Nights Like This
By Maveness Delight
Rating: PG-13 for language
Spoilers For: Tempest
Disclaimer: Chloe, Pete, Clark and Pavlov's dogs do not belong to me. If the first three did, my credit card bill wouldn't be as bad as it is, and if the last one did, I would be Pavlov.
AN: Takes place directly at the end of Tempest and is a Chloe POV. Duh. g
Feedback: Yes please. Go right ahead. Cause I'm a feedback whore. Mavenessdelight@yahoo.com
It was a dark and stormy night, my ass.
God, I hate cliches. And platitudes. And puns and anything that's cheesy in general. But this is what I get for living in Smallville, albeit maybe not for long. The joys of trite sayings and heartfelt promises. Promises that always seem to get broken.
Okay, so in some small (groan) way I can understand why Clark ran off. After all, as I so passionately pointed out to him not too long ago, he does have a Savior complex. It must be written in his genetic code.
He really does have a Pavlovian response to any one of us in trouble. You can almost see his ears perking up. The pointing of the foot, the eager quiver as he anticipates the opportunity to fetch and save.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Not to mention those big puppy-dog eyes of his that are so good at begging for a morsel of affection.
Stop it, stop it, stop it! I've got to get control. I'm supposed to be mad at him. After all, he did break his promise to me. He ran off to Lana on what could be our last night together. It still could be. The boy's not invincible, and yet he just ran out into extremely severe weather. Tornadoes even.
Oh God. Flying Clark.
I'm not supposed to be laughing. Or crying. This is supposed to be the happiest time of my life. Either that, or I should be cowering in the corner in fear. But I don't want to do either. I think I'll just sit here in my little bathroom stall, on my porcelain throne, and enjoy my own little bout of insanity. Let the masses do their own freak-out thing out in the gym, away from me.
It's probably only a matter of time until I'm found anyway. I know Pete. While the appeal of comforting a hot chick who's frightened and clingy is high on his to do list, comfort Chloe when in distress seems to fall even higher.
And right on cue. I knew I could count on Pete to come to my rescue. Hopefully he's brought Kleenex, cause this toilet paper scratches.
"Chloe, are you in here?"
"Yeah. I'm here." And stuffed up.
Two shoes (spiffy shoes at that) appear below the door. A soft tap and, "Chlo, babe, can I come in?"
Snatch the door open and there Pete stands, scared, apprehensive.
Looking at me like I'm Old Yeller. Is she rabid or not? Will she bite me and tear off a leg if I get too close?
He's ready to bolt at any moment. Which is funny, because Pete could never walk away from me.
"You have to promise to never tell anyone that I let you call me 'babe' and live."
Ah, a smile.
Oh God. The mirror behind Pete. I can see myself. No wonder he's so scared. I look...haggard. Wan. Brittle. Misused. The mascara tracks are especially hideous.
And the door is opening, so quick scramble. Pete shoving past and taking the opportunity as I close the stall door to plant himself on the toilet, planting a foot on either side of me.
The sound of laughter; lighthearted giggles that completely contradict the mood I'm in right now. Why can't I just be left alone in my misery? Well, maybe not too alone, because I have to have Pete. And you know? These stalls are not made to hold two people. Especially when one of them is trying to hold his legs up so that they can't be seen under the stall door.
I can not giggle. I can not giggle. I also can't look at Pete, seeing as he looks like he's sitting in a gynecologist's chair, rather than perching precariously on a toilet.
So I know what's coming. These girls will leave and I'll be all alone with Pete and his pity. A good old pity party. He'll give me some sort of "buck up" speech, tell me I'm too good for Clark, pat me on the back, bolster my courage and usher me out at the appropriate time to return home, face a wreck, dignity in tatters, but without the public humiliation of being left at the dance, and with the knowledge that I have at least one person who will be there for me when I need him most.
Suddenly silence. And I'm going to have to learn to never underestimate Pete again.
And I'm in his arms. I don't feel like crying, thank god, because ruining his tux on top of my evening would just be adding insult to injury. But now I get it. Why Lana spent so much time with Whitney. The safety. Intoxicating really.
You know, Erica's a nice girl and all (if a bit dim), but I would have no problem right now taking her man.
I have sunk to an all-time low if I'm actually considering this. Considering Pete. Which is all kinds of wrong. Because I love Pete. But I don't love Pete. I could never do to him what Clark is doing to me.
But the cuddling is good.
Since when am I a cuddler? Hell, since when have I let a guy call me by nickname such as "babe" and let him live? In fact, since when have I let a guy reduce me to tears and hiding in bathroom stalls?
Pulling away from Pete is the hardest thing I've had to do in a long, long time, but it's time to stand on my own two feet.
And surprisingly, I can look him in the eye.
"So, wanna blow this joint? Go back to your place and just hang out?"
Getting out of this stall is great, but...
"What about Erica?"
We link arms as we head toward the bathroom door.
"Well, apparently her dad is a tad protective and insisted on coming here and picking her up himself. Right now, she should be firmly ensconced in the arms of her loving family."
"I love you."
A squeeze to my arm and a comforting pat.
"I love you too."
"And you're a horrible liar."
That million-watt smile that makes so many a girl's heart race and warms my soul.
"Yeah, babe, I am. But you love me anyway."
Oh, he is so dead.
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