Author: Not An Addict
Pairing:Chloe/Lex, of course
Spoilers: If it's aired, it's fair game. Specific spoilers for Shimmer, Kinetic, Obscura, Heat
Summary: A freak-of-the-week with the power to grant your heart's desire hurls Chloe and Lex headlong into their own version of a well-known Greek myth.
Disclaimer:I own them all! I am the puppet master! Dance little puppets, dance! *ZAP* *grumble* Fine, fine, I don't own any of it. Stupid lawyers and their stupid stun guns never let me have any fun.
Author's Note: Ah, the glory of a challenge. This is a response to the Greek Mythology challenge at http://www.geocities.com/periclitor/, which is as follows:
"Choose a Greek Myth and weave the story into a Smallville fan fic. The myth can furnish the narrative of the piece or just serve as a source of thematic inspiration . . .. We'd also love for you to use the name of at least one of the participants or places in the original myth as the title or part of the title."
I just couldn't resist this one, especially since a friend of mine once made the comment that 'Smallville' is "kind of like a classical Greek tragedy, only with less eye-stabbing and more football coaches who can toss fire from their hands." I changed bits here and there, obviously—artistic license, y'know—but it mostly follows the original points of the story, which you can find here: http://www.dl.ket.org/latin1/mythology/1deities/underworld/persephone.htm, with more info on Hades at http://www.dl.ket.org/latin1/mythology/1deities/underworld/hades.htm
I've listed this as G so that you can get in, but it's definitely NC-17. This is my first stab at an a fic like this, so feedback is even more appreciated than usual. I know, the mind boggles at the thought. And with that, I will finally shut up and get on with the story.
Chapter One: Visions
The sky curved overhead in an endless blue bowl as Chloe Sullivan stepped out of her car and into the sweet, light air of late spring in Smallville. Breathing deep, she savored the scent of coffee wafting to her through the open doors of the Talon. She patted her car affectionately—the same 1961 Ford Falcon that she had driven all through high school—before she crossed the street, relishing the absence of the heavy traffic she would have to watch for in Metropolis.
'Ah, back to the leafy little hamlet of my youth,' she thought cheerfully. A year of college at the University of Metropolis under her belt, Chloe was back for a two-week visit before her annual summer internship at the Daily Planet. She hadn't told anyone but her father that she was coming back; when she had stopped by the Kent farm earlier that morning, Mr. Kent had told her that Clark was back but out with Pete, and the two of them were planning on heading to the Talon later. Chloe's plan was to surprise Lana beforehand and draft her into helping her ambush the boys when they came in. What she wasn't expecting was the lanky frame she collided with when she stepped onto the sidewalk.
"Oh, god, I'm sorry, I didn't see you there," she told the tall young man.
"No, it's my fault, I wasn't looking where I was . . . Chloe?"
She finally looked up at the boy's face, taking in his wavy dark hair and deep brown eyes, searching his attractive features for a hint of familiarity. When she found it, her eyes widened in surprise.
"Matthew?" He nodded, grinning widely, and she reached up to hug him, laughing when he lifted her off of the ground. She lightly smacked his arm when he put her down. "You know I hate it when you do that," she reprimanded, her smile belying her words. She looked him up and down. "You've gotten tall. How are you doing? I haven't seen you in almost a year."
"I'm good," he told her. "I'm gonna be a gopher for my dad at the police station again this summer, then off to college."
"Decided law enforcement wasn't for you, did you?" she teased.
"Yeah, because that was ever actually an option," he replied dryly. He glanced at the open door. "You up for a caffeine fix? We can catch up over coffee and avoid getting arrested for loitering."
"Matthew, my boy, you must be a mind reader," Chloe said, linking her arm with his. "The Talon is where I was just headed." They walked inside and up to the counter where Lana was standing with her back turned. Chloe leaned closer to him and spoke in a low voice, "Prepare yourself." He glanced at her, confused, before she spoke more loudly, in a voice rich with amusement. "I'd like a latte, if it's not too much trouble."
Lana spun around at the voice, and her eyes widened in shock a second before she whipped around the counter to fling herself at Chloe.
"Oh my god, Chloe, you're home!" she squealed, squeezing the blonde girl into a tight hug. "When did you get back?"
"About an hour ago. I haven't even dropped my stuff at home yet." She returned Lana's hug, then pulled back. "I told Dad not to tell you I was coming—I wanted to surprise everybody. How was your last semester?"
"Long," Lana responded with a sigh. "I've taken so many introductory business classes I feel like I could write a textbook," she grinned.
"Lana Lang, businesswoman extraordinaire." She glanced around. "Hey, Clark and Pete haven't come in yet, have they?"
