Parallel Universes and Passionate Embraces

by hurlingturtles

I posted this at some time ago, if you haven't read it before then give me feedback, please!!!!

Chloe was sick of Clark's crap. She watched him flirt shamelessly with Lana and wanted to dump her iced coffee right on his head. She smiled at that mental picture. The look of utter shock she imagined on his face, with his dark brown hair plastered to his head, delighted her to no end.

Oh, Clark was undeniably hot- she had to grant him that. She was a senior and was sick of a lot of things, like school, but she was more than anything she just sick of his crap. She deserved better than to be his sidekick, always there to help but never getting any appreciation. Besides, there was more to a person than a broad set of shoulders. Personality still mattered to her, she was gradually discovering.

"Hi, Chloe," Lex said, making her jump. "What's up?"

"Eh, nothing much. Wishing for a really good story to surface." She couldn't disguise the wistfulness in her voice.

Lex laughed and sat down at her table. It was weird being friends with Lex. She never thought they'd be as great friends as they'd become. It had started out with them making some snide comment while coincidentally being in the same room and being amused by each other's sense of humor. Gradually they started hanging out together. They talked to each other out of sheer desperation for an intelligent conversationalist at first, and then they started sincerely liking each other.

They weren't romantically involved, though. Lex was in love with Helen, whom barely tolerated their friendship. Chloe, personally thought that she was making much too big of a deal out of their friendship. Chloe didn't really think of Lex romantically. She just refused to even consider it because she knew he was taken. He wasn't just in a serious relationship, he was taken taken. Though he didn't really seriously talk about his feelings with Chloe, she knew that he loved Helen and was utterly committed to her.

"What's up with you?" she asked Lex.

"I'm supposed to meet my Aunt Tally here today for lunch but she's not here yet." He caught Lana's eyes and she came over.

Lana beamed sunnily and Chloe wanted to vomit on her apron. "How are you today?" Lana asked.

"Just lovely," his voice was mildly sarcastic but he smiled. Lana didn't notice- big shocker. "Can I just get some coffee?"

Lana nodded, jotting it on her little notepad. It was obviously too much brain work for her to remember Lex Luthor wanted a simple coffee. "And do you want a refill Chloe?"

"Yes, that would be great." Lana left and Chloe asked Lex, "You have an aunt?"

"Yeah, on my mother's side. I haven't heard from her in years. Dad hates her."


Lex grinned. "Well, she's kind of a hippy. Big into tarot cards and Wiccan stuff. When I was really little she got into the habit of dumping water that she blessed on him to, and I quote, `purge him of evil'. When it didn't work she thought that dumping more water would work. My dad got pretty sick of having buckets of water poured on him. Took her a while to figure out that his sort of evil couldn't be washed out by water."

"Maybe some stain stick or Oxiclean?" she joked.

His grin widened. "I don't know. Might have to use bleach."

"Whoa! Touting out the big guns, are we?"

He chuckled. "Well, I figure his evilness is so set in by now you might as well start out fresh."

"Hmmm. Good point." A woman wearing a long filmy skirt and peasant top walked into the Talon. She scanned the caf, her long braided silver hair swinging around her waist. "Is that your aunt?"

Lex turned around and then stood up. "Aunt Tally!"

Aunt Tally eyes lit up in recognition and she walked to Lex, taking him into a fierce hug. "Lex! It's been so long! How are you?"

"Good. It's so great to see you! It's been years." Lex looked kind of awkward hugging a person and Chloe was delighted to see him caught off guard.

Tally peered over his shoulder and spotted Chloe. "Hello, are you Helen?"

Chloe laughed. "No!"

Tally's light gray eyes narrowed and Chloe got the weird feeling that she was trying to look into her soul. Her laughter died in her throat. "Well, you should be," Tally said finally with a significance that had Chloe gaping at her. Lex looked equally stunned.

Tally shoved something in Chloe's hands. It was a bronze medallion. It looked ancient, spotted and scarred with age. It was a circle with it edges smooth and in the center was a picture of an hourglass. It hung from an old ribbon that might have been green at one point.

Tally stared at Chloe for so long that her stomach began to flutter nervously. "This is yours now. It will take you to where you need to go. Make sure to pass it on when it tells you who it wants to go to next."

"What? Where am I going?" Chloe just stared at the intense, serious woman.

"Where you really belong. You're going soon, too." She was gazing off into the distance. "I remember when I left. God, it was years ago."

"What are you talking about?" Chloe's voice rose involuntarily.

Tally patted her soothingly on the arm. "Don't you fret. It'll be alright. I suggest you say goodbye to people before you leave. You could go at any second."

Chloe paled. She knew Tally didn't mean it to sound that way but it sounded like she was going to die.

"Lex?" She gazed up at him, bewildered. Lex looked just as perplexed and shrugged.

"Well?" Tally said impatiently. She made shooing motions. "Scat!"

Chloe hung the medallion around her neck and left the Talon barely realizing what she was doing. She walked to her car and climbed into it. She sat behind the steering wheel wondering where the hell she was supposed to go. She started her car and pulled out of the parking lot. She began to drive home.

Her hands started to tremble on the way home and she thought she was going to be sick. She took deep breathes of air, wondering what the hell was going on. Her vision was going black. She was losing control of the car. It swerved along the empty road, back and forth several times before careening off road into a tree. Chloe slammed her head on the steering wheel and lost consciousness.

She was falling. Everything was black but she could feel herself fall. She wanted desperately to grab onto something, anything to stop her plummet.

Finally it stopped.

The first thing she heard was a steady beeping and murmuring voices. Someone was holding her hand. Then she noticed her pounding head. She felt like her skull had been cleaved in two. She groaned.

"Chloe? Chloe? Can you hear me?" It was Lex. His voice sounded strained.

"Is she coming to?" Clarks asked from the other side of her bed.

"I'm going to have to ask for everyone to leave the room and let Miss Sullivan to rest," an unfamiliar male voice said. "Well, all except her fianc."


"Thank you," Lex whispered rawly.

Chloe lost consciousness again.

Chloe woke to the warm sensation of sunlight on her face. She opened her eyes and realized that she was in a hospital. Lex was slumped in a chair next to her, snoring softly. He looked exhausted. Chloe wondered how long she'd been unconscious. It appeared to be dawn.

She struggled to sit up, but too much movement made her head hurt so she lay back down.

Hearing her move, Lex woke up. A grin lit up his face. "Chloe, you're awake! God, I was so worried." He grabbed her hand and held her knuckles reverently to his lips.

A tingle shot up Chloe's arm and she jerked her hand out of his grasp in shock. What was he doing?

Lex's eyebrows furrowed and he frowned. He determinedly grabbed her hand again. "What's wrong?" He paused as if struggling for the right words. "You've been so distant lately. Whatever I've done, I'll change, make it better. Just talk to me. Don't shut me out."

"What are you talking about?" She stared at him, wide-eyed.

"I feel like you've been avoiding me lately."

"No, I haven't!"

Lex smiled. "You haven't? I'm glad. I'm taking some time off. I think we need to work out some of our issues."

"We have issues?" She was really confused.

"We won't soon. When I heard you'd been in an accident, I'd never been more scared in my life. I can't imagine living in a world without you in it." He kissed her fingertips gently and at the little jolt of awareness she wretched her hand away again. This time Lex didn't grab her hand. He just gazed at her, looking unspeakably sad. "There it is again. Don't you like it when I touch you anymore?"

"What are you talking about?" Her head was starting to hurt again.

