Chloe ascended the stairs of Clark's loft and was instantly pained to find her best friend in an obvious state of distress.
He was motionless. Bent forward with his elbows resting on his knees and his face buried in his hands.
As she walked closer and noticed the side of his blotchy, damp face it became apparent that he'd been crying. Chloe was simultaneously concerned and resentful. She knew that once again Clark was mourning over the demise of his relationship with Lana.
While she cared that he was in distress she couldn't help but be tired of consoling him. She was sick of it not only because she couldn't bear to see him hurting, but because she definitely couldn't bear to see him hurting over Lana.
It was one thing to accept that Lana had made him happy while they were a couple, but to see how much she could destroy him by leaving just confirmed that he loved her, and that sucked.
Chloe didn't think she could handle one more heavy-hearted conversation with Clark about how lost and alone he'd felt since he'd been dumped. All she wanted to do was spend some time with him, maybe actually have some fun for a change.
She slowly turned on her heals before she reached the top of the stairs and began to quietly tiptoe back down trying to go unnoticed. She wanted to sneak away while Clark was distracted by his self-loathing. Too late.
Clark's super hearing had actually clicked in when she had pulled into the driveway. He was wondering why she was taking so long to reach the loft.
Chloe jumped at the sound of his voice and quickly turned around and climbed back to the top of the stairs. She tried her best to look like she had just arrived; flashing him a cool, unintentionally goofy grin in an effort to appear casual.
"Hey Clark! Uh… I umm, just came over to see if maybe you wanted to catch a movie" she managed. Chloe wasn't sure that spending a Friday night with a pouting, over-grown alien was a recipe for fun but she didn't know what else to say, and maybe, a movie would distract him from his pain for a while.
Clark's first instinct was to say he'd rather be alone, but for some reason, right now, the last thing he wanted was for Chloe to go away.
Their friendship had become the most significant relationship in his life over the past month. Ever since Lana dumped him it seemed like Chloe was the only person there for him, and frankly, he had stared to crave her company.
'Besides', He thought, 'a movie might just be the diversion I need right now'.
"Umm...yeah okay, it does sound nice to get out of here for a while" he said while rising off the couch, "Just let me tell my mom that I'm leaving. I told her I was gonna hang out here the rest of the night and she'll be worried if she can't find me," he gave her a small, slightly embarrassed smile.
Chloe was pleasantly surprised that Clark was taking her up on her offer and hoped that it was a sign that he was finally allowing himself to heal. Maybe the tears he most recently shed and lost were the ingredient that contained his undying allegiance to Lana.
They left the barn together, Clark headed for the house while Chloe waited for him by her car. She leaned against the bumper and contentedly breathed in the cool night air. 'It will be nice hanging out like old times', she thought.
A few minutes later Clark headed out the front door and walked toward the car. Chloe felt the usual flip of anticipation in her belly that she got when she knew she'd be spending time alone with him. No matter how hard she tried to convince herself that Clark was nothing more than her best friend, she knew, somewhere deep in her soul that he was in fact the love of her life. Ever since she discovered his secret two years ago she has felt especially close and connected with him.
Apparently Jimmy had suspected this because he dumped her the night before and cited her feelings for Clark as the reason.
"There's no way I could ever compete with him, Clark is the only person who makes you happy," He had said.
Jimmy was such a great guy and he deserved her undying love, which she had fully intended on someday giving to him, but when he had said he thought they should break up she just didn't have the strength to fight it.
She no longer wanted to fight it.
Jimmy was right about Clark being the only person who could make her truly happy. Besides, he deserved a girlfriend who could give him her whole heart and that just wasn't her.
Chloe was suddenly struck with a pang of sadness at a realization. Her and Clark had both just been dumped and he could barely pick up the shattered pieces of his broken heart, while she… hadn't even obtained a fracture in hers.
Ironically, Clark was supposed to be the one as tough as steel.
