Why Ain't I Running

by MitchPell

Many thanks to Adri for the beta and the advice and pretty much helping me write the fic like she always does. Also, thanks to Sarah for the beta! This is a belated birthday fic for Peggy over at The_BaldTruth. Happy Birthday Peggy! Sorry it's late!

Title: Why Ain't I Running.

Author: MitchPell

Disclaimer: I don't own anything that has to do with Smallville; it's characters, DC comics, or the WB. Nor do I own anything that has to do with Garth Brooks, his song "Why Ain't I Running," or whoever produced it. I'm just using their stuff for a little bit of non-profitable fun.

Author Notes: Many thanks to Adri for the beta and the advice and pretty much helping me write the fic like she always does. Also, thanks to Sarah for the beta! This is a belated birthday fic for Peggy over at The_BaldTruth. Happy Birthday Peggy! Sorry it's late!

Summary: Lex chose to stay.

Email: mitchpell@yahoo.com

Lex woke to sounds of the traffic and the faint smell of White Linen. He took a deep breath, luxuriating in the calming hum of the city, the sweet smell of perfume, and the warmth of the body pressed up against his. The lingering taste of wine accounted for the fuzziness of the previous nights actions, but he knew the bed wasn't his. The mattress was firmer and the sheets were cotton instead of silk. Yet despite the difference, he was comfortable, relaxed, content.

He let out a lazy sigh, before cracking an eye open to look at the body that was flush with his. Short blond hair and an expanse of soft pale skin filled his vision, drawing forth the forgotten memories of last night. He'd been surprised to find her at the Metropolis Museum, walking through the new exhibit on William Blake. But there she'd been, regarding the Ancient of Days.

It had taken him a minute to place her. She hadn't changed much over the past five years; she looked older now, more mature. And he thought her hair was longer, but he couldn't be sure by the way she had it pinned up. But one thing he knew for certain was that she was no longer cute. She was radiant, and after a few minutes observation he concluded that she was also alone.

He'd taken a glass of Champagne off the tray of a passing server and made his way over to her. He couldn't remember what he'd said, though he was fairly certain it had been pertaining to Blake. But whatever the opening line, it had lead to them finishing the exhibit together. And after they'd exhausted the exhibit, they'd gone for a cup of coffee at Peggy's Caf.

He'd intended on ending the evening at her doorstep with a simple promise to meet again. But she'd had other plans, and he hadn't denied her offer to come upstairs. A bottle of wine had been opened, inhibitions had been lost, along with several articles of clothing, and now he was lying in her bed as the morning light crept through the cracks of the drawn blinds.

He watched as the sunlight crawled across her shoulder, giving her skin a pale gold hue. This was usually the time he would leave, when he'd gather up his clothes and sneak out of her apartment after a quick goodbye. But he couldn't bring himself to do so. And instead of disentangling himself he tightened his grip and drew her closer to him. His eyes drifted shut, and he allowed himself to fall back into a peaceful sleep.

Lex groaned as the shrill ring of his cell phone forced him awake. He groped blindly for his pants, using the annoying ring to find the phone.

"Hello?" He asked, his voice raspy from sleep.

"Lex!" Lionel bellowed from the other end. "I was under the impression we were to have a meeting this morning."

Lex rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. "What time is it?" He asked.

"It's almost 10:00." Lionel informed him. "You were supposed to be here fifteen..."

"Yeah, I'm on my way." Lex said groggily, before hanging up. He had no sooner disconnected the call before his phone began to ring once again. He turned off the phone then flopped back down on the bed. He closed his eyes and let out a long sigh before turning to look at the vacant spot beside him. He reached out and placed his hand on the empty space, frowning at the feel of the now cool sheets.

He let out one more sigh before sitting up on the edge of the bed. He pulled on his boxers and now wrinkled slacks, leaving them undone and hanging loosely on his hips. After unsuccessfully scouring the room for his shirt, he gave up and made his way into her living room. He found her sitting at the kitchen table wearing a worn pair of pajama pants and a matching tank top. She had one leg tucked up underneath her, the other pulled up to her chest, a bowl of cereal in front of her, and the newspaper in her hand.

