Sunday, January 1, 2012

and the name of the book...

Time seems to just fly by insanely fast... there is so little time to do all the things I need to do and hardly enough time to do the many things I want to do.  Working on another fanfiction whenever I get stuck on the second novel I want to complete, "Past Connections."  Of course, I also get side-tracked by several of the other novels in the works.  Wish I had more time to just write.   Staying awake can interfere also.  The daytime job gets exhausting often and it also means a lot of homework; always so far behind; that alone can wear me out.

And, I have to come up with more ideas on advertising the first novel.
So, first, reposting the link to the nice people that helped me get it on the internet market place:

... and from there, here is where my first novel is for sale on their website (which also leads you to for the Kindle version...)

'The Right Price' by Mari Anne

Don't forget to look it up!  Buy a copy!  And let me know what you think!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The final chapter to: Come Back to Where You Belong

Come Back to Where You Belong - Part Five / Final Chapter

Can't believe a month slipped by since I posted the last update, but this ending needed a lot of reworking before I was happy with it... .

Come Back to Where You Belong Part Five
(Disclaimer:  I do not own these characters or Smallville...)

“I’m only a ‘poor man’ when your tears leave me helpless. You’ve never bugged me and I could never, EVER hate you, Chloe,” he confessed quietly after a long moment of silence, “And yes, that’s how I always knew he was hurting you. You refused my help, you’d stopped calling out to me. You kept your heartbeat calm all the time. I think this new ability of hearing your tears came about because I believe I’m destined to always protect you whenever you’re in danger.”

“I didn’t love him, you know?” she started suddenly, not taking her eyes from his. “At least not the way I should have or as much as he wanted me to.”

She paused for a very long time and lay back down on the pillows before continuing.
“I was lonely and he paid a lot of attention to me. And we did get along in the beginning. Jimmy was easy to be around. He had a job he liked, working the hobby he loved. Nothing too complicated. And without thinking, I let it go too far, when my heart and soul weren’t really committed. I fooled him and myself too, into believing it was enough. But I soon felt guilty that I couldn’t love him completely.”

“It didn’t take him long to realize that there were too many things wrong in our relationship. Instead of breaking it off, I ignored the problems and constantly lied to him by saying everything was fine. I just… I just wanted so much for it to be fine! But he wanted and needed a lot more than ‘just fine.’ I knew from the start that he was jealous of any time we spent apart, especially when I was with you. I didn’t know how to handle the jealously. I don’t think he did either; he just got angry all the time whenever he couldn’t control the jealousy. It’s such an ugly thing and it just made me more insecure and the guilt got worse. I knew I’d driven him to it.”

Clark moved closer to sit beside her on the edge of the bed, taking her left hand in both of his, “Chloe, this was not your fault! How can I convince you of that? No matter how jealous Jimmy got, he had no right to mistreat you…”

She tried to smile, grateful for his encouragement, but failed and settled for returning the slight squeeze he’d given her hand as he refused to release his hold. She lifted her eyes from their hands and met the serious concern in his eyes as she tried to explain why she had stayed. “I thought if I stayed with him, he’d soon figure out there was nothing going on between you and me. I really hoped he could stop being jealous. Pretty soon I was in way too deep and didn’t know how to break it off anymore.”

She took a deep breath. “I felt ungrateful, too. For years all I wanted was for someone to see me; to think I was beautiful, to love me! I never felt good enough for anyone! I measured zero on the self-confidence meter. Finally someone comes into my life who thinks I’m special enough to love… and it’s not enough! I really thought something was wrong with me. Especially after he found out about my meteor power and still wanted to stay with me. How could I not love a guy who wanted me so much?”

“Do you know why you couldn’t love him?” Clark asked quietly.

“Yeah! That’s the first thing the shrink made me admit.”

Before she continued with the reason, she admitted to another problem, “Do you know how hard counseling is if you can’t tell them everything?”

“I’m sorr-“

“Don’t be…” She sat up again and reached out with her right hand to touch his cheek, “You were right in suggesting it. I did need the help. I’ve learned a lot about myself. And… it… in the end it didn’t seem to matter that I couldn’t talk about alien friendships and meteor powers. He figured out the more important secret I kept from Jimmy and from myself…and everyone.”

She looked at Clark for a long time before finally admitting, “I didn’t have a heart to give to Jimmy because it had always belonged to someone else. For years I’ve loved a guy who didn’t love me back.” The sudden smile that followed the admission showed him her courage and how she no longer feared what his possible rejection of her feelings could do to her self-image.

And he knew it was time to show he could be brave enough also to offer his heart to her, and let her decide what, if anything, she wished to do with it. His voice was strong and gave away nothing of the wild beating of that suddenly very nervous heart.

“I was a stupid high school jock when I told you that; and it was a temporary stupidity. Although I was never smart enough to let you know when I finally realized that I did love you as much as you loved me. When I finally wised up, you suggested we remain friends and I was too afraid to lose you if I suggested otherwise. Years later after your good-bye kiss on Dark Thursday when I realized you still loved me, I was ready to give you my heart, too. But when I came back, Jimmy was in your life.”

Her eyes widened in shock. She had wanted to hear that for so long. And it felt wonderful, but she needed to tell him so much more. “You know I always thought I was so smart. Smart enough to never get into a situation like this. Smart enough to know no man had the right to treat me like that. Smart women know better. I should have known better; that as soon as I realized he didn’t trust me I should have gotten out.”

A tiny self deprecating smirk escaped her lips before she continued. “You know what the biggest truth I learned was? Smart women actually do very stupid things all the time, especially when they don’t… when they don’t want to be alone anymore.”

She didn’t resist when he pulled her onto his lap and held her close to his heart.

It was the one thing he understood immediately and completely. And she knew it; that’s why she knew she didn’t have to say more. It was the one thing he also feared above all others; to be alone.

The one thing that had made it easy for him to fall for Alicia, and to keep letting Lana back into his life, when he’d known there was no hope for a true future with either of them. He hadn’t really trusted either one completely. Alicia had wanted him to run away from his life; and Lana in a different way had made him want the same thing.

Both had no future.

His future he held in his arms, the one soul who was also his past. The one he’d always run to with everything good and bad in his life. The one who had always accepted him. And loved him. The one he trusted completely. The one he loved…

His fingers touched her under her chin until she raised her eyes to his, “You don’t ever have to be alone again, Chloe.” She didn’t move away when his lips came down gently unto hers.

His eyes were serious when his lips finally released hers, “Go on, I didn’t mean to interrupt…”

“Those kinds of interruptions are welcome anytime,” she reassured him happily, “As long as you meant it…”

“Yes, I meant it! I told you I’m not leaving. I want you to believe that. And I want you to know how sorry I am for never letting you know how wonderful you are; for always making you feel that you weren’t beautiful enough.”

She leaned back against her pillows, pulling away from him, searching his face trying to understand what he meant. “Beautiful enough? You can’t be serious. As much as I’ve always wanted to be seen as beautiful, I know that I have never been beautiful. Are you trying to flatter me, Clark, to make me feel better? It’s not necessary, you know.”

“You’re so wrong, Chloe! You’ve always been beautiful. And it is so very necessary. When I saw the guilt in your eyes that night… when I realized that you were trying not to cry, to be brave because you thought you somehow deserved what Jimmy was dishing out, I didn’t know who I was more mad at, Chloe. I obviously hated Jimmy for treating you like that; I don’t doubt that I could easily have killed him. I was angry at you for taking it and not fighting back or walking out on him. I had no clue how to convince you that his cruelty wasn’t your fault, that you should not feel all that guilt. But I was maddest at myself for having failed you. For letting you believe you weren’t good enough to expect to always be treated with kindness, respect and love.”

He looked at her stunned expression and tried to explain further. “I wanted to yell at you, to ask you how you couldn’t know who you are, what you are, how wonderful and special and beautiful you are. How could you let someone even dare to mistreat you? How could you think you didn’t deserve my help or protection?”