"It's been weeks since we last made love." Chloe gasped quietly but Lex didn't notice. He continued in a low, intense voice that made her skin tingle, "I ache for you. When I should be concentrating on work all I think about is your legs wrapped around my waist as I bury myself in you. When I'm in meetings I wonder where you are and what you're wearing. I don't know how much longer I can stand celibacy. I need you."

"Are you insane?" she asked and then cringed at the hurt expression on his face.

"Maybe I am." His expression was bitter.

The pain that Chloe felt by hurting him took her by surprise. She had no idea what he was talking about but she hesitantly reached out and touched his hand. Lex held her hand again and the expression on his face relaxed a bit.

"I don't think you're insane," she told him. "I think I'm the nuts one." And that was the truth. She wondered if she was still unconscious and imaging everything.

Lex smiled.

Suddenly overwhelmed with exhaustion, she tried to suppress a yawn. Lex stood up. "I'd better let you rest. I'm going go home and sleep for a couple hours, myself. When I get back you better still be asleep, getting better." He paused at the door and turned around. "I love you, Chloe." He left quickly, almost as if afraid of what she would say.

Though stunned by his declaration, she fell quickly asleep. She woke late that afternoon. Lex was sitting by her bed again, watching her. She wasn't surprised. She knew that she should be unnerved by the realization that he'd been staring at her when she slept. Instead, she felt flattered and safe.

"When am I going to be able to leave the hospital?" she asked him.

"Not for at least another day. Doctor Swardson said that he's going to check in later and see how you're doing. You might be coming home tomorrow. Besides your mild concussion, you just have some scrapes and bruises. Thank God. It could have been worse. Why did you crash?"

Chloe didn't want to be in the hospital any longer than she had to be so she told him a deer ran across the road and she swerved to miss it.

Something caught her eye. She looked over at the bedside table. Sitting on the glossy table was the beat up medallion.

"Oh, yeah. Where did you get that?" Lex asked. "You were wearing that during the accident."

"Aunt Tally."

Lex looked bewildered. "Aunt Tally is in town? Why hasn't she seen me? It's been years since I've seen her! Why have you seen her and not me?"

Chloe frowned. What was going on? How could Lex not have seen her? Why did Lex say he loved her? Nothing was making any sense.

"Because your Dad doesn't like her?" she guessed.

"Yeah. He's been sued so many times he's not too fond of lawyers, especially ones as respectable and resolute as she is. He doesn't like the fact that she's not corruptible." Lex smirked.

"Wait. She's a lawyer? I thought she was a hippy."

Lex laughed. "Aunt Tally? Are joking? Her entire wardrobe consists of pantsuits."

"Hmmm. So, you're saying she's not into magic or mysticism?"

"Um, yeah that's what I'm saying." He was still grinning at the thought. "Are you sure you got the medallion from my aunt?"

Damn right she was. But she said, "Um, maybe I heard her wrong. Maybe she said her name was Sally."

"So some strange hippy woman named Sally randomly gave you a medallion and you took it?" Lex arched one eyebrow skeptically, a smile still on his lips.

"Yeah, so I did. Why shouldn't I have? It's just a hunk of ugly metal!" she said defensively, folding her blanket across her lap and trying not to make eye contact with him. She didn't want to burst out laughing and blow her cover.

"It is Smallville, Chloe. You know better than anyone how odd it is here," Lex reminded her. "I wouldn't trust any odd stranger. Who knows what could be wrong with him or her."

"Yeah, yeah," she grumbled petulantly.

Lex smiled and leaned over to kiss her on the cheek. Chloe started in surprise but Lex either decided not to comment on it or didn't notice. "Sorry for the lecture. I just don't want you to get hurt," he said warmly.

Chloe could feel a blush warm her cheeks and Lex chuckled in delight. "I haven't seen you do that for some time."

"Yeah, well, don't have a heart attack about it." She toyed with her blanket some more.

"I'll try to contain myself."

"I'm sure you will," Chloe returned, attempting to be mildly sarcastic but still unnerved by her strange reaction to Lex.

Someone knocked on the door.

"Come in," Chloe called.

A doctor came in. He was quite handsome, the kind of doctor that you think you'd only see on TV. He smiled at her. "You look much better today, Miss Sullivan."

"I feel much better."

He checked her pulse and held a stethoscope to her chest as he asked her all sorts of questions. "Well," he said after a while, "I just want to run a few more x-rays and maybe a CAT scan to make sure everything is all right. If it is you'll be able to leave tomorrow."

"Great," she said.

"Make sure you make her take it easy over the next few days and call me if anything is wrong," the doctor told Lex.

Lex nodded. "She won't lift a finger. I'll make her stay in bed." His eyes were heated as he looked on her and a shiver ran through Chloe.

As the doctor left the room Clark walked in.

"Chloe! How are you feeling?" he asked and rushed to her bed. Chloe was glad she didn't have a crush on him or she might have given more meaning to his concern than was actually there.

"Pretty good considering I crashed into a tree," she said wryly.

Clark attempted a feeble smile. He glanced at Lex, and his smile faded. "Can I speak with you alone for a minute?" he asked her though he was looking at Lex. "Sure, I guess so." She looked at Lex, who sighed in resignation and left.

Clark knelt and buried his head in her lap.

"Clark!" she protested in shock.

He lifted his head and looked up at her. "Sorry. I was just so afraid you were going to die. Your accident has made me realize that life is short. I can't just keep quiet about my feelings for you."

"Your what?!"

"I love you. God, everybody knows. Tell me if there's any chance that you might someday feel the same way."

"You must be joking. What about Lana?"

Clark looked confused. "What about her? Lana is beautiful, yeah, but she's a lesbian. She came out a couple years ago. Are you sure you're feeling all right?"

"She's a what?!" A gurgle of hysterical laughter bubbled in her throat. She had to be dreaming. Nothing that funny could be true. She decided to milk her dream for all it was worth. "So you're with..."

"No one. I've been in love with you for years, though."

Please. And pigs can fly. "And Lana is a lesbian. Who's Pete with?"

"Huh? Pete moved away years ago. He joined a biker gang and skipped town. He sent me a post card from Tennessee last week."

Chloe laughed. This was too good. "What about Helen?"

Clark gave her a worried look. "I think they need to do some more tests on you. Are you sure you don't have amnesia?"

"I'm fine," she said impatiently. "I'm just trying to reorient myself. What about Helen?"

"Helen is a lesbian, too. She and Lana have been dating the past year now."

"And Lex is with..."

"You, duh! You just got engaged. I'm going to go get a doctor." He stood up.

"No!" she ordered and Clark paused. "Sorry if I'm freaking you out, I'm just making sure nothing changed while I've been unconscious."

"You've only been unconscious for a day."

"Yeah, well, you never know. Now, I thought I heard you wrong. You're saying that Lex and I are engaged?"

He nodded. "And you've been living together since your dad went off to search for your mom a year ago."

Chloe sat back in her bed, completely floored. Clark reached out and grabbed her hand in concern. Chloe barely noticed. Her dad was gone. She and Lex were engaged. What was going here? It felt like she'd woken up in another world. She gazed back at the medallion on the bedside table. Tally's words echoed in her head. "It will take you were you need to go...where you really belong." A chill swept through her as an impossible idea came to her. No, it couldn't be. But it made a strange sort of sense.

She was in another dimension.

Lex walked back into her room and his eyes narrowed upon seeing their clasped hands. "Back," he announced coolly.

Chloe removed her hand from Clark's, feeling absurdly guilty even though she hadn't been doing anything wrong. An uncomfortable silence settled over the room. When Clark left, telling her to call him, she nearly sagged in relief.

"What is it?" she asked Lex exasperatedly after several tense moments.

