Chloe crossed her arms over her chest and glared at her dad, "It's itchy!"
Gabe smiled but kept his eyes on the road, "Chloe, you're a big girl now, you can't wear your Tinkerbell costume anymore, you're too big for it."
"Then I wanted a bigger one but like that!" She pouted and stared ahead, "I don't wanna be Sleeping Beauty! She's boring, all she does is sleep and hurt her finger."
He suppressed a chuckle, only his five year old daughter would call a princess boring while all other little girls dreamed of being like them, "But you're a beautiful princess, honey. And Sleeping Beauty is blonde, like you."
"So is Tinky!" She sighed heavily and squirmed on her seat, "Daa-ad, it's really itchy!"
"It'll get better when you get up." Gabe said as he pulled over at the Metropolis LuthorCorp building. "Which you can do now. We are here." He made his way around the car and helped Chloe out. She kept squirming as they made their way to where the ball was being held. This was a LuthorCorp tradition, according to his new co-workers, and he figured it'd be okay to bring Chloe along since everyone else's kids would be there.
As soon as they entered the ballroom, he felt Chloe pause beside him. Looking down to his daughter, he saw her eyes widen and her mouth open as she stared at the room and it's decoration. Once the shock wore off she smiled brightly at him and tugged on his hand, as she pointed around with the other one, "Look, dad! There is a real haunted castle! Can I go there? Please!?"
He took a better look at the miniature castle and saw kids running in and out of it, but it still looked extremely dark inside and he didn't want Chloe to get lost as she usually did. Sure she always found him before he could find her, but it was never a good idea to let her wander where he couldn't see. Gabe knelt down next to her, "I don't know Chloe. It looks really dark and scary in there. Are you sure? Do you want me go with you?"
The little girl shook her head and her eyes kept glued to the castle for a few more seconds before she grinned excitedly at him, "You said I was a big girl. Big girls can go alone and I'm not afraid of the dark daddy, or of the monsters. I wanna see them! Can I go?"
With a deep breath he smiled and nodded, "Ok. When you come out, come and find me." She nodded and he looked around the room, once he saw a few familiar faces he pointed in their direction, "I'll be there, near the cauldrons. Come and tell me what you found inside when you're done, ok?"
Another nod, a quick hug and the girl ran in the direction of the castle. Gabe kept his eye on her until she crossed the small bridge that lead to the main doors.
Once inside the castle, Chloe looked up and saw the spiders hanging from the ceiling, they were icky but she wasn't afraid of them. Her daddy was right, it was pretty dark in there but there were no monsters inside. The castle was not as scary as she expected but she kept walking down the narrow corridor anyway, every once and a while poking at the walls to see if there was anything in there.
A few minutes later and she reached the end of the castle. There were no monsters inside and Chloe was extremely disappointed. But the castle had lead her to a different place, not where she had left her dad at, but a place that had less people at and then a long corridor.
She glanced back at the party, then to the castle exit and back to the long, slightly dark, corridor. After making sure no one was looking at her, Chloe quickly made a run towards the corridor. All the while looking back to make sure no one was following her, she only stopped running when she tripped on her dress, almost falling on her face. She glared down at it and pulled it up before she continued walking.
There were many doors down the corridor and she tried one by one but they were all locked. She was almost on the end of the corridor when one of them finally opened. Chloe quietly entered the room that was just as dark as the corridor had been, but less then the castle had been.
The room was huge and Chloe was as impressed by it as she had been with the castle, it has long walls made of books, a few chairs and couches and a huge fireplace. She noticed there was someone sitting on one of the chairs, it's back to her and momentarily wondered if it was one of the monsters that were supposed to be on the castle.
Silently, she started to approach the chair, but before she could reach it, it turned around and Chloe's eyes widened, not sure what she expected to see. She was proud of herself for not screaming though. Big girls didn't scream. Once she noticed the person currently staring at her, she looked him up and down and frowned. It was a boy, "Why aren't you dressed up?"
The boy frowned back and rested the book he had been reading on his lap, eyeing the girl curiously, "Because I'm not a child. I'm too old to dress up."
The girl rested her hands on her hips "You're not too old, you're a boy. I'm a big girl and I've dressed up." She said matter-of-factly. "What's your name?"
She frowned again, "Your name is big. Why are you here?"
He glared at the girl, "Because I don't like parties. Why are you here?"
"My dad said I could go to the castle so I went and then there weren't any monsters in there so I came here to see if I could find them and then all doors didn't open and I found this one and it did." Chloe explained and nodded her head once she was finished.
"There are no monsters here. Go back to the party." Lex said and picked up his book. The girl stood still, staring at him, hands on her hips. He sighed and put his book down, "Do you want me to help you find your mother?"
Her head dropped instantly and she toed the ground, "My mom isn't here. Daddy says she'll be away for a while." She looked up again, her big green eyes watery, "But my cousin Lois says my mom isn't coming back, just like her mommy." Chloe moved closer and whispered to Lex, "I think she's lying."
Lex raises his eyebrows at the little blonde and decided agreeing was the best option, "I'm sure she is. Do you need help finding your father?"
The blonde shook her head, "I always find him!" She said with a smile. "He says I'm not supposed to get lost but I think he gets lost because he is the one who can't find me."
Lex only nodded, "I see. Then go find him, he must be worried."
Chloe considered for a moment then said "Okay!" She hugged the boy and said, "Bye Alexander!" Before rushing out of the room.
A few minutes later, Gabe saw his daughter running in his direction, he welcomed her with a warm hug and as soon as she was on the ground again, she started talking, "Dad! I saw this boy and he had no hair and he looked very sad! I think he really was sad because he said he didn't like parties and then he said he was too old to dress up but I know he isn't because I can dress up and I'm a big girl and then he said I should find mom and I told him Lois said mom wasn't coming back and he said if I wanted him to find you and I said I didn't and he said there were no monsters there and that you were worried about me!"
Chloe took a deep breath after she finished talking and Gabe smiled. He had missed most of what she said because Chloe had the habit of talking too much, too fast and without pauses. He only nodded and said, "That's great sweetie. Are you hungry?" The girl nodded and he took her in his arms again, "Let's go get you something to eat."
Chloe made a face and scratched her leg with the hand that wasn't around Gabe's neck, "Daddy? It's still itchy!"
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