Summary: Lois and Chloe were the best of friends, sisters more than cousins. Yet when Lex enters the picture, it seemed that Chloe was going to break every promise she had made to Lois. Lois holds true to her faith in Chloe and embarks on a fact-finding mission Chloe-style to know what happened.

Promise of Tomorrow

Prologue

Spinning the bottle was senseless when there were only two of them, but still they maintained tradition. "Where will you be five years from now?" Chloe asked the brunette that lay in front of her on the bed.

Lois smiled. That was the easiest question ever. "I'll be in college studying journalism and raising hell, of course," she responded.

"Good answer," commented Chloe.

Lois reached for the bottle and spun it on top of the chess board. She clapped her hands when it pointed to Chloe.

"So where will you be ten years from now?"

Chloe handed her cousin a bottle of Coke and sipped her own. Her eyes were sparkling, and they told Lois millions of what was going on inside her head.

At fifteen, Lois was traveling from city to city, state to state with her military father. Her younger cousin was her best friend, given that they were both only children and Lois never stayed in one school and neighborhood long enough to build lasting relationships. Thus, whenever they were in the same city, they made it a point to meet up and spend time together. That night was a cousins slumber party. As always, junk food, chick flicks, and secrets sharing ruled over the night.

"I'm going to get the job you would have been working your butt off for," Chloe announced. Lois stuck out her tongue at the blonde. Chloe had always had grandiose dreams, and since they were children they would have friendly competitions. Sometimes Lois would win; often Chloe would. "I'd be the star reporter of the Daily Planet and you would be catching your breath far behind me."

"Oh you wanna bet?" Lois laughed.

"Yes, I wanna bet!" Chloe answered. "Fifty bucks."

Lois smirked and held out her hand. "You got it, sister!"

They shook hands on it. At the spur of the moment, Chloe decided to let her weight fall back and pull Lois with her. Lois tumbled onto her cousin and the two collapsed into hysterical giggles.

"Lois, get off me, you elephant!" Chloe squealed. Her cousin's elbow was jamming into the side of her ribs, a ticklish area for her. She thrashed on the bed in an effort to dislodge Lois.

"Well," giggled Lois, "stop squirming! You'll only make it worse."

Chloe screamed when Lois tried to pull herself up, jabbing her elbow into Chloe's side even more.

"Shhhhhh!" Lois admonished. "Uncle Gabe's gonna wake up."

Chloe continued laughing noisily. Lois opened her eyes widely to quiet her cousin, but Chloe was beyond silencing. Playfully, Lois grabbed a pillow and threw it over Chloe's head to stifle her laughter.

After a couple of seconds, Chloe finally settled. Lois removed the pillow and paled. Chloe was unmoving. "Chloe," she said sharply. When the blonde did not stir, Lois slapped her face with quick motions. "That's not funny, Chloe." Still, Chloe did not move. Lois gasped. "Oh no. Chloe, I'm sorry. I didn't know I was holding it that hard."

Lois scrambled out of bed and yelled for help. "Uncle Gabe! Uncle Gabe!"

Her footsteps echoed down the hall. Dead silence met her. Lois stopped in front of Gabe's door and pounded on it. Gabe opened the door to a crying Lois. He saw the girl's expression and jogged back to Chloe's bedroom.

When they burst through the door, they found Chloe sitting at the center of the bed, holding her palm out.

"Twenty bucks, Lo," the blonde demanded with a grin. "Two years ago we bet that I can't freak you out. Ever."

Lois' tense posture slackened. Gabe's hands on his niece's shoulders tightened.

"That's not funny, Chloe," he admonished his child. "You nearly gave Lois a heart attack."

When she had finally recovered, Lois stepped back into the room and waved Gabe out. "It's okay, Uncle. She got me, alright!"

Lois and Chloe bade goodnight to the rattled Gabe Sullivan and closed the door. Lois walked towards her purse and drew out twenty dollars. Chloe took it and saucily said, "Thanks."

Lois chuckled and shook her head. "You're a bitch, Sullivan. You know that?"

"You're my role model, Lane. Learned from the best," Chloe snarked right back.

"That's right," Lois agreed. "And don't you forget it." She sighed and walked over to the bed, drew down the covers and said, "Now that last activity wore me out. I'm going to sleep. How about you?"

Chloe shook her head. She took the remote control and turned on the television. "That's why you're not going to be the star reporter," Chloe said. "The late night newscast is in four minutes."

"Whatever," Lois mumbled. She burrowed deeper into the bed. "Time enough for the headlines tomorrow. Night. Love you, Chloe."

Chloe smiled and murmured goodnight, then intently focused on the rundown of the week's events.

Lois was leaving the next day. Chloe loved spending time with her cousin, and hated every time they had to split up. She didn't understand why her uncle wouldn't just let Lois stay with them, just like Chloe and Lois planned before.

When the commercial break began, Chloe took out her journal and entered her thoughts for the day.

Had a wonderful time with my cousin this weekend. She makes it all okay that I don't have a real sister, because she's more real than anyone else.

If worse comes to worse, I know Lois will protect me, because that's what I know I'll do for her.

It's even okay that we never have boyfriends. We'll be two spinsters living in a house with cats we call our kids.

I wonder when I'll see Lois again.