"Are you having an affair with Kent?" he asked, a vein was popping out on his forehead. He did not look happy.

Chloe sighed. "God, no. I'm not interested in him anymore."

"Anymore?" He scowled. "You mean you used to?"

She rolled her eyes. It was so weird having Lex all possessive over her. At the same time she wanted to smile and give him a hug, she was so flattered.

"Once upon a time," she admitted. "Not anymore."

"Prove it."

"What? How?"

He knelt down beside her bed, his face alarmingly close to hers. "Kiss me, Chloe. Show me you still care about me." His eyes roamed across her face as if searching for some hint of her feelings.

Kiss Lex Luthor? For some reason the idea wasn't as shocking as it had once been. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more intriguing she found it. What could it possibly hurt to kiss him? It might even be fun.

She lowered her head to his and watched his eyelids lower as she covered his lips with hers. It was a soft, gentle kiss- barely a kiss at all. Nonetheless, it still sent shivers of delight through her body.

Lex deepened the kiss, increasing the pressure on her lips. He brought his hands up to stroke her blond hair. It was beginning to feel much warmer in the room. Chloe gasped at the feel of Lex's tongue on her lips, trying to seek entrance. He seized the opportunity and delved into her mouth.

Without quite being aware of it, Chloe found herself responding to Lex's kiss with an enthusiasm that she never knew she was capable of. She barely recognized the moan she heard as her own. She teased Lex's tongue with her own and he returned with the same. A fire blazed between her legs and all she wanted was Lex's body on top of hers.

His hands fell to her shoulders. Then he lowered one hand to squeeze one of her breasts. Chloe jumped a mile at the spark of electricity that shot through her at the feeling. She pulled herself from his arms. They separated, panting and staring at each other in amazement.

Chloe licked her lips, still tasting Lex's mouth on hers. Lex followed the motion of her tongue intently. "That was..."she began.

"Incredible," Lex finished. "You know, you taste even better than I remember. Your lips drive me even more insane than they used to." He sounded a bit bewildered. "It must be true- absence does make the heart grow fonder."

Chloe pulled down Lex's head for another kiss but Lex resisted. "Chloe were in a hospital, we shouldn't be doing this."

Chloe grinned. "So? Does the door lock?" she asked impishly. She wanted to see where this inexplicable attraction led them.

Lex stood up. "You need to rest. I should go." But he wasn't moving and there was no mistaking the prominent bulge in his pants.

Chloe gave his pants a pointed look. "It doesn't look like you want to go." She didn't recall Lex being so noble in her dimension. It was frustrating.

A smile tugged at his lips and he adjusted his pants slightly. "Yeah, well. Someone has to look out for you. Alas, that someone just happens to be me. I can't be mauling a hospital patient. I can see the paper headlines now: `Crash Survivor Molested by Horny Billionaire'."

Chloe grinned. "I don't know. Sounds like Times material to me."

"Hmmm, perhaps. Well, I have to take care of some business anyway. Hopefully you'll be coming home with me tomorrow." Bent down to give her a quick kiss. His eyes were warm with emotion. "I can't wait to get you back in my bed again."

Chloe flushed and Lex laughed. When he left he seemed to suck the life right out of the room. She sighed and glanced at the medallion again. She wondered how it had transported her to this dimension. Had she done something to trigger it and hadn't realized it? And if she was transported here, did that mean that the Chloe from here was to her dimension? It must, she supposed. There was an Aunt Tally in both dimensions. She wondered what the other Chloe was like.

Chloe sighed. She supposed that she should be trying to figure out how to get back to her dimension. As much as she liked this one, it wasn't her home. She'd miss making out with Lex, she admitted regretfully. It still didn't feel real, though- being engaged to him. Everything felt like a dream that she just knew was going to end at any moment.

Dr. Swardson came in at that moment. "Test time," he announced cheerfully.

She sighed again. Yippy.

Chloe passed the tests with flying colors, which surprised her. She was almost expecting him to announce that she had some sort a brain tumor or something. That would make more sense than being stuck in another dimension.

Lana and Helen also dropped by. It was strange, though utterly hysterical. They walked through the door holding hands. Helen's hair was cropped very close to her head and she had a nose ring while Lana looked basically the same. It was obvious who wore the pants in that relationship. Lana was all girly concern and Helen was as aloof as ever. Talking to them was a struggle because the whole time Chloe was trying to stifle her laughter.

"So, how's Lex handling things?" Lana asked. "He was a fright when you were unconscious. Wouldn't leave your bedside. The nurses were talking about wheeling in an extra bed. He kept pacing. I personally thought the nurses should slip him some sort of tranquilizers-"

Helen rolled her eyes. "Lana, shut up. It wasn't that bad. Sure, he was stressing and worried to death but he didn't need to be medicated. Lana's exaggerating things again, don't mind her," she told Chloe.

Lana pouted. "You are so mean sometimes, Helen."

Helen sighed and muttered something about needing a cigarette. She pulled Lana into her arms. "Sorry, hun. I just didn't want you making Chloe worry." She kissed her. "You do go overboard with things sometimes. I don't mind it you know, especially if it's in bed," she said suggestively.

Chloe slapped one hand over her mouth in a desperate attempt not to laugh. She didn't want to know what exactly Helen meant by that. They did look kind of cute as a couple, though. As soon as they left Chloe exploded into laughter. She was so loud a nearby nurse popped her head in to check on her.

Lex took Chloe to the mansion the next day. The tension between them as they rode in the car was nearly unbearable. The kiss between them plagued both of their thoughts. Chloe wondered when they would kiss again. She figured that she might as well explore this attraction between them as long as she was in this dimension. In her mind, there was no question that she would figure out how to get back to her own dimension at some point.

As they drove up the driveway to the mansion Chloe's mouth fell open. "It's a southern plantation!!" It was a beautiful huge white house with a front yard with size of a football field. Trees with lovely white flowers lined the driveway, scattering delicate petals across the pavement.

Lex gave her an odd look. "Of course it is."

"But what about the castle?"

Lex's brows were furrowed in confusion. "What castle? My ancestors were plantation owners, I'm sorry to say. They owned thousands of slaves at one point. My dad, being the bastard that he is, is rather proud of our ancestry. That house is hundreds of years old and has never left the family. If had been my decision, I'd tear down the house and rebuild from scratch. I don't know why I'm telling you this again. You already know this. We've talked about moving a million times."

"I don't mind the refresher. In fact, I think I'm gonna need refreshers about a ton of more stuff."

Lex pulled up to the mansion and tossed the keys to his sports car to some man Chloe didn't recognize. Then she realized Lex probably had valet at his own house. It was disgusting how the rich lived sometimes.

He went around to Chloe's door and opened it for her. He lifted her effortlessly out of the car.

"Hey! I can walk, you know. I whacked my head, not my legs," she protested. In fact, she felt fine. Her head hardly hurt at all anymore.

Lex ignored her. He brought her inside. "You know, if we were married I'd be carrying you across the threshold right now."

"You still are. Of course since we're not married it lacks the same significance."

Lex sighed. "You can be really unromantic sometimes."

He carried her up the stairs and into a bedroom. It was a very masculine bedroom, decked out in blues and grays, but Chloe didn't mind. Lex dropped her on the king-sized bed and pulled off her shoes and pants before she knew what was happening.

"Hungry? I'll go get you some lunch." Lex turned to leave.

"Hey! Wait!"

Lex froze and turned to face her, his face carefully devoid of any expression. However, she noticed the way his eyes flickered over her bare legs.

"I'm not hungry," she told him.

