Clark slowed to a jog just outside the entrance to the Smallville Medical Centre. Checking to see that Chloe was still conscious, Clark hurried inside to the triage desk.
"I need help, my friend has been badly beaten and I think she may lose consciousness!" Clark told the nurse behind the desk. She took one look at Chloe's swollen face and pale complexion, then quickly hurried out to Clark calling for a doctor as she went. Clark stood back helplessly as a team of medical personnel took Chloe from him and rushed her inside the emergency room. As they began to assess her, Clark looked on from behind the glass, guilt and shame written across his face. What have I done? Chloe's pain is because of me. She is suffering because of my secret. Clark could feel the tears building up behind his eyes, and he hastily blinked them away. There were so many emotions whirling around inside of him. Sadness, guilt, shame, anger; but also gratitude and love, as Chloe believed in him so much that she was willing to risk her own life to protect him. He couldn't understand why she would risk everything to protect him, when he obviously ignored her on a regular basis and took her friendship for granted. How could I have been so stupid before to have not seen the amazing beauty right in front of my eyes? I have all these extraordinary abilites; and yet I am blind. I need to make her understand that my eyes have now been opened, and that I will not let her suffering be in vain.
"Mr Kent? We are moving Chloe to a bed on the ward, if you'd like to follow?" A nurse asked. Nodding, Clark followed anxiously behind, waiting to hear if she was going to be ok. As Chloe was settled into the room, the doctor spoke with Clark.
"Mr. Kent, Chloe has suffered a lot of bruising to the face and arms, as well as a few broken fingers. We have set those in a cast to mend and also given her pain medication. If she gets plenty of rest and takes it easy for the next week or so, Chloe should make a full recovery with no lasting side affects. We will keep her here over night for observation to check there have been no severe head injuries, then everything being well, she should be discharged tomorrow", the doctor informed Clark. After checking Chloe's chart one last time, he left the room. Once the nurse had made Chloe comfortable, she turned to Clark.
"You are welcome to stay with her for a while if you'd like, but the medication she is on will keep her sleeping for a while. She does need to get some rest so don't stay too long", she said, leaving the room.
Chloe was sleeping, due to the strong pain medication she was on. Moving closer to the bed, Clark took the opportunity to assess for himself the extent of Chloe's injuries. Using his x-ray vision, Clark looked for anything the doctors might have missed; however he was relieved to find nothing. Sighing in relief, Clark sat in the chair beside her bed. Reaching out his hand, Clark gently placed it over Chloe's. She looked so small and fragile, lying there in the hospital bed. Again, Clark was overwhelmed with a feeling of guilt that he had been the one to place her in this position. He should never allowed her to visit the plant by herself, he should have insisted on going with her. As he sat there watching Chloe sleep, Clark remembered the crumpled pink letter he had stashed in his back pocket, the one that Chloe had written for him. Pulling it out, Clark looked over it again. It summed up so beautifully the way he felt about Chloe. Clark decided to read it aloud, as a way of expressing his feelings when he himself could not think of the words.
"I want to let you in on a secret.
I'm not who you think I am.
In fact my disguise is so thin; I'm surprised you haven't seen right through me.
I'm the man of you dreams, masquerading as your best friend.
Sometimes I want to rip off this façade like I did at the spring formal,
But I can't because you'll get scared and you'll run away again.
So I decided it's better to live with a lie than expose my true feelings.
My dad told me there are two types of men.
The ones you grow out of and the ones you grow into.
I really hope I'm the latter.
I may not be the one you love today,
But I'll let you go for now,
Hoping one day you'll fly back to me
Because I think you're worth the wait."
As Clark folded the letter back up, he noticed that Chloe was beginning to stir. He hastily shoved the letter under the bedsheets, not wanting Chloe to know he had it.
"Clark?" Chloe asked, slowly blinking the sleep from her eyes and searching the room for his face. She knew she had heard his voice just a minute ago, saying something about being 'worth the wait'? Her left eye was still completely swollen shut, so she had limited visibility out of the right side, and Clark was sitting to her left.
"I'm here Chloe" he replied, squeezing her left hand. Chloe turned for neck slowly, so she could se him better. She noticed the look of pain and shame that coloured his features, knowing that he would be blaming himself for her situation. Even though her head hurt like hell, and she wouldn't have complete use of her hand for a while, Chloe did not regret her actions one bit. She knew that Clark was destined for greater things, that he was worth protecting at all costs. But Chloe also knew that Clark was a very humble person, and he would never understand her motivations for protecting him like this. Not to mention the fact that try as she may, she was still completely in love with him. Though she had come to the conclusion that he would never feel the same, even with his memories of Lana gone. She just wasn't the girl for him.
Chloe looked Clark in the eyes and gave him her best smile she could manage, without passing out from the pain of it.
"Thanks for rescuing me Clark, it's good to see you starting to act like your old self" she said slowly through the pain.
Hanging his head in guilt, Clark replied, "Well, I really should have never let you go to that plant alone, so that you wouldn't be in this mess. I'm sorry Chloe, I really screwed up. I but the 'old me' would have never left this happen to you".
