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O'Keeffe Skull Streak--Fanish JMTorres
I. Chloefic
In answer to the question on "Rogue"--where did Clark spend the night after the exhibit opening?

With big pointy fingers of blame in Bas's direction, because this pales to her writing.

Okay, I know I'm telling this out of order but I can't quite figure out what order to tell it. Suggestions welcome.

Also, hate dependence on "extra" material. But Kevin Smith movies are such a damn useful idiom. As to the rest of it... Um. *sigh* Varied set of non-SV references. There's two that I don't actually cite the source of--fifty brownie point apiece to anyone who spots them. A hundred brownie points to anyone who can quote me the line from Metamorphosis that makes the Greg-focused story relevant.

Also, killer run-on sentences. Grr.

Spoilers--Pilot, Metamorphosis, Cool, Rogue.


Chloe woke to knocking at her window. She got out of bed, dragging her quilt with her, and let Clark in. Clark was the only one who ever pulled this stunt, but Chloe was still surprised--he hadn't done it in months.

Chloe's bedroom was on the second floor, its window accessible from the outside only by a pear tree, like the younger Quentin in The Sound and the Fury. Clark had stubbornly read the book in order to understand the reference when Chloe had originally made it, the first time he came knocking on her window at eleven at night.

It was summer after sixth grade, and Greg had invited Pete and Clark to camp out in his "No Girls Allowed" treehouse. "How Calvin and Hobbes," Chloe, who had only recently moved to Smallville, said. She had told Greg snottily that he was immature which had, of course, done nothing to endear her to him. Clark bit his lip, accepted Greg's invitation, and showed up at Chloe's that night.

The next day, Pete laughed at Clark for being afraid of heights and Greg sneered. Clark ended up walking a fence, arms outstretched, for nearly a mile along the perimeter of the Kent farm in order to disprove the accusation, all the while complaining groundlessly that the treehouse was "structurally unsound," a description to which he clung over the years. Chloe felt her cheeks heating at how he was inviting ridicule to protect the secret of how hurt she had been to be excluded. Part of her wished he would tell Greg to take his infantile cootiephobia and fuck off, if kids her age out here in the boondocks actually knew the word fuck. Part of her admired his diplomacy and his humility, qualities she had never possessed.

Over the next couple of years, Clark showed up at her window whenever he thought she was upset, and sometimes when he was, although he never talked about the things that bothered him. But the visits had stopped when they started high school. They had never been frequent, but a few weeks into October, Chloe realized it had been two months since Clark had dropped in, and she worried. Maybe he just had decided he shouldn't be visiting girls in their bedrooms late at night anymore--unless the girl in question was Lana Lang, suggested the part of Chloe that had wanted Clark to tell Greg to fuck off.

But really, if Chloe was afraid anyone would take over her role in Clark's life, it was Lex. New kid in from Metropolis, having a hard time fitting in? Needing Clark's sympathy and kindness? More extreme than her own case, but that only meant Clark was devoting more effort to Lex. After all, Clark had never saved Chloe's life.

The night after Chloe had that particular thought, Clark freed her from the gym pool, which Sean had frozen over to trap her. And he'd ditched both Lana and Lex's limo to do it. "Dear God," Chloe had prayed in a letter to the editor of the universe, "It was completely unnecessary to put my life in danger just so Clark would save it. Of course I do really know he's still my friend. Your faithful reader, Chloe Sullivan."

Surely it was a coincidence that Lex had rolled into town (and off a bridge) right around the beginning of high school. Right around when Clark had stopped coming around.

"Aren't you supposed to be in Metropolis? With Lex?" Chloe asked gruffly, hauling the window up. "Get your ass in here. It's fucking cold."

"Chloe," said Clark as he climbed through. She had yet to hear him curse at all. Chloe had now known him long enough to suspect this had more to do with Clark being courteously Clark than with the shelter of small-town life. She really had been snotty when she was young, she thought, biting her lip.

"Don't tell me. Lex's penthouse in the city is structurally unsound?" Chloe asked. She was mostly teasing, but there was a lingering fear of being left out. It wasn't just Clark who'd been invited to the reception at the Metropolis art museum. Lana had been wondering what to wear instead of working on the Torch all afternoon.

"Wouldn't know," Clark said. He shut the window for her. "I left the museum pretty early. Stuff--happened."