She sat up again and with a fresh flood of tears slowly linked her arms around his neck and pulled herself close for a quick but very warm hug.

“I didn’t know you loved me… like that!” she smiled through her tears when she saw his eyes squint in pain. “I’m sorry… I guess your brain can’t understand the difference in my tears, huh? These are happy tears!”

His lips lowered to slowly kiss the tears from her eyes and her cheeks and then smiled at her questioning glance, “Self-preservation…”

“While we’re on the subject of guilt, you know, Clark, you can’t take all the blame for my hang-ups,” she pulled back a little without leaving his embrace. “I started out with insecurities long before I met you because of my Mom’s unexplained departure when I was too young to understand. I learned how to play tough to hide the pain. I eventually believed I was as tough as I pretended. It took a lot of rejection for a lot of years before the tough act disintegrated and left me so vulnerable, somehow taking all the fight out of me. And there were a few other guys that made me feel there was something wrong with me, that wanted to hurt me for not loving them the way they expected. Some were meteor-infected, that’s true. But it did little to stop me from building mountains out of my insecure little hills. And when my meteor infection surfaced I had so much more to fear and be insecure about. It was so much easier to think it was my lack of charm, beauty and ‘normalness’ that was at fault, and not that the guys weren’t smart enough to hold onto a wonderful Chloe.”

She didn’t resist when he pulled her close again.

It was a beginning.

A beginning strong enough to give Clark hope. He was still somewhat unsure if he was anywhere close to convincing her how much he loved her and how afraid he was that she might still not want him.

“You know, Chloe, you weren’t alone in your insecurities. I have felt truly unlovable myself at times. I’ve wanted to be the one you loved from the moment I dug you out of that grave, when I first realized that you had been buried alive and you were not dead as I had feared, madly insane from the thought I would never see you again,” he started to explain.

“I’ve ached for you ever since that time when we exchanged some very hot kisses you don’t remember when we were both infected with mood altering Kryptonite gems and parasites and we played strip poker at the Talon. My dreams have been haunted from our almost kiss on the dance floor at the spring formal. You can’t begin to imagine how much I’ve regretted that a tornado warning stopped us. You can’t know how often I’ve asked myself if we would have been together from that night on had we just shared that much anticipated kiss. Would I have wasted years pursuing an illusion of Lana if you had become my girlfriend at that time? And I’ve already mentioned the hopes I had after your farewell kiss on Dark Thursday.”

He stopped for a moment to kiss away another tear that had escaped her right eye. “But you never chose me, Chloe, not as the lover I’ve wanted to be. You’ve kept me close as your friend, but always at arms length as a lover. I didn’t want you to ever leave me so I’ve stupidly accepted that distance you wanted, never being brave enough to risk my heart. I told myself being completely intimate with an alien was a place you didn’t want to go to… even as I knew and couldn’t deny that every kiss we’ve ever shared said exactly the opposite. I did a good job of convincing myself I wasn’t good enough for you, that you could be so much happier with someone else.”

She lifted her suddenly tear-filled eyes and laughed softly, “Stupid alien…”

“Stupid Earth woman…” and he kissed her lips gently, ignoring the pounding headache her tears were causing him.

“We deserve each other, don’t we?” she dared to whisper between kisses with a new found courage and confidence that lifted so many weights from her troubled heart.

“God, Chloe, I sure hope so…”

She was lost in the bliss of his suddenly very hungry kisses and laughed happily as he carefully kissed away the last of her tears from her cheeks. She hoped her crying days were done; she’d shed enough tears in the last few months to last her a lifetime.

And now she had an extra special reason to never cry again, she had no wish to cause Clark such pain even though it baffled her why she had such a connection to him. Something he had said earlier caused her to pull back a little to ask him, “What did you mean when you said you were destined to always protect me whenever I’m in danger?”

It took him a moment to concentrate on her question, he was mesmerized by her bright eyes and flushed cheeks and how much he wanted to continue kissing her adorable mouth.

“It’s a certifiable ‘Wall of Weird’ strange theory, but it’s the only thing that makes sense to me. Promise you won’t laugh?”

He was so serious he really left her no other option as she laughingly swore, “I promise not to cry.”

“Do you believe in destiny, Chloe?” he asked in a quiet husky voice as she leaned closer.

“You mean the one you’ve denied your whole life?”

“Denied it, fought it, ignored it; mostly misunderstood what it meant…” he admitted.

“Wait—I thought you believed we make our own destiny?”

“Yes, I still do and that’s actually what I’m… that’s the destiny I mean. Ours. The one we created and set into motion a long time ago. I’ve tried to deny it… but it’s always been there.”

“Our destiny? As in, we are each others’ chosen ones and were meant to be together?”

“Yes. Well, more that we wanted to be together. I believe we connected that very first day. Maybe we are true soul mates who had found each other. We set it in motion the very day we met and you kissed me and I wished I’d had the nerve to tell you how much I wanted you to kiss me again! How very much I wished you’d added ‘for now’ to that ‘Let’s be friends’ suggestion.”

He kissed her quickly before adding, “I never left that kiss behind us, Chloe. It’s with me all the time.”


“No, in spite of all that we’ve been through together, I’ve never lost that connection. I know that we’ve both had other loves in our lives. But none have ever broken, only detoured, the destiny we both wanted from the very first day we met. I think maybe that’s why you were the first voice to calm me when I developed super hearing. Why your heartbeat calls out to me when you’re in trouble.”

He searched her eyes to reassure himself she wasn’t thinking he was crazy. “When you didn’t call out to me when Jimmy started hurting you… this connection had to find another way to reach me. I didn’t understand it… and the first time, I didn’t even realize they were your tears until I was speeding towards your place trying to find the source. I tried to fight it, to shut you out, especially when you refused to let me help you. But nothing worked and I finally stopped denying it, hoping that eventually you’d let me help you or walk away from him.”

He paused for a moment, not sure if he should continue with what his heart truly believed, afraid that she really would laugh at him. But seeing the longing in her eyes gave him the courage to trust her with what he felt. He admitted to himself that he really had no choice but to trust her, just as he always had. She was worth risking everything and it was time he let her know it. “I think that for as long as we love each other, for as long as we both want each other, we are always going to have this bond between us. I don’t want to deny it anymore, Chloe.”

His eyebrows raised in questioning hope when she remained quiet and didn’t reveal whether or not she believed him. He prayed she didn’t think he was delusional or insane. There was really no other way he could explain what was happening between them. What had always been between them. And he didn’t think he had any greater proof of how much he loved her, with not only his whole heart but with every part of the soul that had always belonged to her.

She was staring into his eyes so intently he almost feared what she was trying to discover in them and he finally couldn’t stand the lack of response, “Too weird? Am I scaring you away?” he asked, not hiding the fear he suddenly felt.

“Clark, that is so not ‘Wall of Weird’ strange. That... it’s ‘Wall of Weird’ wonderful! It explains so much. My head is dizzy with all the things over the years that now make sense. It’s also the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard. I should have known that my favorite alien would know a better way to explain his love than those three simple earthly words ‘I love you.’ I guess I don’t even have to tell you how much I love you when you already have so much proof of it.”

He pulled her back into his arms and kissed her fiercely, “You have to tell me every day, Chloe. I need it more than I need air. I won’t tire of hearing it ever, I swear. And I’m not above adopting the nicest three words on Earth as part of my daily ritual either. I love you, Chloe, with all my heart and soul. And I won’t ever stop.”

“I know. I won’t let you,” she whispered back as she slid off his lap and drew him down into the bed with her.

—the end—

Hope you liked…???

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Come Back to Where You Belong" Part Four

Come Back to Where You Belong Part Four
(Disclaimer:  I do not own these characters or Smallville.)

It took weeks for Chloe to start talking about it.

She had stayed in the apartment waiting for Clark to return from taking Jimmy to a clinic. He let himself in with the key Jimmy had given him. He found her huddled in a corner on the couch, the bruise on her arm completely healed. Without a word he lifted her into his arms and sat down on the couch with her in his lap. He gently rubbed her back as she cried herself to sleep. He didn’t mention that her tears not only broke his heart but caused him considerable physical pain as well.

