"This is some kind of a joke!" Chloe was screaming. "You can't just give up your life because you lost the love of your life!"
"You turn him down pretty hard, Chlo," Lois said, wishing she knew how to comfort her grieving cousin.
"Yeah, but wasn't you that told me once that no guy was ever worth taking my own life? It goes both ways!"
"Chloe, you were fourteen and Clark just turned you down. I saw how depress you were so I told you that. I knew it wasn't real love."
"Well, of course it wasn't! I was fourteen! Lex is… was… oh my god…" It was all so incomprehensible to Chloe. She wanted to die herself. She did not know how to deal with this pain. It was all too much. TOO MUCH.
She had gone through shock and hysteria, now she was just crying, could not seem to stop.
"Clark told me we should get to Luthor mansion in Smallville," Lois informed Chloe, soothing her back.
"Why the hell there?!"
"I guess it was Lex's wish. He met you in Smallville all those years ago… oh God, I'm so sorry, Chlo, I didn't mean to…" Helpless Lois hugged her sobbing cousin once again.
"I think… I think…" Chloe kept on sobbing. "I made a mistake. I should've given him that second chance. I mean… I can't live in a world when he's not in it! I was so stupid! Lois, it's my fault he's dead! It's like I did this to him! I could've fought. He had. I just gave up! I killed him! And if he did it all to make me realize how much I loved him and to punish me… he did it right. I deserve this pain."
"He's a son of a bitch! That's who he is!" Lois suddenly yelled and Chloe was so shocked with that outburst that she stopped crying altogether.
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"He knew exactly what this would do to you! He knew you loved him! He knew it would hurt you and destroy you and he still went through with it! What kind of a Luthor is he anyway? Luthors are supposed to be survivors no matter what! This just does not add up to him!"
Chloe and Lois arrived at the mansion the next morning and after a brief talk with Clark, Chloe needed to be alone. To just get away from all of this. To run. Run far away.
Only she could not. Besides, running was not the answer. The pain would still be there. She could not get away from it. She did not know how to live with it either.
Clark informed her that Lex had used a gun. He had shot himself in the head.
Chloe hated Lex for it. She loved him so much and for that she hated him too.
She hated company. She hated being alone.
She hated everything.
And most of all, she hated herself.
She walked into the mansion's garden and just stood there with her eyes closed. She folded her arms on her chest and she remembered.
She remembered being with Lex. She remembered his eyes, the taste of his lips, the smell of his skin. She wanted it all back. She did not care if they would fight or just love each other. She just wanted him back. She knew now how much she had hurt him when all she had been trying to do was to protect herself.
She started dreaming and that brought her some solace. She knew that when she would wake up from that surge of memories the pain would come back twice as strong, but she needed that momentary respite. Lex was here. Or she was there, in the past with him. What was important - they were together, happy. He would take her in his arms…
Something was wrong. Chloe's daydreaming seemed to become more real. She could clearly feel Lex's arms around her, she could feel his chest against her back, his breath on her skin.
"What the…?!" She jumped like his body burnt her and she swirled around, clearly facing a living and breathing ghost. "LEX?!"
He stood there. He was just there. Alive and well.
"LEX! You're alive!" The first impulse was to cry from happiness and to jump into his arms. His own went around her and she breathed in the familiar, dear smell of him, she listened to his heartbeat that was a little too fast in the moment.
The pain was gone. It was soothed. By him.
Then she realized what had really happened.
"You son of a bitch!" she yelled at him and pushed him away so hard that he stumbled backwards. Fortunately, he kept his balance, but Chloe would be more smug if he fell. "Do you have any idea what I've been through?! Is this funny to you?! I thought you were dead for a fuck's sake!"
"Chloe, Chloe… I… I'm sorry," he said.
"That's all?! You're fucking sorry?! How would you feel if I let you believe I committed suicide?! And Clark! How on earth did you get Clark to agree to it?!"
"That was hard. I admit. But eventually he followed through. He saw how much I've changed and how much I love you. How much you love me."
