Coming Second

by zahra

For the Freudians.


If Chloe dies tomorrow at the hoof of a mutant cow, her life will not have been in vain. This moment alone has seen to that. Of course, it'll suck that she won't be able to staple her death on her Wall of Weird, but she'll get over it.

She's getting over a lot of things right now, because victory really has a lot more sugar than she's used to; and it's definitely not the coffee that has her smiling like the proverbial cat.

All those times that she swore that her feelings weren't being reciprocated. That she was doomed to pine after Clark in one of those really bad, supporting actress to Julia Roberts ways. It looks like she was wrong, and she doesn't think she's ever felt so happy about admitting that fact. There's also the fact that the coffee in her cup has probably gone stone cold, but Chloe really has no idea. She's certainly not going to move her hand and find out.

She's probably not going to move her hand ever again.

Well, she'll certainly have to move it eventually or it'll fall asleep, and the blood will stop circulating, and she'll have to have it amputated; but that will be after Clark lets go of it because Clark. is. holding. her. hand.

Like that. In that more than friends, romantic comedy way.

And Clark's staring into Chloe's eyes, or maybe at that stupid Band-Aid the size of Texas, and wow, she's only dreamed about how hazel his eyes are every night of her life for the last three years. Now she can stare into them as much as she likes. Now she doesn't have to be embarrassed, or make excuses, or do any of those things that she's finally perfected the art of.

Now she doesn't need them.

Clark Kent finally likes Chloe Sullivan in that way. In that more-than-comforting-because-she-nearly-got-killed-again way. In that male female way. Clark finally noticed that Chloe had XX chromosomes and breasts.

She never would've guessed it.

Chloe feels this overwhelming need to call someone and tell them, except that Clark would be the first person she'd call and he's right there. Right here. With her. Smiling at her in that Clark way that he always reserves for Lana and Lex.

If this keeps up she won't have anything to bitch and gripe about anymore. Maybe she can live with that. Especially if Clark keeps holding her hand and giving her that million-dollar Colgate smile. If he keeps looking at her like she's the only girl on earth for him, like there was never anyone else.

Take that, Lana.

Chloe feels so gleeful right now that she can't stop staring at Clark, and her eyes are open so wide, her face hurts. She's almost afraid to blink, because she could be experiencing some sort of caffeine hallucination; and if she is, when she opens her eyes again, he'll be gone.

She couldn't take that. Not when she's only just received her prize. Not when Clark's finally put her first.

All that time that she's waited. All those hints that she's dropped and times that she's stared at him like his last name was Pavlov.

It was all for this.

Just when Chloe was so sure it was all for naught, Clark proved her wrong. He came through at the last second when everything was on the line. Just when she was sure their friendship was make or break, when she was ready for the ultimatum and the loss.

When she was prepared to lose it all, he chose her. He chose them.

She's shocked even though she knows she shouldn't be. She knows that it speaks poorly to her faith in Clark. And while she can't help it, she can understand it - Clark's always been too good to be true.


Of course it was all too good to be true.

She knew that from the outset. Chloe's not dumb.

She can be pretty delusional according to those who know her best - her father, Pete - but she's certainly not dumb. And she will never be anyone's fool, which really begs the question as to why she's just standing there watching them.

Being made a silent fool of.

Watching Clark watching Lana watching Clark in the pouring rain like no one else exists. Practically drowning in teenage hormones, and it's funny how the person Chloe really aches for is Whitney. For all that he doesn't even know. She hurts for him almost as much as she does for herself.

She can feel her heart being eaten away, corroding.

She's an unwelcome, unwanted voyeur, and Chloe doesn't even want to watch them, but she can't turn away. She has to see her dreams being washed away and seeping into the Kansas mud. Chloe's always wanted to see the car that would run her over. SHe has always promised herself that when her time came she would go into it with her eyes wide open.

No blinking.

She never knew she had such a blazing masochistic streak, but it certainly would explain how she's managed to turn a blind eye for so long. Even when Chloe knew, she refused to admit defeat, until today.

She finds her own stupidity a bit mystifying, a bit horrifying.

She thinks it really says something about the strength of unrequited love. Hers. Clarks. His behavior tells blinding tales of how low in his esteem Clark really holds Chloe. To think that she would ever be willing to take second place. To think that she wouldn't notice what was happening, at a funeral of all places. That just takes impropriety to a whole new level, and she wonders if anyone ever taught those two tact.

Chloe is so disgusted and revolted and angry that she can't see. Distorted vision courtesy of wind and rain and blinding anger. She's so angry.

She loves Clark so much and look at how he behaves. Look at how he treats her.

Like second hand furniture. Like second prize. A consolation that's really no consolation at all, and if her face is wet it's really only the rain. Umbrellas never last long in Smallville.

Nothing ever seems to last long in Smallville. Everything keeps ending before it starts; falling down in the starting blocks, and Chloe knows that no matter how badly she may want Clark, she won't let him abuse her this way. Take her for granted, and come back to her. She can see him bouncing back and forth like that Pong game that her dad likes so much. Chloe knows that Clark would just keep coming back and going away.

He would never really be hers.

Clark has lusted after Lana Lang longer than Chloe has lusted after Clark, and that's really saying something. That's saying something really pathetic and sad.

And Chloe's not pathetic; even if she is sad, she's not that kind of sad. She knows she deserves someone who wants her for her. At least Justin had that going for him.

Even if he wasn't Clark.

Chloe thinks that if she were more like other girls she might put up more of a fight. That she would throw tantrums and scream and yell and wail and lament like someone had died. That she would scheme and plot and plan and go home and burn her prom dress. But she's not going to instigate some horrible face to face confrontation that would just add more pain and chaos on top of what's already occurred. Clark's already done enough damage, she doesn't need to see him stumble through bumbling apologies that would make her bleed in a thousand places that he will never see.

That's not her way.

This is her way. To just walk off and let it got. Let him go.

She's not looking back.


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