TITLE: Metropolicies

AUTHOR: freelance spice

EMAIL: freelancespice@hotmail.com

FEEDBACK: Yes, please, let me know what you think! Feedback emails are the Pop-Tarts of a fic writer's diet. WE LOVE THEM.

SPOILERS: Through Vortex

PAIRING: Chloe/Lana

RATING: Solid R for femslashy goodness.

SUMMARY: Lana takes a trip to Metropolis to visit Chloe over the summer. Written based on the pretense that the Sullivans moved back to Metropolis before Gabe decided to come back and work for Lex.

NOTES: This is my first Smallville fic. Before this I was hopelessly devoted to writing Faith/Buffy fic (with a touch of Willow/Kennedy), but I recently got into this show and couldn't help but notice the glaring ChLana. Woo!

DISCLAIMER: Characters and places are not mine. Just borrowing them. Thanks!

Chloe sat in the coffee shop, absently typing away on her laptop. Occasionally, she'd remember to look up and keep an eye out for Lana. She was supposed to be here half and hour ago, but so far, there was no sign of her.

The amateur journalist focused on the laptop screen, re-reading her latest endeavor for the internship program. While the job primarily consisted of making copies and fetching hot cups of java, the Daily Planet offered its interns a chance to compete for a small editorial that would run in the final week of the program. With only one month left to go, Chloe was determined to be the one they chose.

"There is no such thing as `vacation' for you, is there?" Chloe glanced up to find Lana Lang staring at her from across the table.

"I was wondering when you'd finally show up."

"I got into the city right on time, but the cab driver seemed to think that he could take the small town girl for a ride and drive around in circles."

Chloe smirked. "How much did he charge?"

"Let's just say I'm taking the bus home instead." Lana scanned the nearly empty coffee shop. "Slow night, huh?"

"Well, Friday night, most people are out having lives."

"And here you are..." Lana nodded toward the laptop.

Chloe shrugged, grinning. "Thus is my life."

"Until now." Lana stood, attempting to pull the other girl to her feet. "You promised to show me the sights, city girl."

"All right, all right... just let me save this..." Chloe punched in the appropriate keystrokes and closed the computer.

-

2... 3... 4... The floor numbers individually illuminated as the elevator climbed the apartment complex. Lana was filling Chloe in on the past couple of months back in Smallville. Rebuilding after the storm, managing the Talon, not talking to Clark...

"Wait, you're not talking to Clark?" Chloe interrupted.

The elevator gave a *DING* and opened its doors on the eleventh floor.

"It's not really intentional, I just never see him. He's busy at home, I guess. I dunno."

Chloe pondered the information as she led Lana down the hallway to her apartment. She knew why she hadn't talked to Clark... she'd emailed him once to let him know she'd settled back into life in Metropolis, but he'd had yet to reply. "It must take time... fixing everything after something like that. I mean, I would assume. That's the first tornado I'd ever seen. Not that I really saw it. And I'm sure after being sucked up in it, you don't really want to talk about it."

She unlocked the door and flipped on the light switch. Lana took in the apartment. It was on the smaller side, but since it was just Chloe and her dad, they didn't need a whole lot of space.

Chloe directed her toward one of the two bedrooms. "This one's mine. As you can tell by the chick-rock posters and... that bra hanging off the back of that chair. Um..." She quickly moved into the room and tossed the undergarment into the clothes hamper. "We've got a futon or we can share this..." She motioned to the queen sized bed. "... or whatever. I mean, it's up to you."

Lana thought a moment, visibly processing all the information that had just been given to her. "It's fine. You know, whatever's easiest." She set her bag down on the bed.

"Okay. Um, how about we worry about it later. You wanted to see the sights, Chloe-style." Lana smiled. "Right." "Great. I figured to night we could just bum around and check out the cool comfy hangouts, then tomorrow we can go to this great club..."

"Club? Can we... I mean, aren't we too..."

"Don't worry, country girl, there's this totally hip all-ages place." Lana exhaled her trademark sigh of agreement.

"Okay. Give me five minutes to touch up my hair and I'll be ready." She pulled her hairbrush out of her bag and turned to face the mirror on the wall.

