Pardon My Passing

Chapter 2

Making Contact

Clark sat in his loft looking at the only letter Lana had sent him since being in Paris.

Clark,

I'm in Paris! Being away from Smallville has made some things a lot more clear. I realized that I really don't know what to say to you, Clark. I do miss you but I think not being around you has been a relief. It's given me time to think about everything that we went through and I've come to a decision. We make good friends, Clark, but we need to move past any feelings we may have had first. All I'm saying is I think we need to go back to the beginning. I don't want to lose you as a friend but if you can't move on I'm willing to risk it.

I'll be back in a month. I think we need to talk then.

Lana

That was the only contact either of them had attempted to make during her stay in Europe.

"Something wrong?" A woman's voice called from the top of the stairs.

"Lois." Clark said standing up and putting the letter away.

"What was that?" She nodded to the box he had just placed the letter in.

"Nothing, just Lana telling me how Paris is." He lied looking down. "Did you want something?"

"Yes, your mother offered to let me stay here and I accepted. I was then told to go to the barn and tell you that dinner is ready." She said it all in one breath reminding him very much of…Chloe.

"I'll be right there." She nodded and left. He looked out the opening, took a deep breath, and then followed her into the house.

&&&&&

"So, are you through faking illness, yet?" Lucas' unmistakable voice rang throughout Lex's bedroom. He walked in grinning at his older brother then taking a seat next on the bed. Lex raised an eyebrow but remained silent.

"The doctors were curious, you know, that poison should have killed you. So tell me, how did you manage to be fully functioning in a week." Lucas looked him straight in the eye.

"Fully functioning?" Lex asked.

"Lex, we both know you could get out of this bed and run a marathon screaming at the top of your lungs right now if you wanted to. What's stopping you?"

"Did you figure this out all by yourself?" He smirked and sat up.

"No, I had the darling doctors tell me. They say you haven't had so much as a cold since you were nine-years-old. Interesting, isn't it?" Lucas smirked.

"Is there a point to your ramblings?" Lex asked annoyed and a bit scared at the same time.

"I think that meteor shower affected you more than you're willing to admit. Something along the lines of the ultimate immunity, I believe."

Lex just stared at his younger brother. He had reached the same conclusion the night he was poisoned. He was proven correct and he was free from all of the pressure. Free to not talk to anyone. Free to forget about business. Free to think about Chloe.

"I do believe you may be on to something." Lex answered after a few moments making sure to keep a straight face.

"Mr. Luthor?" The butler called from the open door.

"Yes?" Both brothers answered. The butler looked at Lex.

"Pardon me, Master Lex, you have a phone call."

"I told you I would deal with no business until I am well again." His voice showed his agitation at being interrupted.

"It's not business, sir. The phone call is on your private line." Lex's head snapped up.

"I'll take it in my study."

&&&&&

Chloe looked around the large room. The TV was playing some soap opera where someone was shot and came back to life. Chloe wasn't really paying attention to it. She had her laptop in her lap making sure all her files were in order and not tampered with. She had to keep her mind occupied just so she wouldn't cry anymore. Alan had left her alone for a few hours to let her mourn and explore her room. Her body didn't seem to want to move very far from the bed, however.

A knock on the door caught her attention and she yelled for them to come in. A young woman smiled at her when she entered the room and set a tray of food across her lap.

"Who are you?" Chloe asked ever curious.

"Leah, Ms. Sullivan." The woman was polite, that much was certain. "I'm a nurse. You don't know it but I handle all your medication."

"What's your last name, Leah?" Chloe felt an inexplicable urge to learn everything she could about the woman.

"Ah, now I know Lex wouldn't want you to know that." She smiled mysteriously and sat down on the bed. "How are you feeling today? Any headaches of any sort?"

"A slight headache for the past couple of hours, I guess. Nothing to worry about."

"That is where you're wrong. It's my job to inspect the littlest twang of pain. Orders directly from the boss." She began an examination of Chloe's body. Leah made polite conversation with minimal answers from Chloe. She asked about high school, friends, life but Chloe felt like that wasn't her life anymore. As far as anyone knew, she was gone and she was never coming back. That thought struck her more than she thought it would and she stopped answering Leah at all. Eventually, the questions ceased too.

"Well, you seem to be fine. I'll be back regularly to inspect the damage. You should get more sleep." Chloe started to protest but Leah held up her hand. "I know you spent the last month in a coma, but you still need to sleep if you want to get better." She left when Chloe nodded in reluctant agreement.

&&&&&

Dinner at the Kent farm was more strained than it was in earlier years. Clark was eager to find out more about Chloe as was Lois. John and Martha were mostly silent allowing Clark and Lois to discuss what they found out so far.

"We should stop by the cemetery tomorrow." Lois said in a voice that implied it wasn't just a suggestion and she would leave without Clark if he made her.

"That sounds good." Clark nodded. "You haven't been there yet, right?"

"No. I don't really like cemeteries. Too many dead people." Lois caught herself and looked down at her plate. "Sorry."

Clark cleared his throat but no one said anything else. Dinner passed quickly. Lois and Clark met in the barn after to discuss things in private. They seated themselves on the couch.

"Do you think Lex had anything to do with it?" Clark asked.

"That depends, were they sleeping together when she disappeared?" Lois asked it so casually the question almost didn't faze Clark.

He blushed deeply, "No. As far as I know Chloe's never slept with anyone."

She smirked, "Then you don't know much. She and Lex obviously had a relationship beyond the public view. Judging by how Lex looked when he thought of her, I can guess how far he wanted to take it. The question is, how far did they really take it?"

"Really? You think Chloe and Lex…" Clark trailed off not sure how to word it.

"I think there's a good chance they never shacked up but he certainly wanted to."

Clark sat stunned for a minute. "Hey, Lois. What do you mean when you say I didn't know Chloe very well?

"She wasn't a virgin Clark. Not for a while."