White Roses

by HumbugGirl

Author's Notes: 1) fic based on the theory behind what white roses mean, and in case some of you don't know, white roses were the flowers that Lex sent to Chloe when she was in hospital during the events of 'Kinetic'
Feedback: As always, it would be appreciated.

Title: White Roses
Author: HumbugGirl
Email: humbuggirl@hotmail.com
URL: http://www.geocities.com/oddfiction Pairing: Chloe/Lex
Rating: PG
Summary: Chloe discovers a few things while in hospital. Spoilers: Kinetic
Disclaimer: None of the characters or the concept of `Smallville' belong to me. Author's Notes: 1) fic based on the theory behind what white roses mean, and in case some of you don't know, white roses were the flowers that Lex sent to Chloe when she was in hospital during the events of `Kinetic' Feedback: As always, it would be appreciated.

Chloe hated Smallville hospital. It was one of the few places she truly hated with a passion that even the presence of her precious computer and a hijacked internet connection couldn't dull. It had always been the same story right from when she had been eight years old and she had fallen and bumped her head to when she had been thirteen and her first disastrous attempt at dirt bike ridding with Pete that had resulted in what might have been a broken leg if she had been any unluckier. Ultimately though she could have stood the boredom; it was irritating but not enough to flip out over. No, the thing that really got to her was the fact that some genius, no doubt ensconced as the head of the board of directors for the hospital, had decided that the best way to alleviate boredom, to stave it off even, was to paint the entire place in the most garish, migraine inducing shades that had ever existed.

Even that taken into consideration, maybe because that was taken into consideration, Chloe might have been able to stand it if it was for the way in which her eyes kept getting drawn to one of the few splodges of white in the room; one of the few spots where her tired eyes could be relieved from the visual torture that surrounded her. The problem was looking at it was a kind of torture in itself.

For a start it felt like the roses were staring right back at her.

Chloe didn't believe for one second that he had gotten his assistant to pick them out. Pete had half suggested the idea but it didn't sound. No, she was nearly certain that Lex had gone out of his way to pick them out for her and that meant that his selection had to have a meaning. Lex wasn't the type of guy to leave something like that to chance. Everything Lex did was carefully planned and that was the reason that she couldn't just accept the fact that his choice had been accidental.

That little thought had sent her scurrying for her computer and the nearest search engine and before long Chloe had found herself staring at her screen in unsettled disbelief as she tried to reconcile what she was reading with what she already knew. A gift of white roses though apparently meant more than she had previously ever imagined however and the discovery made Chloe shift and start and have her heart flutter a little unexpectedly.

"You're heavenly."

Chloe found herself glancing twice, ensuring she had read what she thought she had spied there and sure enough the words remained the same. A little smile edged its way nervously onto her lips almost against Chloe's will.

It could mean a few different things of course. It could simply be a congratulatory insinuation connected to the interview she had performed; said with little heat and simply the closest thing to what he actually wanted to say that he could find. On the other hand it could mean a lot more. Looking back Chloe thought over how he had sincerely seemed to enjoy the interview that they had been indulging in before Clark had interrupted... What had he called it? `Verbal judo'? Well that was a catchy little phrase if ever she had heard one and the way it had been said, confirmed when she played back her tape recorder, had been in an amused, affectionate sort of manner.

`You're heavenly'... she thought. There was no way on earth that it could be taken as anything other than a compliment. To her ears it reminded her greatly of something old and impassioned, something which she might have read had she opened some great love story. Love, might have been taking it a little far but that didn't mean there was no attraction in the words.

"Innocence and purity," she read aloud, rolling the words around her tongue for a second before slumping back against the full pillows that had been set behind her.

Well `innocent' was one thing she was not; Chloe wasn't exactly the least knowledgeable girl in the world. Okay so she wasn't the world's wisest about some things that by no means was she innocent. Lex however wasn't to know that. They had only met on the one occasion before and that had been brief to say the least. At the same time she couldn't see Clark or her own father mentioning anything about her love life to the man; hell they didn't even know about most of the aspects of her love life so they couldn't mention anything to him.