"Oh." He looked almost disappointed.

"At least not for food," she said meaningfully and patted the bed.

Lex's eyes widened at her proposition. "You're supposed to be resting," he said regretfully.

"I feel fine."

"But what if you're not?"

"Look, just trust me ok?" She patted the bed again.

A smile bloomed on Lex's face and Chloe grinned. Lex walked over to the bed. He gazed down at her for several moments. "Are you absolutely sure? I don't want you to get hurt or anything. This is your last chance to back out."

As an answer Chloe sat up on her knees and began unbuttoning Lex's shirt. He didn't stir as she slipped each button through its hole, he just watched her remove his shirt. It fell on the floor and Chloe stared at his chest for a minute. His skin was smooth and fair. He wasn't obscenely muscular, which Chloe appreciated, but more sinewy and lean. She swept her hands slowly across his warm chest. Unable to resist her tongue darted out to tease one of his nipples. Lex drew in a long ragged breath. She cupped his rock-hard erection through his tailored pants.

Lex groaned and hauled Chloe into his arms. "You're such a tease," he growled. He ground his lips into Chloe's. Her knees weakened and she sat back on her heels, dragging an all too willing Lex with her.

The weight of Lex's body on hers was giddily thrilling. His hands roamed all over her body, one minute grasping her ass to grind it against the long shaft of his erection and the next fondling her breasts through her shirt. Suddenly, he pulled off her shirt and tossed it across the room. He gazed appreciatively at the sight of her breasts, clad in a black lace bra.

Feeling slightly self-conscious an embarrassed blush bloomed across her face and down her neck to her chest. Lex laughed again, a deep insanely erotic chuckle that had Chloe wanting to squirm restlessly under him. Lex sobered up and gazed at her seriously. "You know, you seem different than before the accident," he told her.

"Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" she asked, unbuttoning his pants.

Lex drew in a deep, shuddery breath. "Good. God, yes, a good thing."

Chloe unzipped his pants and Lex quickly threw them off along with his shoes. Now all that separated them from mind-blowing ecstasy were a couple bits of cloth. Lex buried his face in her soft neck, stroking her racing pulse with his tongue. Chloe gasped at the sensation and hugged him tighter to her body. She wrapped her legs around his waist and rubbed the damp crotch of her underwear against his throbbing manhood.

"Holy Jesus," Lex rasped and shuddered.

He yanked off Chloe's bra and underwear before she quite knew what he was doing. He rained kisses down her body, pausing to give lavish attention to her breasts. His scraped his teeth on the soft tender skin under her breasts and Chloe arched into him at the feeling. It was difficult to breath now, she was struggling for oxygen. He drew each of her nipples into his mouth, savoring them like exquisite treats made for solely his enjoyment. Chloe held his head to her body, lightly scraping the back of his head with her blunt nails. Then Lex parted her legs, sweeping his hands up her quivering thighs. He toyed with the blond curls for a moment before parting the wet folds of her most intimate of regions. He rubbed the hard little nub of her clitoris and Chloe moaned, nearly climaxing right there. Bright lights behind her eyelids dazzled her.

"Lex!" she yelped.

"Hmm?" he said, busy paying tender care to each hipbone.

She rose and pushed him onto his back. "That's enough foreplay for me."

His eyes were hooded, luminous with anticipation. "Is it?" he asked.

"Yes, for me anyway."

She kissed him deeply and nibbled at his lips while running her nails across his chest. Finally, she cupped his sensitive balls in her hands and his hips jerked. One hand grasped the base of his shaft and he groaned.

She paused. "Should I stop?" she asked mischievously.

"Don't you dare," he ordered.

She lightly traced the prominent veins of his erection before rubbing his pre-cum around the head of his cock. Lex squeezed his eyes shut. His chest was heaving violently.

"Chloe!" he pleaded, without specifying what exactly he was begging for.

"Yes? What? What do you want?" God, she adored teasing him. She felt like a different person in this dimension, like a bold temptress whose sole purpose was to drive Lex out of his mind with passion. And she couldn't say she minded the feeling. "Is it this?" she asked. Her little pink tongue darted out to lap up a bit of his pre-cum. It was salty, and not at all unpleasant.

"That's it," Lex pronounced and seized her hips. He lowered her on his up-thrust and eager cock. He hissed as her heat enveloped him and she closed her eyes, throwing back her head.

Fully impaled, a quiet but intense scream escaped from Chloe's lips as she climaxed immediately. Once the roaring in her ears subsided she realized that Lex was still hard inside of her. She undulated against his hips, feeling raw with need once again. She rose and lowered her self slowly on Lex.

"Oh, God. Chloe," he whispered. He thrust up into her and the world teetered on its axis. "I can't take it for much longer," he growled and suddenly flipped her onto her back. He gazed down at her as he plunged into her again in one long, deep thrust. Her fingers dug into his back. She lowered her eyelids as his increased the pace of his thrusts.

"No, look at me," he ordered. "I want to see you when you cum for me."

It was a struggle to keep her eyes open, but she did. They stared at each other, eyes glazed over with lust, seeing but totally absorbed in the fireworks erupting between their rocking bodies. Chloe's world shrank and shrank until it was completely focused on the rhythm between the two of them. Her entire body was tense as her climax built again. Higher and higher she flew until with a shriek of staggering, euphoric shock she was flung to the heavens. A loud groan clawed its way up Lex's throat as he came and collapsed on her.

They both lay panting in each other's arm for several long moments. Lex rolled off her, pulling her still joined body on top of his again so that he didn't suffocate her. He kissed her softly and closed his eyes. Chloe was falling rapidly asleep herself.

"I love you, Chloe," she thought she heard him say as she drifted off into exhausted sleep.

It was a quarter after seven by the time she woke up. She blindly reached out across the bed but Lex was gone. Confused, she sat up.

Lex walked into the room fully clothed again and, seeing her awake, grinned. "How's my little sex bunny feeling?" He sat on the bed.

Chloe fell back in bead, throwing the sheet over her bed. "I can't believe you just said that," she said, mortified.

Lex laughed. "Well, I guess I'll have to say it more often then."

Chloe peeked out from the sheet. "Do I have to be a sex bunny? Can't I be something cool like a tiger of panther or something?"

"But tiger doesn't have the same ring to it. Besides, a tiger isn't as cute." He reached under the sheet and gave one of her ankles a playful little squeeze.

"What about a kitten? Kittens are cute."

He sighed exaggeratedly. "I suppose I could compromise with kitten. It'll be tough but I think I can do it." He paused and switched topics. "So, I was thinking about it and I think we should get married as soon as possible. I'm sick of waiting. Let's get married next week. What do you think?"

Chloe's mouth fell open. "Next week?! We can't get married next week!" Lex scowled. "Why not?"

She couldn't very well say that she didn't know if she could figure out how to get back to her own dimension by next week. The thought of never having sex with Lex again was painful, to say the least. A little part of her screamed in protest at the mere thought, and that shook her to the core. She was beginning to care far too much for Lex, and she couldn't have that. Lex loved the other Chloe, not her. Falling in love with Lex would only get her hurt in the end when he realized she wasn't the woman he had proposed to. No, she resolved not to even think of love in relation to Lex.

She also didn't like the fact that the Chloe from this dimension didn't have any choice of whether or not she wanted to switch. The other Chloe must be even more confused than she was. It wasn't fair to her. She wanted to ignore his line of thought, too. She wanted to pretend that there wasn't another Chloe in her dimension probably wondering if she was insane. It felt like if she could convince herself that another Chloe didn't exist then there was the possibility that she could stay in this dimension forever. She tried not to dwell too long on that thought, either.