He welcomed the pain as he remembered the years when she’d needed so much more from him and he’d failed her. The vagueness in his attempts to keep her in his life and yet not commit himself to her came back to torment him now. How many times had he told her she meant more to him than she knew when she needed to know that she meant everything to him?

From the moment he realized she knew about his abilities he had trusted her with the truth and all his troubles and never hesitated to run to her for help, always expecting her to be there for him. The crushing weights he so carelessly laid on her deceptively strong shoulders would have sent most people running. He hadn’t learned anything from Pete’s leaving because she accepted every new burden with nary a complaint. So seldom did she point out that she had a life also that he never even thought to let her know how important that life was to him.

Maybe he hadn’t abused her in the same sense as Jimmy had, but his neglect of her needs now seemed to him just as cruel. How could he have told her so many times he only wanted her to be happy when everything he asked of her was for him? Why had he never told her how he felt about her? How smart she was! How much he loved reading all her works. She was so creative. He’d never shown her the scrapbook he still had of all her Torch articles, nor given a hint of how proud he was to add her Daily Planet articles.

He couldn’t remember ever telling her how beautiful she was! How loyal! How loving!

How much he always ached for her warm hugs. He’d never told her how much every kiss she’d ever given him, from the very first one on the day they met, still burned in his memory. How very sexy she’d been during some intense make-out sessions she did not remember because of the parasite she’d been infected by.

She had always given everything to him and he’d offered nothing in return. Loving her in secret had cost him nothing all these years; he’d never given anything of himself, only selfishly absorbing all that she gave, never considering the cost to her. She had built him up for years, encouraged him, loved him, defended him… leaving nothing for herself.

Why did he let her help him conquer so many of his insecurities without every helping her overcome the doubts and fears she had? How could he let her ever think she wasn’t important enough?

His lips gently touched her hair on top of her head as he promised himself he would never leave her again; that if it took the rest of his life, he would do everything in his power to try to make it up to her.


When Chloe woke up the next morning, she was in her own bed still fully clothed on top of her blankets, securely wrapped in her comforter. She found Clark asleep on her couch not admitting to herself, until she saw him how much she feared he had left her alone. He was stretched out face down, his right arm a makeshift pillow. While she automatically set about starting some coffee, she absently wondered why he hadn’t taken one of the extra pillows and blankets from her bed as a heavy sigh of relief and gratitude escaped her slightly trembling lips.

Even in a relaxed deep sleep he looked powerful and strong; somehow without even word or action making her feel safer. With great effort she stopped herself from questioning why she needed him to be there and just concentrated on accepting that he was. Just for a little while she would take advantage of the strength he offered and lean on him. Just for a little while, she promised herself; just long enough for the ground underneath her feet to stop shaking so much. Just long enough for her to figure out why it was shaking in the first place. She would borrow from his strength until she could build up her own again.

As she took out two mugs from the cupboard, Clark woke up, slowly sitting up, his eyes searching until they met hers. She did not look away, trying hard to convey with just a look that she was okay enough for him to lose the concern in his worried gaze. The buzzer on the coffee maker finally broke the intense eye communication and Chloe filled both mugs and handed him one as she sat down on the couch next to him.

He didn’t ask any questions and she only mumbled quietly as she finished her cup of coffee, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“You don’t have to, Chloe, not to me; but I am here if you ever do want to. And I’m not leaving. You don’t have to be alone,” he promised her. He let her pour them both a second cup of coffee before he continued, “I do think you should speak to… see someone, a counselor, maybe. Whenever you’re ready…”

A shy, somewhat insecure smile was her only reply but it was all he needed for now.

Later on the drive to the Daily Planet in her car she suddenly continued the conversation, “I’m not doing any group therapy though, okay?”

He turned his head to look at her as she concentrated on navigating her little car through the heavy traffic. It both worried and surprised him that she had agreed so easily. He had been prepared with a long list of reasons to try to encourage her to see a counselor. He wanted her to hear it from someone else that this had not been her fault, that she did not deserve such treatment. His opinion alone would not be convincing enough. He was fairly certain she would think that he was obligated as her best friend to tell her such things.

His worried thoughts of how truly troubled she must be to accept his advice so easily, were interrupted as she pondered, “Of course, it will all depend on if the Planet’s insurance covers talking to a shrink…”

He wasn’t going to let that be a problem since he was proud of her for wanting to seek help, “What they don’t cover, Chloe, I will.”

She took her eyes off the traffic for a second to gaze into his eyes and seeing how serious he was she quickly replied, “Okay. Thanks. I’ll pay you back.”

“If you want to. For now you don’t have to worry about it, okay?”

Her eyes turned back to the road and she continued calmly, “You should bring some clothes and things to the apartment, so you won’t have to go zipping back and forth to the farm all the time to shower and change like you did this morning. Unless, of course, you want to check on Shelby?”

“We can check on Shelby together on the weekends, if you’d like. A neighbor is taking care of the farm for me and Shelby had followed him home yesterday. They’ve agreed to let him stay for as long as I need,” he answered.

“That would be nice,” she agreed. “And if you’re gonna hang around a while, I should probably take the couch and you can have the bed; it’ll be more comfortable for you.”

He tried hard not to show how happy he was that she wasn’t going to argue about letting him stay and look after her. “The couch is fine, Chloe. I think it’s actually longer than your bed.”

She smiled for a moment, “Yeah, I got lucky with that. The previous tenant left a lot of the furniture. I think the landlord was really happy that I liked it so he wouldn’t have to pay someone to haul it out of there. He’s not even charging me extra for it being a semi-furnished apartment.”

Their conversation ended as she pulled into a parking spot just a couple of blocks from the Daily Planet.

And for the next week, the story they were working on consumed most of their energies during the days and late into the evenings. By the fourth day she had even been able to laugh at some jokes one of their co-workers told.

On the fifth day, a new photographer had been temporarily hired because Jimmy had officially taken a leave of absence for an indefinite length of time. None of their co-workers, except Lois, knew Chloe and Jimmy were in a relationship, so she had no unwelcome awkward moments to confront. Lois accepted the simple explanation she gave, “We weren’t really getting along, so we broke up.”

That very evening a police officer had come to the apartment to tell Chloe that a Henry James Olsen had come to the station with an attorney from the clinic to turn himself in for domestic violence against Chloe Sullivan and was prepared to plead guilty for any charges she wished to file against him. Chloe had been too stunned to read the papers the officer had handed her and she passed them on to Clark.

Clark carefully read them and told her, “He signed a statement that he will stay at the treatment center until they feel he’s well enough to be released and he’s agreed to do whatever the police and psychiatrists recommend, even if it means jail time.”

Puzzled, Chloe looked at the officer, “Why would he do this?”

“Ma’am, he only offered that he needed a way to prove to you that you would be safe from him and did not know how else to make amends. He did not say much more than that; the lawyer did most of the talking.”

“Do I have to file charges? I mean sending him to jail won’t help him get better. Can I just sign something that I agree not to file charges as long as he does what he agreed to in that statement?” she asked carefully.

“It is your decision, Ma’am. But you would need to come to the station to fill out some forms either way.”

She went into the bedroom, returning a moment later with her jacket and purse, “Let’s go now.”

Clark sat quietly beside her at the station as the officer explained her available options and the consequences of each before he gave her the requested forms to complete. Once they were home she spoke to Clark for the first time since the officer had knocked on her door, “Thank you, Clark, for coming with me. I know he didn’t have to do that, but I’m glad he did. It makes me believe a little more that he really was sorry and that I don’t have to be afraid of him.”

It warmed Clark to hear her voice her gratitude for his presence even though he’d done nothing except be there in case she needed him. He was encouraged that she was no longer afraid to accept his help. It did much to help him sleep more peacefully that night.


The following week, their building contractor scandal story made the front page and they celebrated by dining at a fancy French restaurant. She smiled a lot and easily let him keep his arm around her shoulders as they walked back to her apartment. And she didn’t resist the sweet gentle kiss on her lips when he told her goodnight.

