Black Eyed Boy
by Savage Midnight
Dea Artis Vox
"Superman on an aeroplane
Sitting next to Lois Lane
You got that woman but you want her gone
So you can sleep with a teenage blonde." -- Stereophonics, Superman
She didn't know how Lex Luthor had known, but he had. It came as no surprise that the billionaire would seek out every one of Superman's weaknesses and she really shouldn't have been surprised that he had found this one. It had taken her years to fit the pieces together, but she had done it. Now, so had Lex.
She hadn't known. She should have. She should have recognised that something wasn't right, but three, long, cynical years had changed her, had changed him.
When he turned up on her doorstep looking better than ever, the first thing she had thought was, he's different. But so was she. Constantly so. She was always changing, adapting, dealing. That's what Chloe Sullivan did.
But today was something else. Old regrets kept creeping up, dragging her back down into the uncertainty of her childhood, and it was a past life Chloe wasn't willing to visit. Memories were meant to be cherished, not tarnished, but as she sat looking at old photographs unearthed from the depths of her basement, she knew something had changed.
"It's good to see you, Chlo'."
The way he says her name, so casual, makes her hurt. Her hand clenches around the door handle as she stares at him, her old friend, standing in the doorway smiling at her like he's never been gone. Three years and not a word, and now... now he's here and she has nothing to say.
His name is rusty on her tongue. She doesn't say it anymore. She thinks it but past that she refuses to acknowledge him outloud. Ignorance, after all, is bliss.
She can't ignore him now, not when he's standing so close, staring at her with eyes that still hold that childish sparkle. Surely a man of his age shouldn't look that innocent. Not when he's smirking at her in that way.
"What are you doing here?" she finally manages to ask, making no move to invite him in. She'll allow him his excuses and then she'll tell him to leave. Then she'll get on with her life just like she has for the last three years.
He hesitates and his smile falters. Something dark and sad flickers across his sharp, strong features and Chloe feels something inside of herself tighten.
Not fair, she thinks. Not fair.
She laughs, a harsh, brittle sound that doesn't belong to her. She may hate him but she's not bitter. She's not that person. She's not.
"Whatever, Clark," she snipes. "You should go. Lois will be wondering where you are."
She moves to close the door, but his hand snaps out and halts the movement. She scowls at him through the gap but all he does is stare back solemnly.
"I don't love her, Chlo'. I thought I did, but I don't."
She pauses, uncertain. She looks at him, tries to read the lies in his face, but all there is heartbreak and regret. It's a familiar look.
Despite her better judgement, despite the warning bells ringing in her head, she opens the door a little wider and nods her head, motions him in and closes it behind her. He settles himself down on her couch and bows his head.
Chloe moves to kitchen to make coffee. She leans against the counter and closes her eyes, breathes deep and readies herself. She knows she's no where close to being prepared for this conversation. She's thought about this moment for a long time, day-dreams that have no right to exist, but dreams are one-sided, predictable, easy. Tonight will be none of these things.
When she makes her way back to the lounge, Clark is still sat where she left him. He looks torn, weary, tired. She hands him his coffee without a word.
They sit in silence for several agonising minutes before he finally speaks.
"I was watching her the other day," he says. "And I kept trying to figure out what it is I loved about her."
He falls silent. Chloe waits patiently.
"And?" she finally prods.
He looks up at her and smiles. "There were a lot of things I loved about her. Except... except it wasn't enough. It wasn't right. It took me a long time to figure it out."
"Figure what out, Clark?" she asks, breath frozen in her chest. Chloe has always known that Lois is right for Clark, even if it took her a while to accept it. But now Clark is sat on her couch, in her apartment, with her, proclaiming differently.
He lets out the breath that she is still holding and swallows. "All those things, they're not--they're not what I love about her, Chlo'." He looks across at her and adds softly, hesitantly, "They're what I love about you."
Chloe's chest hitchs and she exhales sharply. God, how long has she waited to hear those words? And now... now they just sound wrong. They don't make sense.
"Clark--" she says, but before she can say anything he's talking again. Words tumble from his lips in a maddening rush and she can do nothing but listen.
"Chlo', I know what you're thinking. You think it's just cold feet, that I've changed my mind about marrying her, but it's not--"
She blinks. Marrying her? They were getting married? Why hadn't she known? Why--
"--hing like that. It took me a long time to realise it, but I just can't picture spending the rest of my life with her. I tried to, Chlo', I really tried, but I--"
He pauses, looks across at her, eyes tired and dark. She wishes she still knew him the way she used to. Wishes she could tell him that he's wrong and he's just afraid. But they're not the same people anymore and she has no right to tell him differently.
So she decides, then, to grant him this small reprieve to figure things out. She knows by morning that things will go back to normal. He will go back to Lois and Chloe will go back to pretending she doesn't care.
She stands up and takes the coffee cup from his hand. "Go get some rest, Clark," she tells him. "You're tired."
He rises, towering over her -- always towering over her -- and stares at her, unflinching. "I didn't come here to sleep, Chloe," he answers huskily. And then he kisses her.