Lex smirked as he took in the sight that stood before him. He made his way into the kitchen, but not before catching sight of his shirt lying haphazardly on the couch and picking it up. He slipped his arms into the sleeves before sitting beside her at the kitchen table.

"What?" He asked, teasingly. "You're not going to cook breakfast for your guest?"

"Cereal's in the cupboard, milk's in fridge, serve yourself." Chloe replied without looking up from her paper.

Lex smirked at her. "How hospitable of you, Miss Sullivan."

"I aim to please." Chloe said sarcastically.

"Have I done something to offend you, Chloe?" Lex asked.

"Not yet." She quipped.

Lex pursed his lips, as he considered her answer. He wasn't sure what to make of the situation. She wasn't necessarily being friendly, but she wasn't being cold either. "Chloe..."

Chloe set the paper down at looked at him. "Let's get one thing straight, Lex." She said. "I'm not in the habit of sleeping with men that I haven't seen in six odd years. Now, I'll be the first to admit that last night was wonderful. But there are several steps that we just skipped over, and I think it'd be best to go back and do this right."

Lex smiled. "Of course." He replied, oddly relieved that she hadn't said it had been a mistake. A moment of silence passed between them, in which Chloe went back to reading her paper. He just sat there, watching her read the paper, thinking about the events of last night.

When he'd approached her, it wasn't because he was seeking company. He'd merely wanted to say hello to an old acquaintance. But she'd captivated him, drew him in, just as she'd done so many times back in Smallville. There were so many sides to this woman, and he had a feeling that he'd only seen a couple of them. And after last night, he had the urge to sample a few more. "So, tell me, Miss Sullivan?" Lex asked. "Would me taking you out to breakfast be one of those steps we happened to skip?"

Chloe looked at him as she set her paper back down and smiled. "One of many." She replied, before getting up from the table. "Though I would recommend you go home and change first."

Lex looked at his rumbled appearance and chuckled. "Perhaps you're right." He got up and began buttoning his shirt. "Shall I pick you up in say, an hour?"

Chloe shook her head. "No." She told him, taking the slightest bit of satisfaction out of his look of disappointment. "I'll meet you at Peggy's instead."

Lex watched as she disappeared back into her bedroom, smiling all the while. He gathered up his few belongings before heading down to the car. As he slid behind the wheel of the Aston Martin, something hit him. He'd all but committed himself to dating Chloe Sullivan. And though that particularly didn't seem to bother him, the fact that he wasn't worried concerned him. He considered backing out now, just not show up at the caf and take this opportunity to run. He shook his head, pushing down his fear. He wasn't going to do that. Something was telling him to see this through.

I can hear that highway calling

As I watch the sunrise crawling

Across her shoulder

This is usually goodbye

And yet those words I just can't find

Here as I hold her

She's like no other woman

That I have known before

And it ain't me to

See the morning sun

From this side of the door

Why ain't I running?

Why ain't I gone?

How does she hold me?

Without holding on?

In love or a fight

She's stronger than strong

Something's not right

If there ain't nothing wrong

It's got me wondering

Why ain't I running?

Why ain't I gone?

Lex shivered, as he lay awake in the large impersonal bed. It was well past 2:00 in the morning, and yet despite the comfort of the suite, sleep couldn't find him. It had been like this every night since he'd left Metropolis for London three days ago. He sighed before throwing the covers off of himself and sitting on the edge of the bed. He scrubbed his hands over his face in frustration. He was running on almost no sleep, and his work was starting to suffer as a result of it.

He glanced over at his cell phone, which was sitting on the nightstand. He'd thought about calling Chloe on several occasions, but he'd talked himself out of it each time. He was only supposed to be gone for a week. And he was convinced that he could refrain from speaking to her for that small amount of that time.

The relationship between the two of them had grown quite rapidly over the past five months. He all but lived in her small apartment on the edge of the business sector, the penthouse feeling cold in comparison. It felt good to have someone to talk to, to confide in, to trust. It had been so long since he'd felt this way.