Clark was happier than he’d been in a very long time just because he was able to take care of her and be near her almost 24/7.

He left her only when crime and accidents or disasters needed his special abilities and he was pleased when she always asked for all the details of each rescue when he returned to her apartment. From the very first time he returned from such a rescue, he’d pulled her into his arms instead of just saying hello. She never objected when he held her too tightly or for too long, clinging to him as if there was no place else in the world she’d rather be.

It became a habit which he missed with a real physical ache on the rare occasions when she wasn’t at the apartment to greet him. He only felt at home when she was there. She had been lucky to find a counselor within a few days who took on new patients and actually gave her evening appointments. While she was at those sessions, Clark waited patiently at the apartment for her to call him so they could walk home together. He quickly learned that most of the sessions were quite emotional for her and she needed the walk to unwind and calm down.

He did eventually bring some of his clothes and bare necessities from the farm and technically moved in with her. Even though she refrained from making any comments as she made some room in the closet and her dresser for his stuff, he knew from the sudden calmness in her heart beat that she felt safer knowing he was going to stay. It was as if she hadn’t realized or truly accepted that he had meant it literally that he wouldn’t leave her and that she did not have to be alone. She happily accepted his constant presence in her life because deep down she knew she needed him. She didn’t want to be alone while she tried to sort out her life.

She was also grateful that she didn’t have to explain anything to him, because at first there was still a lot she did not really understand herself. He knew exactly how to be there for her without crowding her, which sometimes really amazed her considering how tiny her apartment was. He somehow understood when she needed to be held. She quickly became addicted to sitting on the couch next to him, her legs folded underneath her, one of his arms around her shoulders as she rested her head against his chest calmed by the steady beat of his heart against her ear.

They watched movies together. They listened to the news each night and took turns reading the newspaper to each other. He told her in as much detail as she wanted about his rescues. And they worked on their DP stories; usually happiest when they were sent together on an assignment.

Almost two months later her tears woke him up at three one morning. His first thought was that she hadn’t cried once since that first night. His second thought was that he would never again worry about not being able to hear her while he slept. He had stopped questioning the power and had actually comforted himself with the thought that she would never again have to be afraid that he would not be able to find her if she got into trouble.

He walked slowly into her bedroom and knocking on the door quietly asked, “Are you okay, Chloe?”

She tried to be evasive, “I think I had a bad dream but I’m fine, why?”

“I can hear your tears; they actually woke me up,” he couldn’t disguise the worry nor the awe he felt about this power. “They’re breaking my heart. Tell me how to dry them for you!”

“You can hear my tears? What does that mean? Since when?” she fired at him in sleepy confusion as she sat up and turned on a lamp beside her bed.

He sat down on a corner of the bed as he reached out to wipe the tears from her cheeks, “I don’t really know how it’s possible. I’m not even sure I can explain it. My brain just knows you’re crying and it literally causes me pain; I guess you could compare it to what I would assume a headache feels like but a lot more severe, maybe more like a migraine. It started…it—the first time… the first time Jimmy made you cry…” he was almost afraid to admit it for fear all her unhappiness would come back.

She had made so much progress in the last two months. Every day he recognized more and more of ‘his’ Chloe surfacing from underneath all the pain she’d tried to hide from him. Her laughter pleased him the most although it was starting to be a close second to how her smiles were finally reaching her eyes again. The darkness and fear were gone and in the last few days she was actually initiating more of those wonderful hugs than he was.

He was also immensely proud that she was continuing her sessions with the counselor even when some of the appointments were quite upsetting. He somehow felt he wasn’t knowledgeable enough to know how to rebuild her self-confidence by himself.

Her eyes widened in both sympathy and awe, “You poor man! I remember when you told me about hearing my voice when you first developed super hearing… and about hearing my heartbeat… but, my God, Clark, how you must hate me, I’m constantly bugging you!”

And after a deep breath she added, “And that’s why you always got here so fast, isn’t it?”

more to come… very SOON

Friday, January 21, 2011

Come Back To Where You Belong - Part Three (CHLARK fanfic, continued)

(a/n - disclaimer:  I do not own these characters or Smallville...)

Come Back to Where You Belong Part Three

…She’d held back the tears…

It wasn’t because she knew he was listening for them; he’d never told her he ‘heard’ her tears. From the look of guilt on her face he assumed correctly that she felt she’d had it coming; she felt she deserved it and had tried to be brave, probably in the hopes that Jimmy would calm down soon.

For a second Clark wasn’t sure who he was most angry at:

Jimmy, for hurting her like this? At the moment he wanted nothing more than to strangle the ungrateful coward.

Himself? For letting her convince him this was none of his business and he couldn’t do anything to help her? He ignored the fact that he still tried to rescue her each time he thought she was in trouble, whether she wanted his help or not.

Or Chloe? For somehow believing she deserved this kind of treatment?

She had so often helped him believe that not every wrong done in the world was his fault, but this time he knew deep in his soul that he bore a large part of the blame. How badly had he failed her if she could think so little of herself?

How could he have forgotten the vulnerable trusting soul that hid behind that disguise of toughness she showed the world? He had seen it enough times over the years how her trust in people, her willingness to give her heart had so often brought her pain. That Jimmy could become the angry jealous animal that now tried to escape his hold would never have occurred to Clark in a million years. He would not have picked Jimmy as becoming someone so cruel that Chloe would need protection from him.

He cursed himself for letting her continue protecting his secret at the cost of her own safety. He knew he should have told Jimmy the truth himself the minute he realized Chloe never would. He almost welcomed the painful headache those quiet tears were causing him. It served him right for not keeping her safe.

But this ended today. He would not let her stay a moment longer with Jimmy.

He had almost been too late because he’d foolishly listened for her tears, blocking out everything else, and by the time they’d fallen, the racing of her heart beat had drowned out the desperation in her tears.

Still holding onto Jimmy’s shirt collar with one hand, while Chloe was securely wrapped in his other arm, Clark got to his feet and took a close look at her shimmering hazel eyes and trembling lips. She looked tired. Much too exhausted. Like she had reached a breaking point and didn’t know how to go on.

The defiant, strong-willed Chloe who’d told him during each previous botched rescue attempt to mind his own business, that she didn’t need his help, was gone. The change in her was so shocking he was torn between the feeling of losing a part of her and the gratitude that she was finally going to give in and let him help her.

As Chloe slowly maneuvered her way out of Clark’s arms and stumbled onto the couch, Clark tossed Jimmy across the room with one small powerful push against his chest, “Touch her again and you’re a dead man!” he promised angrily, letting go of a rage that made him realize how easily he could and how badly he wanted to fulfill that promise.

“Yeah, freak… you can have her!” Jimmy shouted back, trying hard not to show his fear of the unbelievable strength Clark had just exhibited as he tried to recover from having been thrown across the room and landing on the floor against the wall he’d literally bounced off. He was momentarily stunned as he slowly moved his arms and legs checking for any broken bones. Clark’s size had often intimidated him, but it had never occurred to Jimmy that he would one day come to fear him. Who would have believed mild-mannered Clark Kent disguised such a violent strength?

In a disgusted rage he ignored his fear and continued his tirade, “You freaks should stick together. You always have anyway. You barely have to look at her and she runs to your side. She always defends you. Now I finally know why. You’re just as much a freak as she is.”

Clark, realizing that Chloe was trying to heal the bruise on her arm, contained his rage, only for her sake, “Get help, Jimmy, or I’ll have you arrested for assaulting her.”

“I don’t believe you; I’d tell ‘em what you are!” Jimmy reached for the only threat he thought could work.

He hadn’t expected the cold angry laugh from Clark, “You think I care? To protect her, I’d do anything. You’d do well to remember that!”

“Yeah? You wouldn’t dare!” Jimmy challenged as he finally recovered enough from his flight across the room and got up from the corner Clark’s push had landed him in.

