"Chloe Sullivan is dead... I killed her." She turned and walked away from him, still studying his reflection in the window. "It's not really what you think. You see, I was Chloe Sullivan... but not any more... perhaps never again." She turned back around and looked him in the eye, mirth apparent.
"You must be wondering what the hell I am talking about. Just a crazy woman rambling... but I bet you see it now."
"Back my claim up with some evidence? Let's try this... how would I describe myself at that age...? Hmm... Everything was a mystery for me to solve. I was excited about life, but at the same time I thought is was jaded. Among my friends, excluding Lex Luthor, if I could call him a friend, I was the most jaded. In reality, I was just beginning, I hadn't seen anything yet. I was in love with Clark, but he didn't realize that I was there, wanting him for so long." She laughed bitterly wishing she hadn't quit smoking.
"I thought he had finally come around because he had asked me to the spring formal..." She looked up as if the feeling was just above her head and if she stared at it long enough it would once again inhabit her body. "Oh, I was so excited." She let out a bitter laugh and looked back into his eyes. "I was delusional." She glance to her side as if a memory had ran past her. "I even picked him up for the dance. He told me I looked beautiful... hmm... but he left. In the middle of the fucking dance he left. I just looked up and he was gone." She went searching in her purse for a cigarette only to remember again that she had quit. "You know I had told him that I had been having these nightmares that he would rush to the bus station after Whitney left and profess you undying love for Lana and that I was going be left waiting at the gym all alone. I told him that if he did that, then I would never speak to him again. And I haven't... until now." She leaned her body on the desk and smiled knowingly. "You know, its dangerous wanting something too much in Smallville. With those meteors you could end up getting what you wanted, and then some. I didn't want to end up on my own Wall of Weird from wanting too much. Certainly not for wanting something that I could never have..." Chloe took a deep breath, then continued.
"It was really hard for me to get repeatedly passed over for Lana. I didn't have many friends and I was in a really bad place emotionally. So as soon as the tornado left, so did I. Gone in twenty four hours. My dad really wanted me to stay but I told him that Smallville just wasn't for me. He told me I could go back to Metropolis. But damn it, it_wasn'tfarenough! So I went to stay with my great-aunt in Gotham. Now there's a city for a girl trying to find herself...such a dark city." She looked up at him and couldn't read his expression.
"My great-aunt's name was Autumn Lane. She was one of those old broads that were tough as nails." She smiled fondly at the memory. "She had been one of the first female journalists back in her day. As soon as she got me home, she sat me down and looked me straight in the eye and said, `Now Chloe you always have two choices in life: You can run and hide, or stick around and wait for the story. In all my years, I found that each one was necessary at one point or another. I trust you knew that it was time to run.'...And I did, too.
"She helped me reinvent myself. I dyed my hair black and changed my name to Lois Lane. You might think that was a little sick, you know, to turn myself into a raven hair girl with the initials L. L., but I wasn't trying to be Lana. I chose that name as a reminder. No matter what, wherever I went, I would remember how easy it is to be placed second." Lois looked up and sat a little straighter. Anger was creeping its way into her visage. "Look, I'm not crazy; it just makes me work harder, you know. If you've noticed, I have never placed second in anything since leaving Smallville... I graduated valedictorian from high school. I went to NYU, where I graduated top of my class. I was offered a lot of jobs in New York, but none of them let me be a journalist. The Planet was the only one that would give me a byline. So I took it. I packed up and moved back here. I made a name for myself. I got my self a reputation as one hell of a writer and a damn good investigative reporter." She smiled and looked at him disbelievingly. "Did you really think that glasses would throw me off?"
"Um, honestly yes. You would be surprised how many journalist it fools around the world." He smiled at her for the first time that night.
"Your mistake was saying that you didn't like peas." Lois commented, walking closer.
"I suppose it was" said Clark, looking sheepish.
"It made me think of another boy that didn't like peas. But glasses! You could at least have a mask like Batman!"
"I could have." He replied softly. " Why didn't you ever answer my emails?"
Lois quipped back, "Why didn't you try to find me?"
"I did. I asked your father. And Pete didn't know where. I tried to get the information from the office, but they told me they couldn't--"
"You didn't ask Lex," Lois interjected softly
"Well, no I didn't." Clark looked up, realization dawning in his jade eyes.
"He knew. I left him my address and phone number if you ever asked him to do you the favor of looking me up. But you never did."
"I didn't. Well, Lex and I are hardly friends anymore." He looked up and they shared an understanding look.
"I am not that boy anymore either. I've seen too much. I can't stand to be around people who don't know how the world works anymore...You know Lana married Pete."
"It must have killed you."
"No, it didn't. I was his best man. I can't talk to them anymore. They have such a small perspective. That's why I love these talks with you." Clark looked at her and smiled that shy smile that had always taken her breath away.
"Damn that Kent charm."
"So is that a yes?" Clark queried hopefully.
"Did you know I was her?" Always a question for a question. Her story turned into history.
"Not at first... But, I kept having the feeling that I had met you before... You were gone before I had enough time to muster my courage and apologize."
"I don't do lame ass excuses. I didn't then, and I don't now... I realized what you were way back then you know... You weren't a mutant, because you couldn't stand to be around those rocks." She paced around like she was making the discovery all over again.
"No, you had to be something else. And with all those rumors about something else coming down with the rocks... I figured it was you. I was trying to let you know that I knew with the research of your adoption, but you didn't want to share with me. I guess that that was one thing that you and Lana had in common, both adopted. Hmm... you didn't even notice that I took the wall of weird down..."
"I did after you left. I noticed a lot after you left. I really missed you." Clark placed his hands on her arms to stop the pacing.
"I bet... in ten years I haven't wallowed like I did tonight and I won't do it again. But you had me in a corner. I wasn't going to run, but I wanted to see if you would stick around for the story." He stared at her with is jaded eyes and in that second he knew she had forgiven him for everything.
Clark pulled Lois close so that their foreheads were touching.
"Its gonna be a good one too." He smiled softly. "Could we share the byline?"
Lois smiled thoughtfully as her hands slid up to play with the top of the red cape. "And what names would that be?"
"Clark Kent and Lois Lane, the only two that matter"
"Did you forget? I'm never second."
"Then Lois Lane and Clark Kent," Clark whispered humorously.
"We could try that for a while."
Lois stretched up as Clark's lips pressed down. One hell of a story indeed.
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