After Helen had left, he'd sealed himself off. He'd sought and found happiness in his work, in his solitude. But Chloe had changed that. He loved simply spending time with her. He loved staying up all night and watching old movies. He loved her failed attempts at cooking which eventually led to late night dinners at Peggy's. He loved falling asleep next to her and waking up with her in his arms. And as he sat there alone, he suddenly knew why he couldn't sleep.

Lex smiled as he grabbed his phone off the nightstand, dialing the number he knew by heart. He leaned back against the headboard, as he waited for her to pick up.

"Hello." She answered absently, the sounds of typing audible through the line.

"I'd thought you'd have that story on the Major Mary scandal done by now." He teased.

"Yeah? And I thought you would have called two days ago." Chloe shot back.

Lex grimaced. "I'm sorry, Chloe." He said, his tone sincere.

The tap of fingers against the keys stopped. "Yeah, well," Chloe began, as she tried to conceal the hurt on her voice. "How's England?"

"Cold, wet," Lex replied. "Lonely."

"Lex..." she started.

"I miss you, Chloe." He said. "I miss you so much, it's unreal." He could practically hear her smile and the thought sent a warm wave through his body.

"Then you better stop talking to me and get some sleep." Chloe quipped. "So you can finish up early and get your butt back home."

A smile crept over Lex's face as he sank down on the bed. He felt the burden of sleeplessness being lifted off his chest by her words, and let out a sigh of contentment. "I think I'm in love with you." He whispered.

Chloe chuckled. "Good," she said. "Because I've been in love with you for months." A moment of silence passed between them as each absorbed the confessions they'd just made. "Hurry home, Lex." Chloe whispered.

"With the speed of a thousand horses." He replied. After he hung up the phone, Lex smiled at the feeling of peace that swept through him. He pulled the expensive sheets around him and let the warmth of Chloe's words lure him to sleep.

All those words I left behind me

Praying they would never

Find me and my freedom

But if they stood right here beside me

They would never recognize me

For all that she's done

Once happiness was only

Whenever I was on my own

So now why do I feel lonely

Any time that I'm alone?

Why ain't I running?

Why ain't I gone?

How does she hold me?

Without holding on?

In love or a fight

She's stronger than strong

Something's not right

When there ain't nothing wrong

It's got me wondering

Why ain't I running?

Lex was beat by the time he came home from the office. Everything had gone wrong that day. They had lost the entire Davidson file and had to scramble to get everything ready for the next day. It had been a long and painstaking process. And Lex wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and succumb to the weariness that consumed his whole body.

He made his way quietly into their room, smiling at the site of Chloe curled up on her side of the bed. He quickly stripped himself of his suit, tossing his cloths haphazardly in the direction of the hamper, leaving only his boxers on. He then pulled back the covers and climbed into the bed. The moonlight that streamed through the crack in the window curtains flickered off the gold band on his left hand as he wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close.

They'd almost been married five years now, five of the best years of his life. At first it'd seemed too easy, and he'd become tense. Just waiting for that other ball to drop. But it never did. No matter what had gone wrong in his life, Chloe was always there. She was the foundation that kept him strong. And it came to the point where he couldn't remember how he'd gotten along without her.

He moved his hand further down her body, running it over her swollen stomach. He had shared his concerns with Chloe about becoming a father. He had told her about his fears. But she had reassured him that despite his upbringing, he'd do fine. After all, he'd had his mother and Pamela, two positive influences to look to for guidance. He still had his concerns, but then so did most people who were expecting.

Lex closed his eyes and breathed in the sweet smell of his wife. He'd spent the first thirty years of his life building a wall around his heart. He built it high and chained the doors, but Chloe had destroyed all his defenses in one night. And for once, he hadn't run. He'd stayed. He'd taken a chance. Now for the first time, he'd felt like he belonged. And it was a feeling he wouldn't change for the world.

No, they've never built a wall that high

Or made a chain that strong

And God ain't never made a place

I felt like I belong

Why ain't I running?

Why ain't I gone?

How does she hold me?

Without holding on?

In love or a fight

She's stronger than strong

Something's not right

When there ain't nothing wrong

It's got me wondering

Why ain't I running?

Why ain't I gone?

The End.

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