"Well," she answered Lex, "it's too soon. We can't possibly have everything planned out by then." She felt guilty, as if she was lying to him, and she hated it.

"Who cares? We both want a small wedding anyway. I also am a billionaire, don't forget. You'd be amazed at what huge wads of cash will accomplish."

"I'm sure," she said dryly. "Look, I'm just not ready yet."

The expression on Lex's face was stiff. "When will you be ready then?"

"When I am. Geez, will you get off my case already?" As soon as she said the words, she wanted to take them back.

Lex stood up and shoved his hands in his pants pockets. "Do even want to marry me anymore?" he asked.

Chloe hesitated. What should she say? What should she say? She was so confused. Part of her wanted to shout "hell, yes!" and leap into his arms. What would other Chloe want her to do? It was, after all, her life she was toying with.

"Well... I believe in total honesty between two people who care about each other and-"

"You found out, didn't you?" Lex said, lowering himself to sit on the bed again. He looked shell-shocked. "I've tried to hide it for so long. It all makes sense now, why you've been so distant from me. How did you find out?"

Chloe just stared at him. " stupid do you think I am? You didn't think I'd find out?" she asked, pretending to know what he was talking about. "I was going to tell you, I swear. I just wanted to wait until the right time." He was deathly pale. He attempted a weak smile. "I'd hope you'd be married to me already by the time you found out what I am."

"You were going to wait until we were married before you told me you were a..." she prompted.

"What I don't get," Lex continued, starting out bewildered and growing steadily more and more livid, "is why you made love to me if you knew I was a freak of nature. Did you want to double-check and make sure having sex with a freak would feel the same as with someone totally human? Well, let me tell you- it's not. I've been holding back."

Chloe's jaw dropped and she sat there, naked under the silk sheet, and simply stared at him uncomprehendingly. Her mind furiously worked to process what he had just said, but she could quite wrap her mind around it.

"Freak? What do you mean?"

"What else would you call-" Lex grew very still suddenly. He looked at Chloe taking in her pale, shocked face. "Holy fuck. You didn't know about that, did you?"

"I still don't, really. Explain it to me."

"Well, what do you know about me then?"

"Nothing," she admitted, feeling a bit guilty. "I just said I did to make you spill your guts."

"Well, then why did you say there should be honesty between couple-"

"Lex!" She wanted to scream in frustration. "Stop avoiding me. What did you mean you're a freak?"

Lex shifted uneasily on his feet. He gazed at Chloe as if trying to gage how she'd react to his revelation. His eyes fell and he moved to the bedroom window. He gazed unseeingly out the pane of glass and cleared his throat. "Well," he began slowly. "Everything changed the day of the meteor shower, as you well know. It's hard, damn near impossible, to find anyone in Smallville who hasn't been affected by it. It just so happens that I've been affected more than most." He motioned to his bald head. "If you think that losing my hair was the only way I changed that day then you're incredibly nave or just plain dense."

Chloe frowned faintly. She wasn't sure if she should feel incredibly insulted by that remark. Seeing how edgy he was about telling her his secret, she decided to let him off the hook.

Lex turned around to face her again and attempted a harsh, unpleasant sounding laugh. "Well, that day I traded my hair for psychic powers."

"What? You've got to be joking. What kind of powers? Can you read my mind? What am I thinking right now then?" She sat up in bed excitedly and the sheet fell off her. Lex drew in a sharp breath at the sight of her bare flesh. Chloe yanked up the sheet again with an embarrassed blush.

"They don't work that way. I haven't actually been able to explore my powers fully. I have pretty much free reign with idiots and weak-willed people. I can read their minds, even control them to some extent. I can plant thoughts, erase memories." Lex shrugged. "Altering thoughts or catching the merest glimpses into the minds of others has helped me again and again in my business dealings."

"Jesus Christ," Chloe paled again. The concept that Lex could just mess with people's minds like that was somewhat horrifying. How much had he tinkered around with her brain and she didn't even know it?

Lex flinched at the expression on her face. "I'm usually very careful to control my powers. I don't take advantage of people. Besides, my abilities don't work on intelligent, strong-willed people unless they consciously let me. However, once you invite me in, you can't invite me out and pretend you never did in the first place. I have never touched your mind, Chloe."

"Never?" she said incredulously.

Lex rubbed the back of his neck wearily. "Don't get me wrong. There were times that I sure wished I could. But reading your thoughts would mean I would have to tell you about my abilities."

"Why do you keep your powers a secret?"

"Are you joking? Everyone would treat me differently if they knew. I'm already ostracized enough being a bald billionaire. No one would ever do business with me if they knew about my abilities. My own father would most likely gladly donate me to science. I'd be his little lab-rat son. I don't know about you, but sounds like fun to me," he said sarcastically.

"Why didn't you tell me about them?" she asked. "It seems like a pretty big secret to keep from you fiance."

Lex was silent for a long moment. "I was afraid to. I wanted to figure out a way to tell you without having you freak out. What I preferably wanted was for you to gradually get used to the idea that you were engaged to a man with telepathic abilities. I didn't want to spring them on you like I am now."

"I don't want to sound like an bitch, but I don't think there's anyway you can gradually tell anyone something like this," she told him.

He sat on the bed again. "Look, I'm sorry." He reached out to pat one of her legs consolingly. Chloe jerked away from his touch without quite knowing why she did. Lex froze. An onslaught of emotions flickered in his eyes until he lowered his eyelids. When he spoke his voice was heart-breakingly bleak. "I didn't want you to treat me differently, think less of me. The thing that terrified me the most was the possibility that I could lose your love."

Then he stood up and left the room before she could so much as open her mouth in response. She stood up to run after him but her head throbbed in protest at the sudden moment and she sat back down on the bed. Then she realized that she was naked and threw on some clothes. By the time she made it downstairs the butler told her that Lex had driven off somewhere.

She slowly walked upstairs and back to the bedroom, feeling very tired. She fell into the bed, clothes and all and drifted off to sleep again.

Lex didn't come home until late that night and he slept in another room. She didn't see him at all the next day either or the day after that. He was obviously avoiding her. At first she was oddly relieved that he wasn't around. She needed to think on what he'd said, sort out her muddled feelings. However, his absence by the end of the week began of deeply trouble her. The house felt even more huge and empty without him in it. She wandered aimlessly down the halls, wondering if he was hiding in one of the dozens of rooms. She managed to discover which room he was sleeping at night- it was the one with the only other unmade bed in the house. She also became more and more convinced that she didn't belong here, in this dimension. She just wanted everything to go back to normal, where she could pretend that she didn't feel anything for Lex. Maybe once in her dimension she could make it through a day without missing him, yearning for his touch.

In the middle of the second week of Lex's disappearance Chloe got a visit from none other than Aunt Tally.

She'd been in the library when the butler announced her presence and showed her in. It was utterly shocking to see Aunt Tally in a dark blue tailored pantsuit. Her silvery gray hair wasn't long and braided either. It was shoulder length, and obviously meticulously groomed. The Tally that Chloe had first met walked rather languidly, as if nothing could possibly trouble her, while this one had a confident stride that ate up the ground.

"Hello, Chloe. I'm only dropping by for a minute. I have to run to a trial. How are things?" she asked.

It was obvious that other Tally had met her, well actually other Chloe, before.

"Um, ok," she answered uncertainly.

Tally spotted the medallion sitting on the table near Chloe. "Anything happen yet?" she asked.

Chloe's eyes widened a bit as she realized what Tally must be asking. "Wait a minute! You know about the dimension switching thing?"