Clark looked at Chloe huddled in one corner of the couch trying to hide the large bruise on her upper right arm from him. Her tears were not stopping, her body shaking so hard, her self-healing slowed by her emotional trauma. He could tell she didn’t have the strength to heal herself and the attempt was just making her weaker.

He went to her, kneeling down in front of her, and spoke to her quietly as he gently wiped the tears from her cheeks with his thumbs, “Stop the healing, Chloe, please. Your body doesn’t have the energy for it right now. I’m taking you both to a police station. It’s the only way to stop this.”

She lifted her eyes to his, the tears starting anew, “I’m sorry, Clark…” she started to say.

It tore something deep inside him. He tried to smile. “Don’t apologize to me. Just come back to where you belong. Come back to me. I’ll take care of you, Chloe. I’m done standing by helplessly. I can’t let you take anymore of this.”

Out of the corner of his eye he saw Jimmy attempting to leave the apartment. Clark turned his head and blasted his heat vision towards the door handle just as Jimmy reached it and instantly screamed out in pain as he looked at his hand, “What the hell? You…? What kind of monster are you?”

“Want to find out? Take another step and the next target won’t be the door handle…” Clark threatened.

“I’ve read that you freaks all turn violent eventually. I guess you’re just proving that to be true…” Jimmy accused as he backed away from the door, clearly trying to figure out how he was going to escape from this.

Clark’s anger was barely under control; seeing Chloe’s tears was more devastating than just hearing them; it didn’t appear to matter to him what he revealed to Jimmy.

“I’ve been a ‘damned freak’ all my life, Olsen! If I’d turned to violence, you wouldn’t have survived to touch her after the first time. You have two options if you want to leave this apartment: the police station or a clinic to start some serious therapy. And you have all of two minutes to make up your mind.”

Jimmy, as if resigned to the trap he appeared to be in, leaned against the wall next to the door and took a long look at Chloe. He tried to remember when his world had gone so wrong.

Maybe she had loved him in some part of her heart. He now wondered why he couldn’t just have been happy with what she did give him. Even if her heart hadn’t been a hundred percent his, the love she had given him was more than he’d ever received before. But he’d gotten selfish and had wanted her whole heart to belong to him. And he had truly believed that he could make her love him and only him.

Or at the very least to love him more than she loved Clark.

But Clark had never gone away! Whenever he wanted something, Chloe was always there. It never seemed to matter if she had other plans with her boyfriend; she always chose Clark. As if no-one and nothing else mattered. And too many times the reasons she gave were so far-fetched he felt she was mocking him.

So he came to the only conclusion obvious to him. She’d lied to him. About everything! About what she did with Clark all the times she snuck off to be with him. And especially when she’d said she loved him, Jimmy, and that she was over Clark; that the love she’d had for Clark had only been a teen-age crush. They were only friends now. He’d soon stopped believing her and started calling her a liar to her face.

That had been the beginning.

After that his world started collapsing into a crazy merry-go-round of paranoia.
It soon turned into a life of accusations to make Chloe feel guilty enough for always causing him pain by ditching him for Clark, that she eventually stopped. For a while she didn’t break a single date with him. He had been happy, especially when they finally became close enough to move in together.

But his utopia didn’t last. Clark was still there in their lives! The fact that they all worked together made him hard to avoid. And even though Chloe had been more attentive to him, he still felt she was holding back a huge part of herself. There were too many secrets in her life. And a lot of them appeared to involve Clark.

Maybe if he’d been more patient she might someday have been completely his.

But his patience had run out. He’d become obsessed and his jealousy of Clark only increased. He’d turned possessive in a way he didn’t recognize and he’d let it control him as he soon wanted to control her.

Maybe HE hadn’t loved HER enough!?

He’d just been so surprised that Clark had let her slip out of his grasp when she so obviously loved him. He’d wanted to annihilate that love for Clark. He could see that now as he saw her trusting eyes fixed on Clark, knowing without a doubt that she could trust Clark completely.

Like she never trusted him!

It had taken her forever to explain her healing ability! And even though he had understood that his attitude towards the meteor ‘freaks’ had a lot to do with her keeping it a secret from him, he still couldn’t get over that she hadn’t trusted him with it from the start! He’d also felt betrayed that she had even continued their relationship in the beginning when she knew how he felt about them. She should have broken up with him right then before he’d fallen so deeply for her!

He’d finally accepted her ability, had actually been awed by such a power even as deep down he still feared it And even though he did try hard to convey a complete turn-around of his negative attitude towards the meteor ‘infected,’ she’d still never trusted him with how she was also always protecting Clark’s secret. The looks they had so often shared when they thought no-one was watching had raised his suspicions that Clark was hiding something and Chloe was in on it.

But he also suspected it wasn’t only the secrets they shared that kept them so close together; they had a bond that he and Chloe never had. A bond that somehow grew each time Clark showed up whenever he and Chloe got into a fight. Not knowing how to create such a connection with her had only served to inflame the jealousy.

Jealousy had become the creature that now controlled him. And he had no clue how to get rid of that monster.

Maybe Clark was right. He did need therapy. He knew if he ever wanted to have a normal life again he’d need help to figure out why he’d let it get this bad.

He’d never ever hurt anyone else in his life. And no-one had ever cared about him the way Chloe seemed to. He had wanted to hold onto that at any cost and hadn’t known how; and had therefore done everything wrong.

Chloe hadn’t deserved that; she probably couldn’t help how she felt about Clark anymore than Jimmy could stop how he felt about Chloe. He should have walked away a long time ago; probably the very first time she broke a date to go help Clark.

She may have convinced herself she was over Clark, but he’d known better. He’d had no right to guilt her into staying with him. He could fix that now. It was probably the only thing he could fix; he certainly would never be able to make up for how he’d treated her.

He stared at his hands for a moment, surprised there was nothing more than a slight redness on his right palm, the door handle had literally sizzled. Slowly he raised his eyes towards Chloe and then to Clark.

“Okay, you win,” he said quietly. “I don’t want to go to jail. I’ll accept the second choice. I won’t ever bother you again, Chloe. I know words won’t ever be enough, but I am sorry for hurting you so much. And for what it’s worth, even if you don’t believe me, I swear I won’t reveal your secrets.”


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Come Back to Where You Belong Part Two (first half)

Come Back to Where You Belong Part Two (first half)

It was a little more than five weeks later when Chloe and Clark were both given the assignment to research from where a local building contractor was siphoning off money for some personal projects for which he had no visible funding. They spent almost three days together looking through all available public documents covering all the listed building contracts he had with the city, trying to find out which jobs he was stealing the funds from and how he was getting away with it.

Jimmy, in the meantime, was kept busy on a photo assignment following the leading candidate in a mayoral political campaign. Even though that assignment kept him out late covering fund-raising dinners, he was still not too busy to notice Chloe’s continued absence from the apartment.

The first night he was too tired to stay awake until she got home; and they were both expected at work too early the next morning and barely had time for a quick cup of coffee and a few bites of their muffins; there was no time for any questions.

The second night he was too thrilled about getting one of his pictures printed on that day’s front page to be angry at how late Chloe arrived home. He barely listened to her quick, frustrated apology about being so late because she had spent the second day in a row in the city hall’s records room and most of both evenings at the downtown library without finding any evidence yet of the fraud they knew existed.

But he did pay attention to her complaint that she had skipped both lunch and dinner that day and was starved. His day had also been without food so they decided on a late dinner at a diner a few blocks from the apartment. Since he spent most of the meal eagerly relaying the events that led up to the shot that made it to the front page, Chloe finally relaxed enough to enjoy the hamburger and fries she had ordered.

As much as she enjoyed working with Clark and his dedication to every detail and his thoroughness in looking through each document, no matter how unimportant it seemed; she worried how Jimmy would react to her close proximity to Clark. Would it matter that she’d had no choice in the assignment or who was assigned with her? She hoped Jimmy had stopped being suspicious, but she feared the calm even as she tried to deny that a storm was brewing.

