“You’re alive” I said softly, like if I said it louder the moment would break and it wouldn’t be real anymore. Chloe raised an eyebrow.
“What makes you say that?” She asked in a teasing tone. “Could all be in your head you know, you’re always talking to dead people.” I smiled and lightly touched her face.
“You’re warm. Dead people aren’t warm.”
“I could be an angel. Angels are warm”
“You weren’t that nice when you were alive.” I smirked. Chloe smiled again and pulled me into a tight hug. She smells the same, wherever she’s been staying, it must have had a computer, a printer and lots of coffee. She gave me a soft kiss on the forehead.
“So, if you've faked your own death then shouldn’t you be hiding out right now?”
“Yes, I should be, but how often does a person get to see their own grave when they’re alive?”
Her arms were still draped around me. I stared at the moonlight reflecting off the shine of her glossy lips and licked my own. I didn’t really think about it when my lips captured hers; it was smooth and soft and I pushed further in, remembering all of the contours, the ridges of her teeth, the agility of her tongue. Chloe pulled away before we got any further.
“Lana,” her hands held my shoulders, keeping me from getting too close; her eyes were serious. “This,” she gestured to the headstone, “it doesn’t change anything between us.”
“But I missed you. I thought I lost you. Forever! I still love you and I don’t ever want that to happen.”
“I know,” she said with sadness in her voice.
“But you don’t love me...” I finished, thinking back to the fight we had when we broke up.
“No, Lana, it’s not that, it’s just…” she took a deep breath and started again. “I know that you think I’m this person who knows exactly who I am and what I want, and yes, that was what I thought too. But I never thought I was the person who would betray someone I care about for a column at the Daily Planet and I never thought I was the person who would sleep with someone like Lionel Luthor for any reason at all. I certainly never thought I was the kind of person who would fall for Lana Lang. I don’t know what I want, or who I am right now Lana, I thought I did but I don’t. Ever since I kissed you that day everything just went out of orbit. I still want Clark, but I also want you and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing with either one of you.”
Chloe never admitted outright that she wanted me before, but at the same time, she still didn’t want to be with me. I think I kind of know how she feels, but I didn’t interrupt.
“This whole thing with Lionel and this case, I’ve never gotten myself into this much trouble before. I’ve never hurt so many people I cared about. I’m barely holding it together right now, just cleaning up the mess I made and already we’re messy Lana. Whatever it is we have together, it’s messy and complicated and destructive. You were right, we can’t keep getting back together every time one of us gets a near death experience, if we keep going the way we did, we’re going to destroy each other.”
There it is, my own words, thrown right back at me. Chloe’s right, her fake death didn’t really change anything between us. We still don’t really know how to handle whatever it is we have together or know what we really want. I just never thought I’d see her again and now that I have, everything I felt just came rushing back to the surface... or maybe it never left, just got magnified. I snuggled closer to her again, taking her in.
“I missed you too, you know,” Chloe said, her breath tickling my ear.
No, Chloe was wrong. Things have changed between us, even if it’s just a little bit, because now I know. I know that she feels for me, that whatever we had, however screwed up it is, it wasn’t one sided. Even if we’re not going to be together, at least not now, it still gives me hope. I leaned up to kiss her one more time.
“Lana, I can’t do that with you again,” Chloe pushed me away. “I don’t think I’ll be able to let you go if I did.”
I nodded. “I understand. Just stay with me tonight, ok? We don’t have to do anything, I just want to be with you. Tomorrow I’ll catch a flight back to Paris and you’ll stay here and do whatever it is you need to do and I don’t know. Maybe someday a freak wind will blow us back to each other again.”
“Freak wind, huh?” there was laughter in Chloe’s eyes and it made me want to kiss her again. I didn’t though, I just laid myself down on the grass with my head on her lap. Chloe took her jacket and rolled it up, using it as a pillow for herself, and then we both laid there, in the graveyard, looking at the stars as Chloe’s fingers played with my hair. I let her warmth wash over me, feeling safer with her now than I ever did before. Soon I fell asleep.
When I woke up the next morning Chloe’s now dirty jacket lay under my head where her lap was the night before; it was the only thing she left behind. I took one last look at Chloe’s headstone. It seemed symbolic somehow, like a phoenix, rising up from the ashes. I grabbed Chloe’s jacket and folded it. I’m definitely taking it with me.
Paris. The word sounded different today, it sounded like possibilities; it sounded like freedom and wonder; it sounded like a new door opening instead of an old one closing.
And I can’t wait to go through it.