A grin spread across Tally's face. "I'll take that as a yes. I gave the Chloe from this dimension that medallion."

"You mean this isn't mine?"

"No. The medallion itself doesn't switch dimensions."

"How much do you know about it?" Chloe asked, utterly fascinated.

"I did a lot of research on it when I was given it. Apparently it's some ancient Celtic relic. They used it to commune with spirits, but they were really contacting other dimensions and didn't know it. When people came back confused and different they just said that it was the influence of the spirits. Anyway, apparently when a person gets a hold of the medallion in at least one other dimension their other self gets it too. Then, if neither of them feels particularly attached to their dimension, or if one is really unhappy then you get switched."

"So, is there anyway to switch back?" Chloe asked.

Tally frowned. "Why do you want to switch back? No one gets switched to a dimension they can't stand, from what I've read."

Chloe sighed. "It's complicated."

"It's Lex, isn't it? Does he know?" Tally questioned.


Tally took a scrap of paper form her purse and scrawled on it. "Here's my cell number. You tell Lex everything and if you still want to return to your dimension then I'll tell you how to switch. Deal?"

Chloe took the piece of paper from her hand and nodded. "Deal."

Chloe hid in the closet of the room that she knew Lex was sleeping in and waited for him. She kept her breathing as silent as humanly possible and moved only when she thought she was going to go nuts if she didn't. Hours seemed to tick by with only Lex's suits to keep her company. She sat on the floor and leaned against the wall. She started to drift off to sleep when she heard the bedroom door open and close.

She jumped to her feet and burst out of the closet. "Lex!"

"Holy fuck!" he swore, jumping a mile. "Chloe! What the hell do you think are you doing in my closet?"

Chloe put one hand on her hip. "It's the only way I could get to you. You've been avoiding me, or have you forgotten?"

He shrugged off his coat and sighed. "I was being considerate and wanted to give you a little space."

"A little?" she scoffed.

"Look, what do you want?" He hung up his coat and sat down on the bed to take off his shoes.

"You told me your secret," she hesitated, feeling queasy with apprehension. "Now, I want to tell you mine." Lex simply raised an eyebrow and waited for her to continue. "You see, I'm not actually the Chloe you think I am."

"What do you mean?"

"I'm not from this dimension. I switched minds with the Chloe from this dimension. Well, actually this medallion switched me." She showed Lex the medallion.

A smile tugged at Lex's lips. "You're from another dimension?"

"I'm totally serious. Okay, ask me something that only the Chloe you were engaged would know."

"Yeah, but then you'll just fake an answer," he argued logically. His eyes were still bright with amusement.

Chloe threw her arms up exasperatedly. "Look, I'm not joking around. What do I have to do to prove it to you?" An idea struck her. "Okay, then read my mind and see if I'm kidding or crazy or whatever."

Lex just looked at her. "Are you serious?"

"Yes. Tell me what to do and I'll let you."

"You trust me enough to let me read your mind?" He sounded amazed. "Remember that once you let me in, I can come in anytime after that."

"Yes, but you realize that people need to keep some thoughts private, right?"

Lex nodded. "There are some things that people think that are better left unsaid."

"Right. Well, I trust you not to invade by brain all the time. I expect to be asked unless there's some kind of emergency. And I seriously doubt you'll try to use some kind of mind control on me."

"Of course not." A grin slowly lit up Lex's face. He nearly beamed with joy. "You have no idea what your trusting me means to me."

"Yeah, well," Chloe mumbled, slightly embarrassed. "Let's just get on with it, okay? What do I have to do?"

"Sit down and relax." He patted the bed beside him.

She sat down next to him, acutely aware of the body heat emanating from his body. "Okay, now what?"

"I said relax," Lex teased lightly. "I'm not your enemy, remember that. Try to keep your mind blank. Don't think of anything. Try mediating. When I think you're relaxed I'll try to read your mind, okay?"

She nodded and closed her eyes. She was tense, waiting for the moment. The last word that Chloe would use to describe herself was mellow and she knew it. She hoped that she was able to relax enough. Deciding it was uncomfortable sitting she scooted back on the bed and laid down. She felt Lex move on the bed and lay down next to her. She took several deep breaths of air and concentrated on feeling nothing. It took a while but, without quite knowing when, it stopped being so hard and it became natural.

"I'm in," Lex whispered.

Chloe's eyes snapped open. "Are you still in?"


"I don't feel you."

You're not supposed to His voice came from inside her head. Chloe jumped a little, unnerved by the sensation of hearing something without using her ears.

"Sorry," Lex said out loud. "I was showing off," he admitted.

"Well?" she asked. "Do you know I'm telling the truth?"

Lex was silent for several moments. She glanced at him on the bed. He was looking blindly up at the ceiling.

He turned his head to stare at her. "Yes, you're telling the truth. You're from a different dimension."

Suddenly she was afraid of what Lex must be seeing inside her head. Was he discovering a person that he didn't like? Was she someone he could never love? She wanted to escape, return to her dimension before she discovered an answer to those questions. Her feelings for Lex terrified her. Resisting the impulse to get up and run from the room was damn near impossible.

Lex touched one of her cheeks lightly. His lips followed his hand, a mere brush of his mouth to her skin. Chloe's heart leapt at that slight touch and she turned toward his mouth helplessly. She smothered his lips with hers, savoring the kiss as if it were her last. Lex folded her into his arms pressing her body against his, deepening their kiss. At last, they tore their lips from each other gasping for air.

"God, Chloe," Lex rasped. She couldn't tell if he was praising her or chastising her.

He drew her in for another, electrifying kiss. Moist heat pooled between her legs and she rubbed restlessly against the erection growing in his pants.

Suddenly the world tilted on its axis and she gasped. She stopped being merely Chloe Sullivan. She could feel Lex's passion, too. The combined lust was almost too much for her.

"It's my powers," Lex explained as he nuzzled her neck. "You make them go insane."

Chloe shuddered. "I'm not complaining," she whispered rawly.

Lex nipped her sensitive neck, sprinkling delicious little kisses over her. It was amazing how she could feel his genuine pleasure about pleasing her. She wanted to throw everything to the wind, chain herself to the bed and become Lex's permanent sex slave.

Lex chuckled. "Sounds good to me."

He dragged her shirt over her head and shucked off her pants while Chloe lay on the bed befuddled by their combined passion and let him. He eagerly removed his clothes, throwing them carelessly about the room. Soon their naked bodies were pressed together, hot skin against hot skin. Chloe wrapped her arms around his neck and rubbed her sensitive breasts again his chest. They both trembled as a fierce bolt of desire rattled them senseless. Chloe ached for their joining, yearned for Lex to fill her with him, and she could feel his need for the same as if it were her own. Fluid trickled down between her legs at the need.

She grabbed Lex's waist and he let her guide him to her. They both knew that neither of them could handle much foreplay now with their heightened emotions. Lex and Chloe slowly merged. Chloe held her breath as they fit together, like two puzzle pieces. Her mind swam. Her skin was burning up, on fire with excitement. At the same time she was rocked the feeling of being stretched by Lex, she could also feel his ecstasy of being gripped by her white-hot heat.

They both stilled, trying desperately not to teeter over the edge too soon. Chloe knew this might be the last time she had sex with him and she wanted it to last a little longer.

"Chloe..." Lex's voice was tight and he struggled for meager shreds of sanity.

"Shhh." She didn't want to hear that he only lusted after her because she looked like his Chloe.