The last few weeks had been a lot easier with Jimmy, but yesterday she realized how much she’d missed working with Clark; how easily they’d become a team again. A few times she even worried they were close enough for him to read her mind; he somehow always knew what she was trying to say or what direction she wanted to go with their work. She knew most of the time where his ideas were headed also, although she denied there was any significance in the knowledge.

She only worried about slipping up and telling Jimmy too much about what was not going on. He had a way of misinterpreting what she said or how enthusiastically she said it if the name Clark came up anywhere in the conversation. And since everyone knew she and Clark were working together on this assignment, it was only a matter of time before Jimmy would want to bring it up.

She had seen the quick flash of anger that morning as he’d passed Clark’s desk on the way to get more film for his camera out of his desk. He had even ignored Clark’s cordial, “Good morning, Jimmy!” as he’d left.

She quietly mumbled thanks to whatever Fates had given her at least another day’s reprieve from Jimmy’s jealousy as she devoured her hamburger while listening to his excited explanation of how he ended up taking that picture. She was actually proud of him; this was the Jimmy she’d first been attracted to, this happy person who loved photography above all else and delighted in sharing it with her.

Late in the afternoon of the third day, Chloe suddenly jumped up from her desk and enthusiastically hugged Clark who was standing next to her, bent over as he slowly looked through a folder of invoices they had ‘borrowed’ from one of the contractor’s company accountants. Clark’s quick reaction kept the contents of the file from being tossed to the floor by Chloe as she waved one of the invoices practically in his face.

“You were right! Here’s the proof! We knew it! Oh, my God, do you know what this means, Clark?”

Without thinking he was caught up in her uninhibited delight and hugged her back.

He forgot that touching her wasn’t allowed. He forgot that she didn’t belong to him anymore. He would wonder later where the thought that she was ever his had come from, but at the moment the possessiveness that filled his heart felt as right as the tightly clinging arm around his neck.

What a foolish man was he to have once been the recipient of so many of her warm, generous loving hugs, to not know how much he would miss them if she stopped holding him close? How could he have forgotten how it felt to be loved by this woman? How could he have ever let her go?

He had missed being in her arms so much he forgot that Jimmy sat just four desks away uploading onto his computer the pictures he’d taken that day.

As suddenly as she’d embraced him, Chloe slipped out of his arms and directed his attention to the invoice she held in her hand, “It’s a complete fake! I can’t believe we didn’t think of this possibility two days ago! All those boring documents we went through!”

Clark quickly realized her withdrawal from his embrace came just in time to stop an obviously very angry Jimmy from coming any closer to them and causing a scene. He gave Clark a clear ‘keep your hands off my girl’ warning look as he slowly returned to the desk he’d vacated as soon as he saw Clark holding Chloe much too tightly.

Clark wished for a moment that Jimmy had come at him. He would have felt better knowing Jimmy would take his anger out on him right then and there and not on Chloe later on. He was at a complete loss as to what to do and just followed Chloe’s lead as she pointed out the things she saw wrong with the invoice.

He pretended the embrace meant nothing. He pretended he hadn’t always known that she’d once loved him.

It wasn’t the first time he’d lied about his feelings for Chloe. But it was the first time that he didn’t shy away from admitting to himself that it was a lie. Even as he listened to her, his heart was lecturing him on the danger he had just put her in. Why couldn’t he tell her the truth and beg her not to go home with Jimmy? His mind couldn’t seem to slow down, going in too many different directions, but no solution that she would accept came to him.

His troubled thoughts were stopped as she started explaining what she was pointing at. “This invoice doesn’t include any type of discount as do all the others. The company address is only a post office box and there is not even a telephone number. There is no purchase order number listed. The copy of what supposedly is the purchase order that’s attached has no approval signature like all the others. No proof of delivery signature, or verification of the material count. Only a check number and date payment was made. There is no copy of a lien release. And… from double checking all the bids that were accepted for this job, this company is not listed anywhere.”

She stopped to take a deep breath. Clark could tell she was trying to calm her nerves. Even though she’d had her back to Jimmy, she probably knew he had witnessed her throwing herself into Clark’s arms.

In a calmer voice a minute later, she continued. “I know that one invoice, even for this large amount of money, isn’t complete proof, but I’ll bet there’s at least one invoice from this company on every job he’s involved with. What do you think we’ll find, Clark, if we can track the check this invoice was paid with?”

Clark smiled as he guessed, “If he’s smart, we’ll probably find it was cashed, the signature probably unreadable. I don’t think he would deposit it into an account that could be traced back to him. Although for that amount of money, he probably does have an account at the bank it was cashed at. More than likely a bank teller is an accomplice. And I wonder how well he covered his tracks with that post office box? Unless someone else opened it for him, I bet it can be traced back to him. I can make a field trip out to that town tomorrow to check it out.”

“And I’ll check all the other job invoices to see if this company name shows up on any of the others and of course, I’ll find a way to research the bank statements to find that check and any others written to that company.”

They both grinned with relief, “Nice work, Chloe!” Clark finally said.

“Thanks, but you know I couldn’t have done it alone. So thank you, too!” she replied as she started packing all the files together, “I’ll make the necessary copies and you can return all these tomorrow.”

An hour later, as he watched her leave the Daily Planet basement office with Jimmy, he wished with all his heart that she was happy and that Jimmy understood what a treasure she was and would stop abusing her.

But unfortunately, he’d stopped believing that wishes came true by the time he was five years old and knew he’d be following them home and keeping close enough to their apartment just in case Jimmy was still angry.

Chloe and Jimmy stopped at a diner for a very quiet meal. Clark left the Daily Planet and took off in the opposite direction to get his own dinner. He did not listen to their conversation at all. He tried hard not to spy on them because he knew that Chloe would hate him for it. He had resolved after the last useless rescue attempt that he would only intervene if she called for his help, whether by voice, uncertain heartbeat, or by the sound of her tears.

But this time there were no tears...



Come Back to Where You Belong Part Two (Second Half - well, the very short, rest of Part Two...)

It was Jimmy’s yelling that alerted Clark and a muffled scream from Chloe that sprang him into super speed racing from half a dozen blocks away.

He had only a second of clarity in the midst of his panic, and knocked loudly on their apartment door instead of crashing through it. Jimmy, with one hand holding onto Chloe’s right arm, opened it and instantly turned his anger on Clark, “How the hell do you always know when we’re having a disagreement? Are you stalking us? And how do you always get here so fast?”

Slamming the door shut to keep out any curious neighbors, as Clark rushed into the apartment past Jimmy, he looked from Clark to Chloe and then back at Clark, and it dawned on him, “You’re a damned meteor freak! Just like her, aren’t you? You people make me sick!”

He tried to toss Chloe away from him and she lost her balance. Clark grabbed Jimmy by the shirt collar and pulled him away from her and got to Chloe to catch her in his arms before she hit the floor. “I’ve got you. I’m taking you away; he’s not getting another chance to hurt you ever again.”

He searched her tear-filled eyes as she finally gave up her failed attempt at trying to stop them from falling.

She’d held back the tears.

He suddenly understood why. And it sickened him.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Another CHLARK Smallville fanfic story: "Come Back to Where You Belong"

Come Back To Where You Belong – (Chlark)

Author: Mari2Anne (Mari2Anne is my ID at Kryptonsite where I post all my Smallville fanfics)

Warning: Abusive relationship/ Angst/ Jimmy fans might not like this story, but this was started because of a request...
Spoiler: Happy Ending; well at least a positive ending; actually I'm still working on it.
Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine; I do not own them or Smallville
Pairings: Chloe/Jimmy - Chloe/Clark
Status: Almost complete; this actually started out as a one-shot but the ending got a little too complicated so it still needs more work. PG-13

A/N: This was started a long time ago in response to Chlollie (at K-site) who requested a story about Chloe in an abusive relationship with Jimmy. Of course, Clark finds out and tries to help her; and it was to take place somewhere in S7.

