by soo

Clark looked around the Torch office, making sure it was empty. He left the light off and crossed the room to Chloe's desk, searching for her calendar by the glow of the monitor. He finally spotted it under her dictionary, and started flipping through it, searching for anything out of the ordinary. Well, out of the ordinary for Chloe, at least. For the past two weeks she had been jumpier than usual, and though she'd probably deny it, she'd been blowing Pete and him off.

He scanned the past few days and didn't see anything that would explain her behavior lately. Chloe was methodical in putting notes and reminders into the book; she'd even noted returning Lana's lip gloss. Since when had Chloe started borrowing Lana's lip gloss? They'd been getting along better, but they weren't exactly...

Clark hesitated. Maybe they had been spending more time together, now that he thought about it. He shrugged. It still didn't explain how weird Chloe was acting.

Clark flipped further back. Kissed LL. LL....Lex Luthor? Chloe had kissed Lex? Lex? Clark tried to wrap his mind around that image. Lex. Chloe. Kissing. He just couldn't picture it. He picked up a plastic bouncy ball from Chloe's menagerie of toys and began to bounce it in his hand.

Lex. bounce. Chloe. bounce. Kissing. bounce.

And then for a split second he saw it: Lex leaning into Chloe, cupping her face in his hands, his silky smooth lips brushing against Clark's... Clark opened his hand and looked down at the ball in surprise. Hastily, he pocketed the remains and made a mental note to pick up another on the way to school the next day.

Light flooded the room, and Clark blinked his eyes to adjust to it. "Clark!" Clark's head whipped around, and he saw Chloe standing by the doorway. "Chloe!"

Chloe crossed the room to stand next to him. "What are you doing here?"

Clark looked vainly down at Chloe's desk in search of a good lie. "I thought I left my notebook here..."

"And you're searching for it in the dark?"

"Uh, I didn't want the janitors to know that I was here?" Clark looked back up and smiled weakly. "How come you're here so late?"

"I just remembered..." Chloe drifted off and fidgeted with the strap of her laptop bag. "I have to proofread Lana's column."

"Oh." Clark backed towards the door. "I guess I should be going. "

"Sorry I'm late. I had a tough time getting out of the house without Nell--"

Clark whirled around. "Lana!"

"Um, hi, Clark."

Clark looked from one to the other in surprise. They looked like two kids caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Lana was blushing furiously, and Chloe wouldn't meet his eyes. Feeling uncomfortable, Clark moved closer to the door. "I guess I'll just leave the two of you to your editing."

Chloe nodded. "Night, Clark."

Lana stepped out of his way. "Good night, Clark."

"Night. Chloe. Lana." Clark turned around and calmly walked out of the school building. Once he thought he was far enough away, he took off. He ran as fast as he could to wipe the image of the kiss from his mind. He kept his head down, not really looking where he was going, just feeling his feet pounding the pavement and the wind rushing by him.

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