She rocked against him and they both clenched their eyes shut at the friction. Lex's throbbing shaft rubbed against that little spot that made her quiver for release. Lex groaned gutturally and thrust deeper into her. Chloe raised her hips eagerly to meet him halfway. They fell into a rapid rhythm. Their bodies were entwined, rocking the bed and glistening with sweat. Chloe grabbed onto his firm, cute little ass and Lex's fingers were leaving possessive little imprints on her hips.

The tension was getting unbearable as they reached the absolute peak of their climax. Lex's breathing was loud, punctuated with harsh little gasps. Desperate, high pitched cries escaped Chloe's throat. The noises of their passion filled the nearby empty halls of the mansion.

With a mutual explosion of release they were both set free. Chloe rose off the bed with her climax and Lex's arms tensed as he shouted in triumph and then gave out, making him collapse on top of her. They lost all concept of time or place. They were nothing and everything all at once. They held each other for some minutes before sleep sucked them under.

When Lex woke early afternoon the next day Chloe was gone.

Clark peered over at Chloe as if he wanted to say something. Chloe was uncharacteristically silent, staring out the window of the pickup.

"Thanks for picking me up, Clark," she said at last.

"No problem. Where are we going?"

"I don't know yet." She turned on her cell phone and dialed the number that Tally had given her.

"Hello?" Tally said.

"Hi. This is Chloe. I told him."

"How'd he take it?"

She wasn't sure what to say. Lex still lusted after her, she knew. But it wasn't enough. She needed love she'd decided that morning when she'd woken up. It had been one of the hardest things to do in her life, to tear herself away from that bed. Lex had looked so peaceful and content with the world sprawled across the bed. When she'd gotten up he groaned a little and she froze. When he didn't wake up she threw on her clothes and left. The first person she could think of that would be able to pick her up was Clark. "He doesn't love me," she told Tally. Clark nearly swerved off the road.

"He said that?" Tally sounded incredulous.

"Well, no. But I know he doesn't."

"Did you actually ask him if he loved you?" Tally asked patiently.

"I shouldn't have had to," she said. Lex had been reading her mind last night, he would've known that she wanted to know if he loved her. He'd said nothing, though. That only could mean that he didn't.


Feeling a lecture coming on she cut Tally off. "Look, just tell me somewhere to meet you. I want to go home." It was odd, but she had started to think of this dimension as home.

Tally sighed. "Fine, if this is what you want."

"It is."

"Go to some place where you think that you would go to often, no matter what dimension you were in- but especially your original dimension. Someplace that you feel comfortable in, someplace familiar."

Chloe thought about it for a moment. Someplace she went to often... Then it came to her. "The Talon."

"The Talon?"

"Yeah, I went there practically everyday. They have great lattes." She felt kind of silly admitting it. She wished that she could have said she went to someplace less dopey all the time.

"Okay, I'll meet you there in ten, fifteen minutes okay?"

"Okay. Bye."


Chloe hung up.

"Can you drive me to the Talon?" she asked Clark.

"Sure." He paused for a moment. "Who doesn't love you?"

Chloe sighed. She knew he was going to ask that. "Lex," she admitted.

"Lex? Lex doesn't love you? Are you leaving him then?" he asked eagerly.

"Kind of, yes."

"You know, you can stay at my house until you get your own place," Clark offered, carefully casual.

"Thanks," She paused, "but you and I will never be a couple. You know that, don't you?" She felt a little twinge of guilt at her brutal honesty.

Clark hesitated. "Maybe you could learn to love me-"

"I won't. I'm sorry Clark. You'll find someone who loves you back, I know it."

A heavy silence fell upon the car. "But they won't be as cool as you," Clark tried to joke but she could hear the pain in his voice.

She felt absolutely wretched. She wished could tell him that she could learn to love him. Lying had never been her forte, however. She could never truly love him, at least not the way he wanted her too. She could love him as a friend but nothing deeper than that.

She loved Lex, she admitted to herself and tears burned behind her eyes. Her heart ached with the realization. Somehow her discovery didn't come as much of a surprise to her. She must have loved Lex all along and not known it. She skimmed over her all too brief relationship with him. She started off remembering their odd friendship back in her original dimension. She had adored their friendship but had never let herself fall in love with him because she knew he'd loved Helen. Then when she got to this dimension everything changed. Without Helen in the picture and Lex declaring his love to her it became only all too easy to fall in love with him. She had to have been half in love with him back in her own dimension.

"I'm in love with Lex," she whispered out loud.

"I figured as much," Clark said resignedly. "Why are you leaving him then?"

"He doesn't love me."

"As much as I'd love to agree with you, I have to ask if you're insane."

A reluctant smile tugged at her lips. "I've been wondering that myself all too often lately."

"Look, it's obvious that he loves you. He can barely tear himself away from you and when he's with you he practically glows. It's disgusting."

"Oh, Clark! That's the nicest thing anyone said to me in a while." She laughed a sad tear-choked laugh. "You're such a great friend."

"I know, I know."

"You're going to make some lucky girl very happy."

"Geez, you sound like my mother." A sincere smile spread across his face.

"Well, it doesn't make it any less true."


They parked over in front of the Talon and got out. Lana was washing a table and beamed at them as they came in.

"Chloe! It's been quite sometime since I've seen you in here. Shouldn't you be resting?" she asked.

"Nah. I'm all rested up. Where's Helen?"

"Oh, you know Helen. She's staging some sort of gay rights protest. She left early this morning, I was half asleep when she told me. What's up with you Clark?"

"Just dropping off Chloe here. I have to go and finish up some chores or else my dad will have my neck." He looked inquiringly at Chloe. "You all set?"

She nodded. "Yeah, I'm good."

"Call me if you need a ride or anything, okay?"

"Thanks, I will." Not that she'd be here long enough to need to.

She settled at a table in a far corner of the Talon and Lana brought her a latte. She cupped it in her hands, absorbing its warmth while she drank. The caffeine felt heavenly pouring down her throat.

She stood up when she saw Tally enter the Talon. Tally spotted her and came over to her table. She was carrying some sort of bag.

"Are you sure you want to do this?"


"Okay...You do have the medallion, don't you?"

"Of course." She laid it out on the table.

"Good. First, I should explain some things to you. You see the thing that kind of looks like an hourglass on it?"

Chloe looked at it again. "Yes."

"Well, it's not actually an hourglass. It's a feather."

"Funny looking feather." She looked at it closer. The longer she looked at it the more she could see its resemblance.

"Yes, well, considering the medallion is thousands of years old it's amazing that it hasn't crumbled into a pile of dust. Naturally, it's not in wonderful shape. You remember how I told you that this is a Celtic artifact? Well, Freja is the Norse goddess of fertility, love, and magic. In mythology it says that she traveled between the worlds using a coat made out of feathers. Getting back to the dimension you're from is a lot more difficult than it was coming here."

"What do I have to do?" She asked, hoping it would be some sort of ritualistic sacrifice or something.

"Well, you have to chant `Freja, return me, return me to whence I came' in your head, concentrating on keeping your mind solely on those words and holding the medallion."

"That doesn't sound too hard. A little stupid, but not that bad."

"It's not as easy as it sounds. It's hard to clear away all other thoughts. I'm not sure what will happen if this works right. I haven't read of anyone successfully switching back before."

"Wonderful." She rolled her eyes.

"Oh, and you have to wear this." Tally pulled out a mass of white feathers from her bag. She shook it out, making feathers fly everywhere. She handed it to Chloe and Chloe took it.

"Don't tell me this is what I think it is," she said with a laugh.

"It's a coat entirely made out of swan feathers," Tally said indignantly.

"Where the hell did you get it?"

"I made it. It took forever to find all the feathers. There was a time where I wanted to switch back, too. But I don't anymore."