Although there might be references to Season 7, I have strayed somewhat with some references to Season 8 and earlier seasons, but not exactly in the order or in the way they happened on the show. There really is no time line. In this version: Chloe, Clark and Jimmy all still work at the Daily Planet. And I’ve created a new “connection” Clark has to Chloe.

Oh, just to clarify Clana is ancient history and will barely be mentioned, if at all.

Comments are SO VERY welcome! Be kind if you can, but do let me know what you think. And Thank You for reading

Come Back To Where You Belong by Mari2Anne, for Chlollie who requested it.
__________________________________________________ _____________________

He hadn’t meant to listen. He hadn’t meant to eavesdrop.

And yet he could still hear it.

Even miles away…

Why he was connected in this way to her, he still didn’t understand. He would never forget that she was the first distinguishable voice that came from the mega decibels that were his ear-splitting, headache inducing, heart pounding frightening introduction to his super-hearing back in high school.

In some ways those were horribly confusing days when each of his powers emerged at random and with no apparent reason and no rule book on how to control them; or which powers were permanent or temporary… Or even more frightening, which would increase in strength…

He tried to shake the memories. But even to this day he still thought often of the wisdom of Jonathan who helped him deal with each newly discovered ‘behavior’ as if it were just a normal part of growing up. He never told his Dad how worried he sometimes got during those “formative” years about whether the discovery of new powers would ever end. Nor did he ever reveal how much he had feared what they would do if one emerged that could not be controlled.

But he hadn’t discovered any new powers in quite some time and thought he’d finally ‘matured’ to be ‘all’ that he could be; with the one exception of the illusive flying ability. And if it weren’t for the memory of actually flying while he “wasn’t quite himself,” he could almost convince himself this was never going to happen.

This new ‘power’ was a very recent development; or at least, he’d only been aware of it for the last few months.

Since the very first time back in high school when he’d heard her talking on her cell phone to Lionel Luthor; her voice the first that wasn’t a screeching pain to his new super hearing, he had never really stopped hearing her when her voice or her heart beat called out to him. Or even, as was happening right now, her tears. And just as her voice and her heart beat had become as recognizable as his own over the years, he had quickly accepted that the only tears he seemed to be able to ‘hear’ were hers.

But instead of calming him, as often her heart beat reassured him that she was alive and well, even as it pounded erratically calling out to him because of some danger she was in, the sound of her tears was anything but calming.

Anger filled him, helpless uncontrollable anger. Why was he ‘hearing’ her tears? Tears made no sound; it’s what he always told himself each time he heard them. But they were hard to ignore and impossible to shut out; so great was her power over him; so intense their connection.

A connection they both continuously denied.


Their favorite solution to every problem they didn’t want to face.

And, so very obviously, a useless waste of energy.

He couldn’t deny their ‘sound,’ especially as they were increasingly more frequent lately. It drove him to distraction and, of course, towards the uncontrollable anger. He had rushed to her side at least half a dozen times and she’d told him to mind his own business, there was nothing he could do to help her.

On the rare occasions her tears were caused by physical pain, Chloe’s bruises had healed each time before Clark had shown up, even though he’d rushed to her side at super-speed. So there had been no proof of what Jimmy had done to her. And for the same reason, Jimmy didn’t believe he’d really hurt her anyway, the bruises disappeared too quickly.

The last time as Clark had helplessly stormed out of her apartment after Jimmy’s temper had gotten out of control, he’d overheard Jimmy yelling at her, “Quit whining, I’m not strong enough to have hurt you anyway- didn’t even leave a mark, not as much as you hurt me each time you look at that boyfriend of yours!”

Chloe had avoided him at work the day after each incident. But Clark couldn’t take the darkness in her eyes; he missed the smile that kept him going. He missed her voice when she was this quiet. By the end of the day after the latest useless rescue attempt he needed answers and cornered her when she went into the copy room.

He leaned against the door as he closed it. She raised her eyes from the over-sized article she was trying to turn correctly onto the copy machine and quietly told him, “Don’t get involved, Clark.” She carefully looked through the glass wall into the other room.

“He’s not in the building,” he quieted her apparent fears. Fears that he wished he could erase because the sudden knowledge of them made him sound harsher than he’d intended,

“You’re my friend, Chloe; I am involved already and I’m making it my business. This can’t go on. You have to talk to me.”

“I don’t have to do anything, Clark,” she whispered evasively.

Clark continued on as if she hadn’t spoken, “I thought you two were getting on so much better after you told him about your meteor abilities. Why does he think you have a boyfriend, Chloe?”

She’d finished getting her copy but Clark refused to unblock the door, so she gave in, “Because he doesn’t trust me.”

Clark’s eyes showed his concern, “Why?”

“You know why…” she responded, resignation in her tone as she looked right into his worried eyes.

Her unwavering gaze tore at Clark as he realized how much her heart was breaking and how alone she felt. Guilt consumed him, “He thinks I – he thinks I’m the boyfriend?”

Her continued steady gaze told him his guess was right on. Something he’d hidden deep inside his soul broke free and he knew he would never be able to deny the need again. He suddenly ached to tell her that he wished it were the truth. Then, if nothing else, he at least would have a reason to pull her out of her current situation.

It took all the strength he had to not take her into his arms, confess how much he loved her and beg her to dump Jimmy. He did the only other thing he thought could save her,

“Tell him the truth about me. My secret is not worth the pain it’s causing you.”

“I won’t ever do that, Clark. I promised you I’d never betray you!” she almost shouted at him, appalled at his suggestion.

“It’s not a betrayal if I ask you to do it. If you love him, Chloe, you have to learn to trust him. And if you trust him, I will too.”

His words echoed in her head, “If you love him...” If? Did she? She didn’t know anymore. Had she ever known for certain? Had she ever loved him?

She dropped her papers on top of the copy machine and paced the room, the confusion she felt so evident in her eyes and also in the lack of questions coming from her. She wasn’t sure what to ask and finally stopped pacing and settled for, “Why?”

He didn’t have time to think of a lie convincing enough and let go of the words that filled his troubled heart, “Because the only thing I care about is your happiness. If that means adding another member to the Clark secret keepers, then it’s a small price… well worth paying.”

He could see the surprised look in her eyes and a new uncertainty that he feared she would want clarified, but she let it go. Maybe she didn’t quite believe what she was hearing, he couldn’t possibly care that much! So she simply chose to ignore it. She gathered her items off the copy machine, “I have to get back to work, Clark. I’ll think about it. Okay?”

It wasn’t okay; not really, but he didn’t push it. It was enough for now that he’d made the offer and that she would consider it. He knew all too well how heavily the burden of his secret had often weighed on her small shoulders.

Maybe if she followed his advice she could finally find the happiness she deserved. If all else failed, he did always have the choice of telling Jimmy himself if that was the only way to convince him that Chloe wasn’t cheating on him. So he smiled as he moved to open the copy room door and told her, “Okay.”

During the next few weeks they avoided each other as much as possible.

Clark tried to be more conscious of how he took advantage of her willingness to drop everything and help him. He asked less of her; did more of his own research and hacking when necessary. He became more conscious of when she mentioned she had plans with Jimmy and made sure he never interrupted those plans.

He learned a new kind of patience, always waiting for her to be available to help him when he really couldn’t solve something on his own; and not just barging into her space and expecting her to take care of his problems immediately. And though he really didn’t need a lot of sleep, it had become a natural habit over the years to get several hours of rest whenever he could. A habit he was now trying to break and learn again how to survive on minimal hours of sleep.

It had taken him only three days to realize she would never reveal his secret to Jimmy. It caused him a lot of sleepless nights. Since he didn’t really understand how this ‘power’ worked, he was afraid to fall asleep in case he wouldn’t ‘hear’ her tears if she called out to him.

During the days at the Daily Planet, Clark kept his distance and yet watched them more closely; they appeared to be happier and the look of fear in her eyes that had worried him so much that day seemed to have disappeared.

Jimmy was always polite yet cool towards him at work. He never asked Clark why he’d shown up uninvited at Chloe’s apartment each time while they happened to be in the middle of fighting over one thing or another. On some level that disappointed Clark as he wanted an excuse to warn Jimmy to never hurt Chloe again. But maybe Jimmy was expecting some kind of lecture and didn’t want to give Clark a chance to get started on one.