Chloe sat on her bed, casually watching Lana brush her hair. She still wasn't really sure why'd she'd invited her out for the weekend. Sure, they were friends, kind of. But they were never really that close. Maybe she figured she'd be keeping Lana away from Clark for one weekend out of the summer, but that didn't even really matter, since she was back in Metropolis, probably for good, unless her dad found reason to go back to working for LexCorp. And from the sound of things, it didn't seem like there was anything to worry about. Not that she was worrying anyway. Maybe it was because Lana was the only one who had emailed her back since she'd moved away. Maybe it was just because she hadn't wanted to be alone while her dad was out of town. Maybe she wanted to talk... seriously talk about some things. Maybe she...

"Chloe?"

The blonde shook herself out of her barrage of thought processes. "Huh?"

"Ready?"

"Oh, yeah. Sure."

Lana looked over Chloe's outfit. Chloe Casual was always one step ahead of Lana's Smallville sense of style. Somehow, she always managed to look so much more mature... sexier, maybe. Lana suddenly wondered if her baby blue t-shirt and jeans ensemble was enough. "Should I change?"

"What? No, you look fine."

"You always just look so... cool."

"Accessories. That's the key." "So, I should change." "No..." Chloe opened a drawer and pulled out a bracelet. "Here, this totally matches your necklace." Without hesitation, she slipped the bracelet onto Lana's wrist. "Voila!"

"Thanks." It was a little bulkier than she was used to wearing, but it was definitely cool.

-

Two hours later found the girls sitting in a crowded retro-fifties style diner. A trio of waitresses stood on a table singing an old doo-wop song. As they finished, the patrons applauded.

"This place is amazing," Lana said, digging into her hot fudge sundae.

Chloe picked at her carrot cake. "I love it. My dad used to bring me here at least once a month when I was younger. It's one of the things I missed most when we moved to Smallville."

"So, what's on the agenda for tomorrow?"

"I need to swing by the Daily Planet and pick up some stuff."

"I thought this was your time off."

"It is... I just have to say one step ahead, you know?"

"Miss Sullivan, I think you're a work-a-holic."

"I love what I do."

"Okay, so, the Planet and then what?"

"I need to interview a few high profile candidates..." The withering glare coming across the table stopped her, mid-sentence. "...only kidding, jeez... there's the aquarium... or the zoo..."

"The zoo! Nell took me there when I was... oh god, eight, I think?"

"Okay, the zoo it is." Chloe considered the other girl. "It was a good zoo experience, right? No monkey poo trauma or anything?"

"Yes, it was _good_. I'm a zoo-trauma free zone."

-

A pajama clad Lana sat on the edge of Chloe's bed, knees pulled up to her chest. Chloe entered the room, wearing an old t-shirt and striped PJ pants, still managing to look like some kind of catalogue model.

"Let's not talk about Clark," Lana suggested.

"That came from nowhere."

"Sorry, I just don't want to spend the weekend talking about him. I really want to take this time to get to know you... the real Chloe."

"Because you only the un-real Chloe?"

"It's not that... it's just... I feel like the only thing we ever really talked about last year was Clark. Or the Torch. We never really just talked. Just us, you know?"

"Yeah. I know."

They sat in silence for a while.

"Maybe we don't have anything else to talk about," joked Lana.

"Sure we do," Chloe reassured. "How's Whitney holding up?"

"He's fine. Boot camp's tough, but almost over." Uncertainty flashed across Lana's face.

"You okay? I guess you miss him..."

"Honestly? Not as much as I thought I would. I... he asked me to wait for him..."

"Ah, the old, `I'm off to war' speech.. Except without the going to war. Just boot camp."

"He was so great to me before he left... after everything with his dad... I just wonder if it's meant to be, you know?"

Chloe just nodded. It was silent again.

Suddenly, Chloe spoke. "You really wanna get to know each other?"

Lana tilted her head quizzically. "Yes?"

Chloe jumped up off the bed and ran out of the room. Moments later, she returned with a frosty bottle of vanilla vodka, a two liter of Coke and two glasses. "I know it's unconventional, but sometimes you just need a boost."

"Chloe, I'm not sure..."

Chloe held up her hand. "Hear me out." She set the stuff on the bedside table and sat across from Lana. "The game is I've Never. Ever played?" Lana shook her head. "Okay, rules are one person says something like `I've never been to Metropolis' and if you have done the thing they said, you drink. Kind of a reverse Truth or Dare thing... without the dares. But you don't have to really not done the thing you say you didn't do. Does that make sense?"