Clark walked over to the passenger side of the car, "You ready?" He smiled wide.
Chloe giggled as they both got in the car. "As I'll ever be," she said.
As he sat next to her in her little Yaris, Clark was suddenly very aware of how much he had missed hanging out with Chloe. He missed all the little things about her, like her infectious smile and witty vocabulary. The way she had just giggled simply because he had smiled at her was so cute. It made his heart swell with joy instead of grief for a change.
They made small talk on their way to the movie theatre. Chloe thought she had noticed a hint of a sparkle in Clark's eye when she told him about her and Jimmy but she figured it was probably just another damn tear fighting its way to the surface to mourn over Lana some more.
All of a sudden Clark gently placed his hand on her forearm. "Chloe…I just want to say that I really appreciate you inviting me out tonight; I wasn't sure I had any friends left after I went into hibernation."
She gave him a compassionate smile as she slipped her arm off the steering wheel and patted his thigh in consolation. "Clark, you know I would never abandon you in your time of need."
The touch of her hand gave him goose bumps and Clark realized it was probably the first human contact he'd had in a month.
He realized, in his emotional state he was not looking forward to having a cinematic experience with a bunch of strangers. The only person he wanted to associate with tonight was Chloe. She was a breath of fresh air after spending weeks cooped up in that suffocating, old loft. Tonight all he needed was his best friend.
"Hey…uh Chloe?" he began. "Do you think we could skip the theatre and maybe go to your place to watch some TV or something? I kind of just want to be alone with you."
Chloe's heart skipped a beat at his last comment and she wasn't exactly sure what to say. She uncomfortably giggled, "Well we would still be alone at the theatre Clark, it's not like we have to make small talk with anyone".
Really, as much as she wanted him all to herself Chloe just felt like she would burst into tears if she had to listen to him drone on once more about losing Lana.
"Don't worry Chloe, I think I'm finished whining for the night," He smiled knowingly. "I'm already starting to feel a lot better and I'm sure you're hurting because of Jimmy… so maybe we can just go into hiding together tonight and nurse our wounds."
At mentioning Jimmy he grabbed her hand in an effort to console her, not knowing that she didn't need consoling. Chloe did however need his touch, so she held his hand and wouldn't let go until they arrived at the Talon.
Clark was the one who really felt comforted by the contact. So much so that he wished he could pull her over onto his lap, press her to his chest and never let go.
'Where are these feelings coming from'? he wondered.
They had seen each other several times in the past month but his perception must have been shaded by self-pity and angst. Maybe his Lana blindfold had been lifted for the first time in his life because he was definitely seeing Chloe more clearly and vibrantly than ever before. Had she always been so beautiful?
She stopped the car and went to step out but couldn't. She smiled realizing that Clark didn't seem to want to let go of her hand. "Uh, Clark I'm gonna need to take that hand with me," she laughed softly.
Clark lightly flushed with embarrassment, "oh sorry", he awkwardly dropped her hand and instantly missed the feel of her skin. Why was he craving her touch so badly?
As they walked up the Talon stairs toward Chloe's apartment Clark found himself mesmerized by the erotic sway of her hips as she moved. It aroused sensual images of the little pink birthmark he knew was on her ass and his cheeks flushed again.
For some reason he knew he'd be extremely comforted if he could just pull her close and squeeze that beautiful ass.
The hardening sensation in his dick caused him to snap out of his haze and he began to worry about his sudden yearnings for Chloe. He figured it must just be sexual frustration built up over the last few months, although he hadn't noticed any of that frustration until right now.
Chloe had intentionally exaggerated the swinging of her hips knowing it must have caught Clark's attention.
She chided herself for her behavior but couldn't help but notice there was some kind of electricity in the air between them tonight.
She needed him, wanted to touch him, and the way he clung to her hand in the car and wouldn't let go confirmed that he wanted contact with her as well.
Tonight she would give him whatever contact he desired.