"You said the very same line about changing when we met in that bar!"
"Yes, but back there I meant my being on the right path."
"Do you have an answer for everything?!"
Chloe stopped talking and closed her eyes. How could a person go from grief to angriness so fast? She was furious with Lex. She had been always furious with him and she would probably always be.
"Chloe, please… you left me. You gave me no chance to win you back. I needed to make you realize what you were missing. What you caused us to miss. We need each other. Do you honestly believe that you'll find another person you'll love so much?"
"Well, no…" she admitted, biting her lower lip. "And don't you make me say what I think of your smugness right now!"
She was angry. She wanted him. It was always like that.
"At least you can't say we'll be boring together," Lex noticed. "Chloe, please, I beg of you. Give me a chance."
She looked him in the eyes. They were so sad. So blue gray and so yearning. She remembered seeing them hazy with ecstasy that she caused him, full of love when he looked at her and so sad when she had told him to leave her alone.
She loved this man as much as she hated him for what he had done.
She also could not deny any longer that he was her life and she would never meet anyone who would affect her this way. He was right, they would never be boring.
"We… We would have to work on our issues," she said to her own astonishment. Her heart was beating too fast and she was hyperventilating. She was still in a deep shock. She could not comprehend what had happened exactly those last twelve hours. "We would have to learn how to compromise. And don't you think you can just get away from what you did here. It will take a lot of time for me to forgive you for hurting me like this. Lex, you made me believe you were dead. How can a person do something like that?"
"A Luthor who is desperate can do anything. But don't you worry, from now on I will never do anything to hurt you ever again. You have my word."
"If we do this…" Chloe said, but she already knew she would have to. As much as she hated to admit that, if Lex had not 'faked' his own death, she would have simply lived alone to the rest of her life, happy that he was in this world too. Eventually, he would have found someone else, not for love, probably to forget and she would not have had the right to blame him nor hate him for it. It would have been all her fault.
What he had done was to make her realize that they were meant to be and it worked.
She knew she was stubborn and Lois would not have convinced her to come back to Lex. Even if Chloe had wanted to, she would have been too proud.
"One last condition," she said.
"Yes?" he asked, looking at her so intensely and with such a fear and hope in the same time that he melted her heart. She wanted the pain to stop. For the both of them.
"I will decide where our future children will go to school."
The happiness that appeared in his eyes nearly leveled her and then he was there, by her side again, taking her in his arms and kissing her.
Yes, he was a Luthor and a part of him would always be one, but on the other hand, what other choice did he have to get her back?
She just wanted to forget this week - hell, this few months they had spent apart - never happened. Chloe herself had hurt Lex so much that time that she fully deserved one day of grieving…
"You did what?!" They heard Lois's scream as they kissed.
"It was his idea and he was desperate, Lois! And I agreed because… well, I couldn't see them hurting like that…" Clark was explaining himself.
"I've had that, you idiot! I could've got Chloe back to Lex without any fake deaths! Do you have any idea what…"
Chloe laughed against Lex's lips.
All four of them - five if counting the baby growing in Chloe's stomach - gathered on the beach for her and Lex's vowel renewal.
They needed a new start. They needed to do this all right this time.
They had spent those last few weeks on talking over matters and then having sex, but what was important was the fact that they had come to an understanding. They decided their love would always be more important than any other thing that could get in the way. From now on if they disagreed on something, they politely talked about it, but only when it was important. When it wasn't, they went for compromise or ignore the upcoming fight.
It had been hard at the beginning, but they were good at it now.
They made sure they never forgot how important they were to each other.
Chloe could finally look Lex in the eye and believe him, believe they could make this work, also she could forgive him for what he had done as well as he forgave her.
They started fresh and this time they would succeed.
They had realized their problem was rushing into things without thinking, but now they had matured and grown together.
They would not make the same mistakes…
…and in a few years there would be two small children running around their apartment, thinking how wonderful parents they had. They had wonderful childhood with a loving mother and a father who was always there when they needed him because family came first to him. They also never heard their parents argue.