"I think so." Lana eyed the vodka. "Won't your dad notice it's missing?"

"Nah. He sticks it in the freezer, forgets that he buys it and buys more. Besides, he's the one who showed me that a little bit in a cup of hot cocoa is a surefire sleep aid. We're not gonna use a lot anyway, it's just to get us relaxed. Oh... and tonight's specialty rule is if you mention Clark Kent, you have to do a shot."

For a brief moment, Lana pondered the repercussions of drinking... then she pushed them out of her mind. She was always the good girl, the responsible girl. This was her chance to prove to Chloe that she could be just as daring and edgy as any city girl. Besides, if she was gonna drink, she might as well do it safely, in someone's home. "Okay."

"Okay." Chloe poured the drinks and handed one to Lana. "You wanna go first?"

"Sure... uh... I've never been to Metropolis."

Chloe rolled her eyes. They both took a drink.

"I've never dated a football player."

Lana took a drink. "I've never been blonde," she retaliated.

Chloe drank. "I've never worked in a coffee shop."

Lana drank. "I thought we were supposed to be getting to know each other, not reiterate what we already knew."

"I know." Chloe smiled. "I was just hoping that if we drank enough, we could think of original questions."

"I thought you were supposed to be the investigative reporter." Lana playfully narrowed her eyes. "Or do you get everyone drunk before you start asking questions?"

"Very funny. Your turn."

"I've never... crap, I had a good one, too... uh... I've never driven a truck." After a beat, Lana realized what she'd just said, then drank.

A few more rounds of basic elementary questions emptied their drinks and demanded a refill.

Lana tasted her drink. "Whoa..."she winced. "This round's a little stronger."

"I know. I added a little more vodka for extra emphasis."

"Right. Good, solid questions."

"Okay, I've never fantasized about anyone we both know."

Both girls hesitated, then drank, then both asked "Who?"

Lana shook her head. "Nope, no fair. Not unless you tell me."

"Come on... was it Cla-" she caught herself.

"Oh, you said half his name... that's gotta be at least worth half a shot."

"I didn't bring the shot glass."

"It's your own damn rule, Chloe Sullivan."

Chloe sighed, pick up the bottle and brought it to her lips, taking a straight sip of the stuff. "Happy?"

"For now."

"I've never..." Chloe thought a moment. "...fantasized about... Pete."

Neither girl drank.

Lana laughed. "Poor Pete. He'll always just be Good Old Pete to us." She sighed, then followed suit. "I've never fantasized about... Lex Luthor."

Chloe brought her cup to her lips and drank, noticing Lana wasn't doing the same. "Come on, Lana, you're telling me never... ever?"

"Nope."

"Ever? Even with that animal Lex magnetism that radiates?"

"Nope." "I think you lie, Lana Lang." Chloe teased. "I think you lie like a rug."

"Just because everyone else seems to have a hard-on for the guy doesn't mean I have to."

"Feel free to speak your mind," Chloe tittered. "I've never heard you talk that way before... except..."

"Except when?"

"Nevermind. Um... I've never had sex."

Lana's mouth opened, then closed. She took a deep breath, then took a big drink. It burned a little going down.

"I knew it! Right before he left, right? One final hurrah for soldier boy?"

Lana didn't answer.

Chloe calmed down. "Sorry... I didn't mean to get all..."

"It's okay... it was just... you know, the first time actually doing it... it's not all sexy saxophones and candlelight."

"Clark Kent!" Chloe shouted.

"What?"

"I just needed another drink." Chloe picked up the bottle and took a huge swig. "Wanna switch games?"

"Sure."

"Okay, Truth or Dare?"

"I think I've had enough truth for a while... dare."

"I dare you to down whatever is left in that cup."

Lana studied her drink. It was still pretty full. But only for a moment. Then it was empty. Even Chloe was impressed.

"Wow. You okay?"

"`Course I am." Lana blinked for a second, then continued, "Truth or Dare?"

"Truth."

Dammit. Lana had hoped she'd pick dare, so she could make Chloe catch up on the drinking.

"Have you ever... had a crush on a girl?"

"Yes."

"Who?"

"Nope, you gotta wait your turn to ask more questions. Truth or dare?"

"When did _you_ have a crush on a girl?"