"What kind of stuff?" Chloe asked curiously. She shuffled back to the bed, sitting down and unwrapping the quilt, inviting Clark to join her under it.

Clark sat down next to her, accepting half of the quilt. He shrugged.

"Oh, come on," Chloe prodded. "Did someone die?"

"No, not quite," Clark replied.

"You save someone's life?" Chloe asked. "Jesus, Clark, what life-threatening situation arises in an art museum?"

"Nothing," Clark lied.

"Clark," said Chloe. He didn't answer. "Fine, be that way. Won't Lex be worried about you, though? You're supposed to stay the night with him."

"Oh, he's probably glad to be rid of me," Clark replied moodily, hunching his shoulders.

"So are you gonna tell me about that at least?" Chloe demanded.

"Were you this nosy before you became a reporter?" Clark asked.

"Nothing you say will appear in the Torch," Chloe assured him. "Tell."

"This--woman showed up," Clark said, making a gesture vaguely like cupping boobs. "She knew Lex."

"And?" Chloe prompted.

"And he went off to 'give her the private tour,'" Clark finished miserably.

Chloe tried to think of something to say. "That sucks."

"Yeah," Clark agreed. After a bit, he added, "I didn't like her."

Chloe rolled her eyes. "If someone asked me out and then ditched me for some other broad, I wouldn't like the broad or the guy."

"Yeah, but--" Clark suddenly twisted to face her. "What do you mean, asked you out?"

Chloe tilted her head. "The situation was a bit date-like. I thought you noticed? I mean, you dressed nice for it."

Clark blushed. "I'm sure Lex didn't mean it like that. Um. And I dressed nice because it was Metropolis. And I didn't dress up enough anyway, so it doesn't even matter."

Chloe held his gaze. Clark groaned and flopped back on the bed, taking the quilt with him. It was solely for this reason that Chloe followed, grabbed what quilt she could get out from under him, and cocooned herself in it, ending up pressed against Clark's side. Clark slid an arm around her shoulders. "My parents would never give Lex another chance if they thought he made me gay," Clark said with a sigh.

"Gayness isn't communicable," Chloe told him.

"Well, it's true that's it's not easy to talk about it," Clark joked.

Chloe punched him lightly through the quilt. "You wanna talk about it?"

"No," Clark said immediately. "And I'm not. That--woman just--" He floundered.

"Took away your best friend?" Chloe suggested, waiting carefully for the answer.

Clark knew what she was getting at. "Lex isn't my best friend, Chloe. You are."

"And what's Lex?" Chloe asked. "And, poor Pete."

"Pete's my other best friend," Clark said, laughing. "Lex is--Lex is something else, that's for sure." Another heavy sigh.

"And you were jealous of Lex's 'woman'?" Chloe asked.


"You can admit to being jealous of her without admitting to being gay."

"There's nothing to admit to," Clark insisted.

It was Chloe's turn to sigh. "You remember Chasing Amy?" Chloe had inflicted a Kevin Smith movie marathon on Clark and Pete for Halloween. Pete, trying to find the link to Halloween, had covered his eyes and cried "The horror! The horror!" at every gay joke. Clark had just snorted soda up his nose and asked Pete if he wanted to dress up as Bluntman or Chronic.

Clark rolled onto his side to look at Chloe, dislodging her slightly. "If you're about to suggest that I go tell Lex that he and I and Victoria should all--do it, I'm going to have to hurt you." Chloe did her best to look innocent. "That didn't even work in the movie!"

Chloe laughed and buried her face in his chest. "No. Was going to tell you something else."

"What?" Clark asked. He hugged her.

"You know when Ben Affleck tells the dyke he's fallen in love with her?" Chloe asked. "And she says how can he do this to her, that being gay is what she is, and then she turns around and kisses him?"

"Yeah," Clark said. "What about it?"

"I was so disappointed," Chloe replied. "I mean, even if she had had sex with guys in the past, she'd decided she didn't like it and she wanted to be a lesbian. And then she just--switched back. I didn't like that. 'S the one thing I don't like about that movie."

"Okay," Clark said, clearly lost.

"And I just wondered." Chloe pulled her arm out of the quilt to hug Clark to her. "If it meant that I was a lesbian, because I wanted her to be."