"Oh, no, they haven't." A blush crept up Lana's cheeks and Chloe fought the urge to roll her eyes. Apparently Lana was still moony over Clark after all this time.
"Good, do me a favor—Matthew and I are going to sit in the corner over there. When they come in, keep their backs to us." Her lips turned up in a devilish grin. "I want to surprise them."
Lana's eyes lit up with a mischievous glint. "Sure thing, Chloe." She hugged her friend again. "It's good to have you back. And don't think you're getting out of a good gossip session, either—we're catching up right after my shift. Now go sit down before the boys see you. You wanted a latte, and Matthew, what can I get for you?"
"I'll have a cappuccino. Thanks, Lana."
"No problem. I'll have someone bring those out to you in a couple of minutes."
Chloe and Matthew smiled their thanks and made their way over to a group of seats in the corner, as inconspicuous as they could get in the open space of the Talon. Chloe settled herself in a high-backed chair that was turned away from the door, hiding herself from view, while Matthew sat across from her on the couch, a position that gave him a clear view of the front counter. A minute later their drinks arrived; Chloe inhaled deeply and sighed in contentment before she took her first sip.
"So how's Michelle?" she asked as the smooth taste of her coffee invaded her senses. An adorably loving smile replaced Matthew's usual mischievous look.
"Wonderful. You should see the painting she did of Crater Lake. I swear, it looks so real you think you'll be able to step into it. And she got me this amazing camera for our anniversary—you'll have to see that, too. I got some great pictures for the last few editions of the Torch."
"How's my paper been doing? Has Maggie run it into the ground yet?" Matthew snorted.
"With that 'training' you put her through before you left? Not a chance. Besides, she seems to think that you'll come back and kick her ass if anything goes wrong."
"I always knew she was a smart girl," Chloe grinned.
They fell into comfortable small talk, catching each other up on the events of the past year. Every now and then Chloe thought she caught him looking at her with a strange, almost pitying look, but brushed it off as her imagination and talked with her friend as she waited.
Lex stood just outside the Talon, unable to draw his eyes away from the vintage red and white car parked across the street. It was the same kind of car that Chloe used to drive, and sparked by that image, his thoughts—as they had so many times in the past—turned to the small blonde reporter. They had run into each other in Metropolis only a few months ago and he had talked her into having dinner with him, ostensibly to catch up on news from Smallville. He could still remember the way she smelled that night, the way the light had caught the highlights in her hair. Her laugh still sounded in his ears, and the desire he had done his best to hide was still as strong as ever.
He regarded the car again. Could Chloe be here? No, surely Clark would have known if Chloe were coming back to town and said something about it. He heard a voice calling his name and glanced down the street, a hint of a smirk slanting his lips. Speak of the devil.
"Hello Clark, Pete," he greeted as the boys sauntered towards him, carefully cloaking his previous thoughts.
"Hey man," Pete nodded to him. Much to everyone's surprise, most of Pete's animosity towards Lex had disappeared in the last few years, and the two now got along fairly well. "You here for coffee?" Lex glanced back at the car once more, then turned to his friends.
"Actually, I'm here to get the books from Lana. But I'll join you for a cup as long as I'm here."
The three of them strolled inside and up to the counter. Lana smiled as usual when they walked up, but Lex could see a change in her. She seemed skittish, almost anxious.
"Hey, Lana." Clark smiled at her, his best I-should-really-be-doing-toothpaste-ads smile; her smile was significantly less comfortable. She glanced nervously at Pete, then quickly away.
"Hey Clark . . . guys. What can I get for you?"
"I'll just have plain coffee," Clark beamed.
"Cappuccino," Pete said, his eyes never leaving Lana's face. She blushed slightly and turned to Lex. Alternating his considering glance between the two of them, he smiled faintly in understanding. Pete must have finally broken down and told Lana how he felt about her. Deciding to take pity on the poor girl, Lex smiled.
"I'll have a cappuccino as well, and the books if you'll get them from the office."
Lana threw him a grateful look and nodded, hurrying to get their drinks so that she could escape for a few moments. Lex barely suppressed a chuckle at her behavior, only to have a chill run down his spine as a familiar voice sounded behind him.
"Any of you gentlemen want to buy a girl a drink?"
All three of them turned at once to see Chloe standing there, a Cheshire grin on her face. Clark recovered first and swept Chloe up off the ground, earning a laughing squeal out of her. Lex stood back and watched as she was held aloft by Clark and Pete in turn. To a casual observer, she would seem to be almost exactly the same girl he had met several years ago in the high school newspaper office. God help him, he should have known that he was in trouble then.