She gives in for a long second, allows herself this one, twisted moment as his lips brush against her own, sensuous and certain. She trembles against him, gasps, and the coffee cup drops from her hands.
The moment shatters and she breaks away from him, steps back, distances herself.
"Clark, you're scared. You don't--"
"I'm not scared, Chlo'," he says calmly, watching her. "But you are."
She glares at him and replies tightly, "Excuse me for being rational, but I'm not the one that's decided all of this in the space of a day."
He smiles at her, a small, knowing smile. "Chloe, I left Lois nearly three weeks ago," he tells her. "Trust me, I've had time to think about this."
"I haven't!" she cries out angrily, turning away from him and storming through to the kitchen. She hears him following and takes a deep breath.
"You don't get to do this, Clark," she says tiredly, unable to turn around and face him. "You don't get to walk back into my life after three years and expect me to fall at your feet because you say so. It doesn't work that way."
"You love me," he says simply. Three tiny words but it's enough.
She whirls, furious, eyes hard. She marches towards him, cranes her neck and snarls, "Get out! Get the fuck out! I don't want you here!"
He takes a determined step forward, wraps his strong hands around her forearms and drags her towards his chest. "I know you love me, Chloe," he says quietly. "I've known for years. Why waste more time figuring it out?"
She smiles at him, calm and mocking. "I don't need time, Clark," she says and steps away from him. "You don't deserve me. Maybe you did once, but not anymore. You're too late."
That's all he says. Nothing else. And then he's pressing her against the kitchen counter, kissing her in a way he's never kissed her before. This isn't the shy teenage boy she remembers. This is someone else.
He's not a boy anymore, she thinks and kisses him back. She knows she should fight him, knows she should tell him to go, to never come back, but when he lifts one of her legs to curl it around his waist and presses himself against her heat, she's lost.
Her hands tangle in his hair, pulling him closer. Already her breathing is heavy, laboured, but she doesn't care, only kisses him harder as he hitches her up, holding her to him, one hand resting on the small of her back, the other cupping the back of her neck.
He carries her like that into her bedroom, settles her on to the bed and slides one leg between her thighs. He presses upwards and the pressure is just right, just right, and she hisses her satisfaction, pulls him down to her to kiss his mouth as his fingers trail a path beneath her tank top.
The moments blur after that. She's sweating and gasping by the time he shifts, no longer dressed, and hovers over her. And then he smiles, kisses her and enters her in one swift thrust that has her arching off the bed.
Fuck, she hisses tightly. It's been too long.
She's already so close that it only takes a few, short strokes for her to break. She climaxes hard and her vision shatters for a long second, spirals madly and then dims. When the world reasserts itself, Clark is still hovering above her, breathing heavily. He leans down and trails his lips down the column of her throat, then shifts, settling beside her. He pulls her against him, curls himself around her, and then there is nothing but silence.
She wakes to darkness and movement and groggily opens her eyes.
Clark is kneeling beside her, smiling. She's too tired to do anything but smile back.
"Thanks for the wedding present, Chlo'," Clark says and kisses her. A hand brushes the hair from her face and she catches the flashing rubies of his watch as he rises.
Before she can ask him what he's talking about, sleep claims her.
She hasn't seen Clark for months. It took her three weeks to figure out why.
She should have known, but she hadn't. His parting words should have been enough, but she didn't piece it together until she saw the pictures in the paper, Lois in a beautiful ivy number, Clark in his tuxedo, hand cupping his wife's face, turning her towards him.
No watch on his wrist. No watch shining red with rubies. She should have known.
Weeks later she barges into Lex's office, a trail of security guards clambering after her.
She demands to know how he knew, but he only smirks at her, dismisses his guards and leans back in his chair.
"I have my ways," he answers cryptically, and she glares hatefully at him. Never has she loathed him so much.
"Why me?" she questions tightly.
"Isn't that obvious? He wouldn't have even opened the box if it had been from me. I figured this way it would be a little more poetic. Chloe Sullivan, his best friend, finally offering her blessing." He smiles, leans forward in his chair. "Tell me, Miss Sullivan," he says casually, politely. "How does it feel? Knowing what a fool you were?" He pauses. "Did you believe everything he told you?"
She says nothing, but she knows she doesn't have to. Lex can read her as clear as day.
He laughs, sharp and empty, amused by his own games. "You did, didn't you?" he taunts, grey eyes glittering with barely restrained mirth. "You believed him!"
She shakes her head, swallows, suddenly feels sick. God, she should have known. Lex may be a bastard, but he's right. She was too naive, too trusting, too willing to forgive and forget and move on at any cost.
The price was too high, she thinks, and turns away from Lex's triumphant smirk.
She's completely calm by the time she leaves LuthorCorp.
These days Chloe couldn't decide what had been the real weakness Lex Luthor had been searching for. The watch was gone, probably removed while he showered, but she was still here, a reminder of a night that shouldn't have happened.
She knew why Clark hadn't visited. She knew why he hadn't turned up on her doorstep to apologise. He no doubt still believed that she had tried to sabotage his wedding. It wouldn't occur to Clark to think otherwise and she had no intention of convincing him otherwise.
She was his weakness, as he was hers, and that would never change.