But the calm didn’t last.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

One of my fan fiction stories ...

Reading fan fiction taught me how much fun it can be to 'borrow' wonderful characters created by other writers and brought to 'life' by talented actors, and put them in different story-lines, or just change the story-line to your heart's content.... to create an alternate universe (I love that phrase!)...

The "Smallville" writers created an interesting and wonderfully loyal character for Superman's teenage years by the name of Chloe Sullivan.  They teased the fans mercilessly with more than just hints of romance between Chloe Sullivan and her best friend, Clark Kent.  Of course, this new road of great possibility was not taken by the writers... BUT the fan fiction world did get busy with this new possibility (as well as with many other pairings of different characters), and for some reason 'Chloe' inspired my muse into a dozen different journeys so far.  Most are just very short "one-shot" single chapters...

This is one of them...

This was originally written in response to Marikology’s drabble challenge thread, “Scenes from a friendship,”  at about two and a half years ago.

I’ve posted it elsewhere and thought I should put it on my blog, also, just in case there are any die-hard CHLARKERS out there in this blog world.  And so I figured until the muse helps me finish another story I’m working on, maybe all of you nice CHLARK fans who haven’t read this, might enjoy it.  Let me know.

Disclaimer:  none of the characters are mine; I do not own them or Smallville:

All Night Long With Chloe by Mari2Anne (Mari2Anne is my ID at Kryptonsite)
Season One Episode 20, “Obscura”
Scene:  In Chloe’s hospital room after Clark has rescued her from being buried alive.

As Clark and Lana got set to leave so Chloe could get some much needed rest, Chloe had asked Clark if he wouldn’t mind sticking around for a while because the creep who had kidnapped and buried her alive was still on the loose.  Clark could tell that she was still quite upset and told her, “Of course not; I’ll stay here as long as you need.”


They both said “Good-bye, Lana” as she turned and left the hospital room.

Clark was so worried about his tough fearless friend, Chloe, being so uncharacteristically afraid that he never even spared a thought that Lana was actually the one still in danger. 

Lana had seen through the creep’s eyes and might be able to identify him.   Chloe hadn’t seen anything because according to Chloe’s description of her ordeal, he’d been very cautious to keep her in the dark.

But Clark thought none of these things.  He only thought his friend was in pain and she needed him.  Nothing else mattered at the moment.  It was way past visiting hours but he knew how to “look” for and keep hidden from the hospital staff so Chloe wouldn’t feel alone.  Her fear reflected his own emotions when he hadn’t known where she was.  He’d do anything she needed to help get her past this.  And he knew he was doing it for himself, also; staying to reassure himself that she was really okay.

He stayed sitting on the edge of the bed, his left hand still held tightly captive by Chloe’s right hand.  He gently touched her cheek with his right hand feeling a deep anger at the crook who’d dared to bring tears and fear to Chloe’s happy sparkling eyes.

“I’m sorry, Clark.”

“For what?  You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Asking you to baby-sit, at least until I fall asleep.  I-I can’t believe…how scared I was; how scared I still am…” she tried to smile, but her lips were still trembling.

Clark didn’t know what to do; the horrible memory of when he’d first x-rayed that field and seen her buried in that coffin suddenly blurred his vision as he recalled his own terrible fear.  He wanted to pull her into his arms and promise he’d never leave her side again; he’d keep her safe until the creep was caught and locked up.  He tried hard to hide the tears in his own voice as he looked down and took her left hand in both of his.

“That’s nothing to be sorry about, Chloe.  You wouldn’t be normal if you weren’t scared.  He’s the one who should be sorry for doing this to you.  So don’t think that way, okay?  I won’t leave you alone, I promise.  So just close your eyes and try to get some rest.  I’ll be right here if you need anything.”

He tried to give her a reassuring smile as she scooted over and told him to get a little more comfortable.  So he turned around, resting his head against the pillow she’d fluffed up against the top frame of the bed and put his legs up on the bed also.  It was a tight and not too comfortable fit.  But he felt Chloe relax into her pillows as she closed her eyes without letting go of his hand, so he didn’t complain.

Chloe soon drifted into a deep sleep and after a couple of hours her steady breathing let Clark relax enough that he eventually drifted off also.  Suddenly flailing, panicked hands under the sheets and a frightened moaning brought Clark out of his restless slumber a few hours later.  He quickly realized Chloe was having a nightmare trying to dig her way out of that coffin again.  His heart broke as he carefully lowered the sheets and captured both her hands in his and whispered her name, “Chloe, Chloe, you’re safe.  Wake up.  It’s me, Clark.  You’re safe now.”

Scared crazy eyes suddenly flew open trying to comprehend her surroundings and finally fixated on Clark and filled with tears as she threw her arms around his neck and sobbingly whispered, “Thank you, Clark…”  She repeated it several times as he tried to soothe her shaking shoulders by gently stroking her back.  He felt a helpless anger that took all his concentration to keep under control.

He let her cry even though crying females scared the daylights out of him.  Something told him she needed to let it out the same way he needed to break things to get rid of the fear and anger raging inside of him.  He’d just have to wait until he got back to the farm and take it out on his chores.  After a long time her sobs subsided and he thought she’d gone back to sleep when she suddenly started to talk.  She talked into his chest for which he was unbelievably grateful, the anger on his face would have scared her even more as she relayed every detail she remembered from the moment she’d been rendered unconscious outside of the hospital.

It was almost dawn when she came to the end of her nightmare ordeal.  Clark could not believe how courageous she had been keeping her wits about her and constantly doing her best to try to escape and he told her so several times whenever she took a breath during her story.  Exhaustion finally won out as she let go of the death grip she had around Clark’s neck and slid her arms back under the sheets and settled her head back onto her pillows.  He heard her mumble, “Sorry about your shirt, Clark.”  He had to look to see his shirt was soaked with her tears and gladly told her, “Nothing to worry about, Chloe.  Flannel would be useless if it couldn’t survive a lady’s tears.”  He was encouraged when he saw her attempt a half-smile before sleep finally claimed her again.  That attempt at a smile warmed him.  He wanted so much to bring back the famous Chloe smile that had so often cheered and, he had to admit, charmed him.  As she slept he tried to think of the best way to ask her to the Spring Formal.  He wondered if he’d waited too long; Lana had tried to tell him girls needed time to shop for a dress and stuff.  And his mom had tried to encourage him to ask Chloe.  He felt a little ashamed of himself, not asking her sooner.  He knew she liked him.  Pete had tried to hammer that one into his head a few times already.

And if he’d had any doubts about his own feelings towards her, this nightmare of having almost lost her, completely wiped them away.  He liked her a lot and he knew that taking her to the dance would not only make her smile, it would give him several chances to hold her close again.  He’d just spent half a night learning how wonderful that felt, except the next time she was in his arms he’d make darn sure, she’d have nothing to cry about.

His plans for their near-future calmed him a lot as he carefully got off the bed and pulled one of the chairs in the room close beside the bed and sat down to watch her sleep until Mr. Sullivan’s entrance into the room later that morning woke Chloe up.  She sat up quickly as he made his way to the other side of the bed and gave her a wonderful reassuring hug.

Clark stood up slowly and said, “Good morning, Mr. Sullivan.”  He couldn’t tell if Mr. Sullivan suspected that he’d spent the whole night but instinct told him Chloe might not be comfortable with it being brought up so he politely said, “I have to get back to the farm to finish my chores.  Call me if you need anything at all, okay, Chloe.” 

She didn’t let go of her dad, but she turned her head and with tear-filled eyes told Clark, “Thank you again for saving me, Clark.  Thank you for everything!

Mr. Sullivan thanked him also and Clark only smiled, trying to put a little of the Kent charm in to his expression as he walked out of the hospital room, looking forward to seeing the sparkle back in Chloe’s eyes, right after that creep was caught.

-the end-.