"Eighth grade." She realized what she'd just said. "Hey... wait a minute... I never said I did..."

Chloe flashed a grin and tapped on her forehead. "You forget you're dealing with the mind of an investigative reporter."

Lana leered at her. "You... suck. Truth or dare?"

"Dare."

"You're doing this on purpose!" Lana growled. "Fine. I dare you to finish your drink."

Chloe shrugged. "I figured that was coming." She polished off the drink, realizing how strong it actually was.

"I'm getting sleepy." Lana yawned, crawling toward the pillows behind Chloe.

"But we're not..."

Lana was already slipping under the covers. Chloe shook her head in disbelief, then gave up, getting into bed next to Lana.

"G'night, Chloe."

"Night, Lana."

-

It had been cold that night. Which made sense, since it was winter. It had just started to rain as they'd gotten into the car. And Lana had just started talking. About Whitney. About Clark. About her. Saying things like, "he doesn't understand me" and "he'll never really have me" and "you never really tried".

Then there was... the other thing...

It played and replayed nearly every night in Chloe's mind. Pulling the car up to Lana's house. The way Lana just leaned over, grabbing her by the scarf... and kissing her. Not just a friendly peck, either. It was the kind of kiss you wish you'd dream about. That passionate intensity that leaves you trying to catch your breath. It had stunned her. But what had ultimately floored her was what Lana said as she got out of the car.

"That's just the pre-show. Pick me up tomorrow night, and you'll get the main event."

And in the end, up until last night, she had just chalked it all up to the flower. She never brought it back up. But now... now maybe she would.

-

Warm. So warm. Lana snuggled up to the warm body next to her. She always liked this dream. Sure, it was unconventional, and would never happen, but she liked it, nonetheless. And this time, it was so vivid. Everything was right. Sometimes, when she had this dream, the details would be skewed, like the bed was in a Wal-Mart, or Chloe was Eliza Dushku, but this time, everything was perfect.

Lana opened her eyes.

It wasn't a perfect dream. It was real. She was in bed with Chloe. Because she was visiting for the weekend. And they'd been playing that damn drinking game. Which reminded her... there was something Chloe had said last night... what was it? Lana drifted back to sleep as she tried to remember.

-

Chloe let Lana sleep in while she ran down to the Daily Planet to pick up her paperwork for the following week. It was cute, the way she'd woken up to Lana all curled up next to her. If someone had told her she'd wake up that way, she would have said it sounded weird. But it wasn't... it was strangely comfortable, somehow. By the time she got back to the apartment, Lana was awake and making coffee on the small cappuccino maker in the kitchen.

Chloe smiled. "Morning."

"One non-fat, no-foam latte..." she gestured for Chloe to sit at the table.

She sat. "And you call me the work-a-holic..."

Lana set the coffee on the table. "I'm giving it to you under the condition that you clarify something for me."

"O...kay."

"When we were talking about Lex... you said you'd never heard her talk that way except... except when?"

Chloe sighed into her drink. "Except when you were... all high on the flower power."

"The Nicodemus flower? Oh god. What did I say?"

"It's not important. You just spoke your mind, that's all."

"Oh."

"After it was all over, I just figured it was the flower talking."

"Right. Well, it was."

"Of course," reassured Chloe.

-

All talk of the previous night's activities were forgotten as they wandered around the Metropolis Zoo. Something about Lana's innocent excitement made Chloe feel warm inside. The day went by, almost too quickly, and they were suddenly back at the apartment, deciding what to wear for their evening out.

Lana pulled an outfit out of her bag.

Chloe's eyes widened. It was the Softcore Lana outift. "That's... uh... I mean, that's great."

"Oh god... I totally forgot. This is what I wore when..."

"So what? It looks great on you." Chloe deliberated silently for a moment, then continued. "I mean, hell, even I couldn't help checking out your ass in that get-up."

"Chloe!" Lana's jaw dropped. But she was flattered. "Really?"

Chloe shrugged.

"Chloe?"

"Yeah?"

Lana paused. "Nevermind."

"Now you _gotta_ tell me."

The brunette took a deep breath. "Well, I was thinking... after last night... and then talking about the stupid flower... I feel like I never say what I mean, unless I'm under the influence of something. I was just wondering if..."

"If what?"

"If... I mean, you live here, now... so, it's not like..." Lana weighed her words. "I was wondering, if for the rest of the weekend, we could have an agreement."