Chloe put it on. The feathers scratched uncomfortably against her skin. She grabbed the medallion. "Okay, now all I say is `Freja, return me, return me to hence I came' in my head over and over again, right?"

"Yup, and concentrate on only the words."

"Okay." She took a deep breath and started to chant the words in her mind. It was a lot harder than she thought it would be. She had to tune out the noises in the Talon, forget she was surrounded by people. She had to ignore any thoughts of Lex. On top of everything else, the coat was making her itch.

Just as she thought she was succeeding a familiar voice demanded What the hell do you think you're doing? in her head.

Freja return me, return me from whence I came, she said louder in her mind. Freja return me, return me from whence I came...

What?! Wait a minute, Chloe- Lex protested.

FREJA RETURN ME, RETURN ME FROM WHENCE I CAME!!! Now she was shouting the words in her head, drowning out Lex's voice. The words throbbed in her skull but she kept chanting them. A roar began as a whisper in her ears and grew louder and louder until she thought her eardrums were going to explode.

And then it happened.

She felt a sharp pain in her chest, as though someone was trying to suck out her heart through her breast plate with a straw. Her skin went numb and she lost all sensation of being in her body. She was floating in an inky black pool of nothingness.

Then there were lights, tiny little orbs of rainbow color that danced merrily about her. They brushed against her but Chloe couldn't feel them. A woman emerged from them. She was an Amazon, amazingly tall and voluptuous with masses of fiery red hair that fell to her waist. She wore a leather bodice with a long flowing skirt and filmy shawl.

The woman spotted Chloe and smiled. "You again?" Her voice was like rain on a summer night, beautiful and cleansing. Then she frowned. "Why are you here? You want to return to your former dimension? But you belong in the one you're in now. I never make a mistake about that."

Chloe wished that she had a mouth so that she could talk to her.

Freja sighed, knowing what Chloe wanted to say without words. "Stubborn humans, don't know what's best for them. You want to go back, fine. But first..." She waved her shawl and she was gone.

More lights passed her by. Chloe wasn't sure if she was moving or if the lights were just moving around her. She felt like the Millennium Falcon shifting into hyper-drive.

Then another person came into focus. It was...herself.

The other Chloe frowned. "So you must be the other me that I switched with. What do you think you're doing now?"

Switching back she said in her mind.

"Why? You belong in my old dimension now."

Why don't you want to switch back? she asked.

"I like this one better. It was too stressful in mine. I didn't love Lex like he loved me. I wanted out of the relationship but I couldn't figure out how."

You didn't love Lex? Her feelings made it hard for her to understand that anyone, much less herself, could not love Lex.

"No, I don't, but I'm guessing by the way you said that that you are." She smiled. "That's good. I didn't want to break Lex's heart. I've been thinking about it and I think I have it all figured out. You and I are basically the same person, true. We both have the tendency to speak our minds, want to know everything, and hate waking up in the morning. But we're also two different people. We were raised differently. Our friends are different. We are not totally the same. We are merely different versions of ourselves. I am a possibility of you and you are a possibility of me. Lana in your old dimension is straight, but somewhere inside her are homosexual tendencies. That's how it is possible for her to be gay in my old dimension. So somewhere inside of me there is the possibility to love Lex. I just haven't realized this possibility. You get what I'm saying?"

Makes sense Chloe agreed, impressed by her own brilliance.

"I guess I could switch dimensions again if you're unhappy. It's not fair of me to make you stay because I don't want to." The other Chloe muttered reluctantly and began to fade away.

She started to feel the pain again, the feeling of being sucked to another place, and she knew she was leaving.


The lights stopped moving past her, like frozen shooting stars.

"Chloe! Don't leave me!" Lex appeared before her as a transparent copy of himself, lights glowing through his body. He stretched out his hand to her, his face twisted emotionally.

How did you get here? Why shouldn't I leave?

"I followed you in through your mind. And you shouldn't leave because I love you!"

No, you love the other Chloe, she said.

The other Chloe appeared beside her again. They were replicas of each other in all but clothes. "Tell her Lex," she said. "She's terribly confused."

"I love you both," he admitted. "You were in my head when we made love, didn't you feel my love? Do you think I could feel such incredible passion, such terrifying tenderness if I didn't love you?"

You can't love us both!

"Yes, I can. You both are Chloe. You are the same person. The only difference is that you love me and the other Chloe doesn't."

Chloe's resolution to leave wavered just a little bit.

Lex's voice grew a bit louder as he seemed to sense her hesitance. "And your love makes every bit of difference. I could never be truly happy with the Chloe originally from my dimension because she doesn't love me back. You're the Chloe I want. I need you. You make me whole." He drew closer to her until he stood right in front of her. He looked deeply into her eyes and raised his hand as if he were cupping her cheek. She swore she could feel his gentle touch and something turned over inside her.

"Chloe, I only want you happy. If you really want to leave me, I'll let you." His eyes were bright with unshed tears and his voice was raw. "I just wanted you to know that we fit, that you're the only Chloe for me. I'll never be the same if you leave, but knowing that you're happy will make it easier to live each day." He took a deep shaky breath. "Goodbye, Chloe." Then he faded away.

Wait, Lex! she cried.

She didn't want to leave, she realized desperately. She loved both Lexs, too. But she belonged with this Lex, the Lex that loved her. His dimension was her home now.

The other Chloe grinned. "Good. I would've argued with you forever even if he hadn't shown up, you know. Stubborn as a mule, we both are." Then she vanished too and Chloe was alone with the beautiful lights.

The pain shot through her again. No! she shouted in terror. She changed her mind. The lights dimmed around her and the numbness faded.

"Chloe, Chloe," a voice chanted from some distance.

"I told you so," Freja's voice said merrily.

Suddenly Chloe was back in the body. She scratched the back of her neck absently.

"Chloe!" The call was closer and more urgent

She opened her eyes to see Lex's face close to hers. His eyebrows were furrowed and lines bracketed around the corners of his mouth. He grabbed her by the arms, his grip almost painfully tight, and he shook her frantically when she continued to stare at him blankly. He clenched his eyes shut and a single tear slipped out of his left eye.

"Please tell me you're my Chloe," he whispered. He sat on the floor in front of her chair and buried his head in her lap.

His words made her snap back to reality and she realized that she hadn't switched dimensions. "Oh, so it's your Chloe now is it?" she teased.

He looked up at her, his eyes searching hers for a minute. Then he smiled, not a reluctant half smirk sort of smile but a smile that lit him up from the inside. He stood and drew her into the warmth of his arms. His mouth was brutal on hers, a mixture of desperation and joy in his kiss. Chloe sagged against him with a delighted sigh.

Tally cleared her throat. "Yes, well. If you're done with my coat can I have it back?"

A rumble of laughter shook Lex. They parted and Lex looked at her feather coat. He arched an eyebrow. "Chloe, you could start a new trend."

Chloe gave him a weak jab in the stomach and gave the coat back to Tally. "Very funny. If you're not careful you're going to make me wonder why I didn't switch back after all."

Lex's smile dulled significantly. "You don't regret not switching, do you?"

Chloe smiled reassuringly and pulled him closer. "No, I was just kidding. This is where I belong, I know that now."

"Good." Lex brushed his lips over her cheek to nip her ear playfully. "Now, let's go home and I'll do my best to remind you why you belong here," he growled suggestively.

She slipped a hand underneath his shirt, savoring the feel of his skin with her touch. "Hmmm, yes," she said. "You know, I'm finding my memory isn't as good as it used to be. I think I'll need frequent reminders."


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