"Well." Clark gave her another little squeeze. "Do you like guys?"

"Only one, really," Chloe sighed. "You like any chicks besides Lana?"

"Um." Clark thought. "Alyssa Milano?"

"Oh, well, in that case," Chloe answered. "I like Edward Norton. In Fight Club, which I am showing you when you're seventeen and you're parents can't say 'But it sounds so violent--what's it rated?'"

"You know what I couldn't figure out about Chasing Amy?" Clark asked.

"What?" Chloe asked, raising her head to look at him.

"Why she didn't just say she was bi," Clark said. "I mean--you can like both, can't you?"

"That how you are?" Chloe asked.

"Maybe," Clark answered.

"Doesn't make it much easier," Chloe said. "To talk about and stuff. To tell your parents about."

"I hate this whole thing," Clark said. "This whole not knowing who I am thing. It really, really--blows."

Chloe murmured agreement, and didn't say what she hated.

What she hated was that if Clark was willing to talk about maybe being gay, then whatever it was he wouldn't talk to her about had to be a lot more serious than that.

This has got to be love. Why the hell would I worry about you this much if it wasn't?

Originally posted 23 Jan. 2002


II. Timeline
  1. Museum whatsit and meeting Victoria and bus
    rebuffed Clark goes to visit Chloe in middle of night [see above]
  2. Jonathan and Marthan ask how Clark's night was.
  3. Clark and Chloe giggly in Torch office until along came a Lana. Kwan fires Chloe.
    Lex knows Phelan (SP?) is asking about Clark. Can't decide if this is actually pertinent to story--may or may not have Chloe interacting with Lex.
    Phelan drops a generator on Clark and threatens him; Clark tells 'rents
    Lex visits Clark in barn to tell him Phelan is bad news
    Clark, understandbly to us but not to Chloe, forgets Chloe's been fired and doesn't go comfort her, making her more upset and concerned for the state of their friendship.
  4. Jonathan sees Phelan in Beanery.
    Lana gets the Torch. Chloe v. upset and mad at Clark for siding with Lana. Angst, angst, angst!
    Phelan drags Clark off to Metropolis for the safe stunt thus preventing Clark from going to reassure Chloe on one of those midnight visits.
  5. Morning after. Clark tells 'rents he was helping Lana at the Torch. (Chloe might have lied for you on that one you dork, but not Lana. Not in love with you, okay?)
    Jonathan arrested for murder. Phelan nasty.
    Lana at Torch has heard about Clark's dad, believes in his innocence. (Will Chloe have heard then?)
    Clark sees dad in jail. Clark turns down Lex's offers of help @ Beanery.
    Phelan takes Clark off to Metropolis to steal the Gay Corset of Antioch. No midnight visit tonight either.
  6. Jonathan's home from jail. You know, that was pretty quick, even if Phelan was dead. I think Lex might have had something to do with it?
    Chloe gets the Torch back. She and Lana agree to be friends and both have nothing special going on with Clark. Oh, Chloe. Really, Clark had reasons for not coming over these past few nights. They were fairly illegal, but still.
    Lex obsessed with Clark piccies and not going to go have sex with Victoria. Not related to my fic at all, just thought I'd mention.
  7. Clark comes to see Chloe finally? During *day* because his parents aren't letting him out of the house after curfew 'til he's eleventy-one.

If I call Day One (night one, really) a Saturday night, which is really the only circumstance where 'rents would let Clark stay out *all night* with a friend (as evidenced by the fact that they don't ask him how it was at night but the day after) then all the stuff that happens at the Torch happens during school days, and my Day 7 is a Friday. Hey, Clark could even ask Chloe out...

Of course, I mentioned Lana and Chloe working on the Torch the day of the museum thing. Well, either I need to change that so they were talking on *Friday* or I can just say they're like I was with the lit mag--typing parties on the weekend, etc. I wonder how often the Torch comes out? My school only managed its 16-20 pg issue every 6 weeks ago. What's she doing, every week? Every two? I'm not going to go by the website which seems to imply something closer to daily, but still, pretty impressive.

Chloe-Lana is almost a cliche these days, and Clark-Lex always always is. I'm going to make Lana an object of jealousy, solely, and pin most of the stuff on Chloe-Clark. With Lexy undertones, 'cause, duh.

Originally posted 27 Jan. 2002

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