He had sought her out after reading an article she had written espousing her belief that the inexplicable events happening in Smallville were a result of the remnants of meteors scattered throughout the area. Although his interest had been professional, his first reaction on seeing her was a pleasant shock that Gabe Sullivan's reporter daughter was so attractive. Now, he thought the same thing he had thought in that candlelit Metropolis restaurant: that attractiveness was still there; but it was riper now, and his mouth watered.
"Pete! How's my favorite Notre Dame football star?" she asked as Pete lifted her up. Who would have thought that the once diminutive Pete Ross would have sprouted up to be nearly as tall as Clark?
"Not as good as my favorite intrepid reporter," he joked.
"Yeah, we saw that article you got published in the Planet, Chlo," Clark added. "Way to go! We always told you you'd be running that paper before you were twenty-five." She laughed, then paused as a thoughtful, mischievous look came over her face.
"That reminds me . . . someone still owes me an interview."
Finally Chloe turned to Lex, a bright, if slightly shy, smile gracing her features.
She hadn't expected him to be there, and when she had spotted him with Pete and Clark she had had a moment of indecision. Since their dinner in Metropolis she had been unable to get him completely out of her head. Every time she let her mind wander she remembered the way his eyes had traveled over her when he picked her up, taking in every inch of her body. Those same eyes boring into hers as they spoke, stripping her of her defenses in less than a breath.
There had been times back in high school when she almost regretted making friends with the elusive billionaire, as that friendship had led to a particularly intense crush on her part. She had often wondered how he would taste, how those magnificently elegant hands would feel on her, and that night in Metropolis had brought all of those feelings back full force. Now, confronted with him again, she couldn't help but notice the lay of his lean muscles under his soft, pale blue shirt; couldn't help but admire the fit of his tailored black pants and the animalistic grace that enveloped him like a cloak. Her heart started beating a bit faster, and she wondered if anyone else had noticed how hot it had suddenly gotten.
"Welcome back, Chloe," Lex smiled. "Smallville hasn't been the same without you."
"Well, I'd certainly hope so," she replied with exaggerated seriousness. "I'd hate to think of anyone else getting the scoop on the meteors before me."
"I seriously doubt that would ever happen," Lex said dryly, but truthfully. He had learned early on that Chloe Sullivan could dig up more information in twenty-four hours than his entire team of private investigators could in a month. It was one of the things that led Lex to discover—much to his surprise—that in addition to wanting her, he genuinely liked her. She was one of the smartest people he knew, of any age, as well as one of the few who would speak to him as they would to anyone else. He gazed at her for a moment, lost again in the flood of tangled feelings he had for this extraordinary girl.
It was then that his eyes fell on the tall young man standing close behind her; his eyes narrowed and he fought down a sudden rush of possessive hostility. Following his gaze, Chloe started suddenly.
"Oh! I'm sorry. Guys, you remember Matthew," she directed at Clark and Pete. Then to Lex, "Lex, this is Matthew James, one of my best sources from my days at the Torch. Matthew, Lex Luthor."
"Mr. Luthor," Matthew nodded. Rather than his usual 'Call me Lex,' Lex only nodded in response.
Pete bit back a grin. He had known for a while that Lex had a thing for his best friend, and although he was amused to see the usually courteous Lex so obviously hostile, he figured he should step in before Lex started going caveman on the poor boy.
"Hey, Matt, you still dating that Michelle girl?" he interjected.
"Yeah," Matthew grinned, catching on to Pete's intention. Pete whistled.
"Man, she was a fine . . ." Catching the look that Chloe was shooting him, daring him to continue, he finished smoothly, "young lady, deserving of respect and honorable consideration."
Matthew laughed, then, considering the slightly more relaxed bald man standing in front of him, weighed his options. He knew he shouldn't—he always wanted to help after he did, and Michelle had already gotten upset with him once this month over it. Said it was interfering. On the other hand . . . how often did you get a chance like this with Lex Luthor? He held out his hand.
"Nice to meet you."
Lex waited a beat before grasping Matthew's hand to shake. As their skin met, a hum ran through the younger man's skin, and he looked into Lex's eyes and Saw. Saw through the layers of his mind, Saw into the very depths of his heart and read its innermost desire. It only lasted for the space of a breath; by the time their hands unclasped he was back to himself, having found what he was looking for.
'Well,' he thought. 'This is an interesting development.'
TBC . . .
A/N: Ok, same old drill. I don't want to take up space if people don't want to read this, so let me know. Liked it? Want to hear the rest? Drop me a line to let me know. ^_^