"What kind of agreement?"

"To say what we mean. About anything. And not be afraid to tell each other anything. And it all stays here in Metropolis."

"That sounds..."

"Stupid, I know... forget it."

"No, it sounds like a good idea."

"Really?"

"Yeah. I _mean_ that." Chloe beamed.

-

The Bronze was as hip and happening a place as Chloe had promised. The girls sat on a couch, sipping coffee. Lana studied the back of the matchbook she'd picked up at the counter. It read: The Bronze - with locations in Metropolis, Los Angeles, Gotham City, New York, Sunnydale.

"How's your coffee?" Chloe asked through the din of live music.

"It's good. How's yours?"

"Good." Chloe turned to face her friend. "You wanna dance?"

"With you?"

"Yeah, with me. Come on, it'll be fun!" She pulled the other girl to her feet.

They moved onto the dance floor, bopping to the beat of the song. After a moment, two guys approached the girls, cutting in and dancing next to them. One of the guys made his way behind Lana and began rubbing up against her.

She turned. "Uh, that's not okay."

"Aw, come on, baby, it's just dancing."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were just trying to rub your penis all over my ass."

Chloe laughed out loud. The guy and his friend moved away from them and began hovering around another set of girls.

"That was great." Chloe was still giggling.

Lana shrugged, smiling back. "Say what you mean, right?"

The band finished playing and the DJ began playing music to fill the changeover of the bands. The new song was a little slower with a heavier beat. Lana moved closer to Chloe with the music. Chloe reciprocated, stepping into Lana, moving with the music, finding herself inches, no centimeters, a way from the other girl.

At first, Chloe just told herself they were doing it to piss off the Annoying Dance Brothers. But ultimately, she knew better. It was the same thing that had her planning to go back to Lana's house that night after the former cheerleader had kissed her. She wanted Lana Lang. She'd never admit it. But she wanted her.

Lana could read the desire in Chloe's green eyes. "I thought we had an agreement." Lana turned, her back rubbing up against the blonde's breasts. She grabbed Chloe's hands and placed them on her hips.

Chloe exhaled roughly. "A-agreement?" She tried to file through her brain, but it was so hard to focus.

Lana whipped back around, her mouth literally a breath away from the other girl's. "Don't tell me you already forgot..." She moved in, as if preparing to kiss the blonde's waiting red lips, but at the last minute she moved away. "You just looked like you wanted to say something."

Jesus. "I just wanted to say..." This was almost too much. "I want..." Almost. It didn't really matter what happened here tonight because when this weekend was over, she'd be in Metropolis and Lana would be back in Smallville and if they saw each other again, it would only be because they wanted to or maybe just a coincidence in the future. But it wasn't like they'd have to see each other every day, knowing they did whatever it was they might do right now, tonight. And frankly, Chloe didn't care.

She pulled Lana closer, putting her mouth on Lana's ear. "I want to know what you feel like, my lips on yours, your skin on mine, my hands on you, your fingertips on me."

The sensation of Chloe's breath on her ear was driving her beyond crazy. She was done with the formalities. But Chloe wasn't finished talking.

"And I don't want to have to fucking worry about waking up tomorrow and wonder if we made a mistake or ruined any goddamned friendship. I just want to have you to myself, just for a night."

That was enough. Lana's hand snaked up Chloe's body to her neck, her thumb grazing the blonde's lips. Then, suddenly, the thumb was gone and it was her lips on Chloe's. Kissing, nibbling, wanting, taking, having. Everything tasted of lipstick and coffee and Lana and Chloe and lust and chance and everything in between.

-

Lana, once again, found herself at the foot of Chloe's bed. She unzipped her boots and tossed them on the floor. Chloe was sitting next to her, strangely intent as she watched the other girl. It was funny, the strange awkwardness that had settled in. They had just spent the better part of two hours making out in the club and now, here they were, silent.

Chloe reached over and tucked Lana's hair behind her ear. "Truth or dare?"

"Truth."

"Who was the girl you had a crush on in the eighth grade?"

"New girl. From Metropolis. Blonde hair, green eyes... you know her?"

"I might."

"It's okay, though, I got over her."

"You sure about that?" Chloe leaned in and gently kissed her.

