by Hope

For Isilya.

She's soft and pink, small and shadow-eyed, and Chloe understands what Clark sees in her now. Probably better than Clark does, now that she thinks about it, because Clark hasn't ever been called into the bathroom to bring her a towel late at night, with perfumed heat thick in the air, and that rare note of her laughter winding through it.

Lana smiles through the fogged glass door, pressing a delicate handprint in the steam as she rises on her toes to peek over. Her hair's almost black when it's wet, and her skin is pink as her sweater sets from the heat. It's too hazy for Chloe to really see anything- a pale veil of ambient heat obscures Lana's body and makes it like a doll's- just smooth, dark hints of her nipples, a pretty v-shaped darkness between her legs instead of unruly pubic hair.

Female sexuality is fluid, or so claimed the girl Chloe interviewed for the Smallville Gay-Straight Alliance at school. It had exactly two members, neither of them straight, and Chloe figured she was doing her part as a journalist to publicize it, and probably pissing off scores of parents and maybe even the school board, too, which never hurt. Though she'd dryly reported everything about the feminine mystique and Kinsey percentages, it hadn't occurred to Chloe to apply the statistics to herself.

Because, see, things were different with Lana. Everybody loved her- people stopped to look at her, seniors dated her, freshmen longed for her, principals gave her keys to the kingdom, so living one room over from her, and seeing that she was pretty when she woke up and still a little puffy from sleep, and pretty when she went to bed after school and eight hours at The Talon (and by the way, Lana, there are laws against that, Chloe wants to say,) she'd fail at journalistic objectivity if she didn't notice what everybody else did.

Slick and wet, Lana slides open the door just enough to take the towel. Water drips from the tips of her fingers, and her scent rushes out with escaping heat. Chloe smiles and says something flippant about letting her wander the halls butt naked next time, but it's less a joke and more a wish. She wonders if Lana can kiss, if Whitney taught her anything interesting, or if she'd even let a tongue in her mouth. Deciding that she would, she wonders if Lana lies awake at night, pressing a hand between her legs and closing her eyes to pretend it's Clark's hand there.

Not that it matters, but Chloe's pretty sure Clark would be clumsy. Not on purpose or anything, but his hands are huge and he's not exactly Mr. Graceful on his best day. She'd definitely be willing to offer herself up as an experimentmaybe she could teach him how to round the first two bases, and being especially generous, maybe she could let Lana practice too. It would practically be a public service, Chloe Sullivan- virgin tamer, and since she's a good friend, she could let them each know what they were missing since they were so busy doing their inane come-here-go-away dance.

Completely selfless, Chloe leans against the wall and looks away just enough to let Lana climb out of the shower without embarrassment, and she talks about going into Metropolis to see a movie while Lana brushes her teeth. She doesn't mention that she'd be willing to put her arm around her when the credits started to roll, or that it might feel sexy for their fingers to brush together in pursuit of buttered popcorn. She doesn't mention that it would be sexier if their fingers were slick with something else, and sliding inside in fluttering strokes. Hopefully, the heat in the bathroom explains the blush.

When Lana finishes brushing her teeth and contemplating an afternoon with Chloe and Ben Affleck in Metropolis, she smiles again as she opens the bathroom door. The steam chases her, swirling out in a mist to be close to her, magnetically attracted just like everything else in Smallville. Her dark eyes dance back and forth, and she laughs abruptly. Low, and fast, and a little sheepish, she says, "I know it's totally off the subject, but sometimes I... I wish I had your body. It's really nice."

In the time it takes Chloe to look down over the rise of her own breasts, then up again, Lana is gone. Chloe starts to undress, pursing her lips as she considers that comment from every angle- peeling through the possibility that it could have been an insult, or teasing, or any one of a hundred irrational, paranoid things. Down to her skin now, and stepping into the shower, Chloe wipes away Lana's condensation handprint and smears it down her belly.

It was sort of funny the way Lana's wishes always came true.

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