In that respect the idea that `purity' came into the equation in a similar way. Biting her lip slightly Chloe decided that she wouldn't discount the too meanings entirely. They certainly weren't negative after all. On the contrary who was she to say that Lex didn't see those things in her as something which youth brought with them and furthermore than that, that he saw the idea that they might exist in Chloe as positive virtues for her character to have. Therefore, she thought, it's actually a good thing, even if it was that thing that she would probably hastily dispel in his mind if he were to get to know her better.

Firmly pushing those thoughts away from her mind, not wanting to get too involved with what they might mean Chloe looked at the rest of the outline and raised an eyebrow as she saw the word `reverence' printed there in bold type. The thought that he might respected her was an oddly fulfilling one and furthermore that that feeling might stretch to awe? Well, that was something that made Chloe's insides doing a happy little dance. Whether he was in awe of her journalistic capabilities or whether her was simply in awe of her as a person then she was happy. Either was an achievement considering who the sender of the flowers were and if they were both the fact then it went far beyond an achievement. After all, wasn't the idea of `reverence' often connected with that of love?

Her favourite interpretation was perhaps that of `humility' though; the quality of being humble, of feeling freedom from pride and arrogance that just had to be liberating, especially to a man like Lex Luthor. If he meant to infer that in her presence then he felt a sense of freedom then that was something to be proud of let alone anything else. Luthor's were, she guessed, trapped in many respects by the world around them and one of the main people who maintained that was journalists. That he could feel humble around her was something that Chloe could more than live with. Especially if it meant that he could find it within himself to treat her as an equal or better yet, to acknowledge that fact that he was in the presence of an equal.

Somehow Chloe guessed that wasn't a compliment that Lex gave out very often.

As for `secrecy and silence'... well Chloe had already pretty much decided upon what that meant with very little difficulty. It could only be a reference to the looks that had passed between them during the interview. Chloe wasn't dumb, she had spotted the appreciative looks he had shot towards her when she had first walked in the room at the mansion and they had had nothing to do with her journalistic abilities at that point in time. She was also certain that Clark had noticed them also and that had prompted her into taking advantage of the situation, perhaps to make him jealous, perhaps only to show Lex that she liked and appreciation that he had thrown her way by letting a few lingering looks travel back in his direction. It might have stopped at that, nothing more might have been done about it if Lex hadn't caught onto the looks she gave him so strongly and sent them back with interest. Then the `verbal judo', as Lex chose to call it, had evolved and Chloe had been lost in the joy of the power of conversation, enjoying it thoroughly while at the same time realising that it was undoubtedly flirting which was also going on. She was only thankful that Clark hadn't caught on to the fact. There was no way that he would have dealt with it very well, hell he couldn't even handle a proper aggressive interview let alone the idea that he was somehow stuck in a room with too people who had more than a little sexual tension between them at that point in time.

Chloe wasn't afraid to admit that. She had been aware of the tension when she had first met Lex back in the torch offices and she had been aware of it then.

But that wasn't the point. Looking over at the flowers Chloe realised abruptly that they were a message in more than one way. Apparently, from the meanings they were a massive compliment of some sort but also, apparently they inferred that perhaps it would be best to keep in a secret between them still what had passed between them even in plain sight of their friend.

Trying to assess how she felt about that idea Chloe found herself a little confused. On the one hand she was overjoyed that someone like Lex seemed to have such feeling for her and she really did want to go out and tell people; the childish part of her wanted to go and wave it around in the faces of certain girls at school who she knew had a crush on the handsome young Luthor and who had made a point of making her life hell for the past couple of years. Chloe truly doubted that Lex would appreciate that very much however and furthermore it might actually make his reassess his opinion of her which of course was something that she did not want. From that at least she could appreciate Lex's desire for secrecy. Besides there was something fun in the idea of keeping silent about what had happened between them. It was fun to know that there was that one thing between them and just between them without anyone else interfering with it. Ultimately Chloe decided she liked the idea of keeping quiet about it. For one her father wouldn't have a fit and stop the whole affair dead.

Chloe glanced across at the flowers once again, peering at them and wondering whether she could detect a slight flush about the roses; a clear signal that evidently meant `I'm available'.

Okay, so maybe that would be a little much to hope for.

The final message though was the one which really made her stop and think and brought a smile to Chloe's lips which could have dazzled the room if there had been anyone else present.

"I'm worthy of you"

She didn't need telling twice.


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