The awkwardness was suddenly on the floor with Lana's boots. And Chloe's blouse, Lana's shirt, a belt, a skirt, another skirt. And then they were lying there, bras and panties, like a soon to be censored Victoria's Secret commercial.

For what seemed like a pleasant eternity, they just stayed there, holding each other, kissing each other with lingering kisses, the kind that say "I'm really glad to be here" and then they evolved into "I can't stop touching you" and finally became "I need you, want you, right here, right now".

Chloe tugged at Lana's red bra, unhooking it and sending it somewhere over the edge of the bed. "You're sure?"

"Shut... up..." Lana pounced on Chloe, pinning her to the bed, kissing her ear, neck, collar bone. She pulled her up long enough to release the blonde from her own bra then pushed her back down, continuing the trail from collar bone to breast. Hazel eyes glanced up to green ones, finding them full of anticipation. Lana's tongue glided over the nipple. Chloe exhaled, sharply. Her hands found themselves tangled in brunette locks as Lana's mouth encompassed her nipple, sucking, nibbling, driving her crazy.

"God... Lana..." Lana's hand traced over Chloe's stomach, hip, thigh. The touch was so light it was unbearable. "Touch me."

"I thought I was," Lana bantered.

Chloe tried to glare at her, but she didn't have the extra concentration needed to do so. Instead, she flipped Lana over and began to reciprocate. The second Chloe's mouth latched onto her breast, Lana shuddered with pleasure.

The battle for dominance raged on for a good hour, punctuated with gasps and giggles and the occasional cry out to the deities. And then they were both naked. Full skin on skin, both girls drinking it in; Lana, because it didn't feel anything like this with Whitney, and Chloe, because she'd never been this way with anyone before. It was soft and tender and despite the fact that it was purely driven by lust, there seemed to be a loving quality lingering somewhere.

Lana was the first to let her hand wander between the other girl's legs. "Jesus, you're so wet." And while it was a primal somewhat vulgar yet simple statement, it just fed the excitement. Lana slipped a finger into the wetness, eliciting yet another moan. Moments later the same sound was coming from the brunette, as Chloe staked her claim on the girl's dampness. And they stayed there, in each other's personal space, each pushing the other toward the final goal, trying to be the first to bring the other where they both wanted to go. And then they came. Chloe first, then Lana, not letting go as they drifted into that half sleep that follows the rush. And even when they were coherent enough to pull up the covers and say goodnight, they still didn't let go.

-

Bright. It was bright. Chloe eyes flickered open and then squinted as the sunlight streamed through the mini-blinds. She silently kicked herself for not remembering to shut them the night before and slipped out of bed to adjust the blinds and block out the sunlight. It was when she was climbing back under the covers that she shook off the haze of sleep long enough to notice two things. One, she was naked. Two, she was naked in bed with Lana Lang.

As Chloe settled back into bed, Lana absently snuggled up to her, just like the previous morning. Well, except for the naked part. Chloe looked at the clock. Almost 9:30. Her dad was supposed to be back around noon.

"Lana?" Chloe's voice was barely more than a whisper.

"Mmmnn."

"Lana?" She gently shook the other girl.

"Hmm... What?" came the sleepy reply.

"We need to get up. My dad will be back in a couple hours and we can't be all... you know... naked when he gets here."

Lana sighed. "Okay. You get up first and lemme know when it's my turn."

Chloe rolled her eyes, then chuckled. "You got it, sleepyhead." She kissed the other girl on the top of the head.

-

"Bus Number 314 to Smallville, boarding now," announced a voice over the intercom.

"That's me." Lana began to stand, but Chloe wouldn't let go of her arm. So she stayed sitting.

Chloe looked her deep in the eyes. "It was a great weekend."

Lana raised her eyebrows. "It was a great _night_."

"Yeah." Chloe felt a slight tingle just thinking about it.

"Did you just blush?"

"Nah..."

"Thank you... for everything." Lana rose to her feet. This time Chloe let her.

"You're one of a kind, Lana Lang." Chloe tried not to pay any attention to the lump in her throat.

"Only with you." Lana smiled, the way she did when she was trying not to cry. She cleared her throat. "Next time you're in Smallville, look me up."

Chloe nodded, then jumped out of her seat, grabbing Lana in a tight hug.

They held each other, not wanting the other to let go, but knew that inevitably, they both had to. And they did.