Chloe knew the warning signs of a Clark Kent brooding session, and she could clearly see them now. She had to find a way to draw him out of it, as they still weren't out of the woods yet. Those guys at the plant obviously knew something about Clark and it looked like they were prepared to do anything to get the information they were after. Also, she was sure that Lex Luthor was connected to all of this somehow. So Chloe needed Clark on board 100% if they were going to stop these guys, especially as it looked like Chloe was going to be bed bound for the next little while. Chloe pushed herself up in bed slightly, biting the inside of her check to stop herself from wincing at the sharp pain that shot up her arm.
Tugging on Clark's hand so that he would look at her, Chloe said, "Clark, don't blame your self, I am a big girl and I got myself into this situation. There is nothing you could have done to stop me. You will learn that once I'm on a story, nothing can stand in my way. You came when I needed you, that's all that matters. You were able to harness your abilities to find me and get me to safety. Clark, I think it is so amazing how you put your self out there to save others, often people like me who get themselves into their own mess. You haven't screwed up, a few bumps and bruises are nothing, I'm going to be fine. The 'old you' would not have done anything differently. In fact, I think you were quicker in finding me than he would have been". Chloe gave Clark the biggest smile she could manage.
Clark looked back at her, in his mind he was still doubtful about what Chloe was saying, but he could see that even though she was in pain, Chloe was being selfless and was trying to cheer him up. So Clark decided he could save his moping for later when she wasn't around and put on a brave face for now.
"Your right Chloe, thank you. Now, enough about me. Tell me what happened to you back at the plant?" Clark asked, trying his best to smile back at her. Chloe could tell that his smile still didn't quite reach his eyes, however she decided to let it go for now, and concentrate on the problem at hand.
"Well, I managed to sneak into the records room at the plant and I found an employee file on Kevin Grady. The thing is, Kevin isn't an employee of LexCorp, but rather he was a voluntary test subject. It seems he was recruited straight outta High School and took part in tests using meteor rock to enhance people's natural abilities. The tests seemed to have worked, as Kevin is now able to take away peoples memories at whim and also to give them back. So in order to get your memories back Clark, you need to find Grady and get him to restore them for you" Chloe said.
"Really? I can get my memories back? It's possible? I need to find this guy now!" Clark replied, excitement growing in his voice. If I had my memories back, then maybe I would know how to show Chloe how much she means to me? Also, I would know how to stop something like this from happening in the future.
Chloe was slightly disappointed by how excited Clark was at getting his memory back. Which is stupid! I should be happy for him; it can't be easy for him to forget everything. Though as soon as he does remember, Clark will go back to pining after Lana and everything will go back to normal. I will become side kick Chloe once again, nothing more. Chloe tried to not let her disappoint show. Instead, she pushed it aside, and focused back on the situation and the danger that Clark was unaware of.
"Clark, you need to be careful. I believe that somehow Lex Luthor is behind your memory loss. It is too convenient that someone with the ability to take away a persons memory, who was tested on at LexCorp, just happened to accidentally take your memory away when they were escaping a robbery. I don't like it, something seems off to me. Those guys who were interrogating me seemed to know an awful lot about you Clark, and they seemed to somehow know you were different. They kept asking me what I knew about you. I think this is an elaborate plot by Lex to get you to reveal yourself to him, so that he knows once and for all just what you are capable off," Chloe stated.
"Really? You think that Lex would go to all this trouble of setting me up in the hope that I might reveal my abilities? That's a bit far fetched, don't you think Chloe?" Clark replied.
"Clark, you don't remember Lex like I do. Our favourite billionaire has a dark side, and an unhealthy obsession with all things Clark Kent. I know you don't remember, but last year Lex had a secret room in the mansion in which he researched your life. He swore to you that he destroyed it all, but I think he has just moved it somewhere else and that he is continuing to look into your life, just in a more extreme way now," Chloe said, her voicing growing angry at the thought of Lex hunting Clark in this way.
"Ok, say your right and Lex is behind this. What should our next move be? Should I go after Lex first or find Grady and get my memory back?" Clark responded.
"Well, I think it would be safest if you got your memory back first, as obviously Lex wanted to take it away to prey on your vulnerabilities and get you to slip up. I know where Grady is, he has a house on the outskirts of Granville. Go get your memories back, then you will be fully equipped to take on Lex. Please be careful Clark, don't trust any strangers as they may be working for Lex. I'm sure he is keeping an eye on you", Chloe said, concern in her voice.
"Ok. I'll go now to Grady and then to Lex. I will return to you Chloe when I have taken care of this mess. I want you to rest now, and concentrate on getting better. Thank you for all your help in these last few days, I really have appreciated it. But it's up to me now to confront Lex on my own," Clark said. He raised Chloe's hand to his lips and placed a soft, gentle kiss. Then he was gone.
Chloe looked down at the spot where Clark's lips had touched her skin. She could still feel a slight tingling sensation from the feel of his lips. If she closed her eyes and concentrated, she could almost imagine what his lips would feel like against hers. Stop it Chloe! Don't start thinking like that again, she thought to herself. Chloe tried to re-arrange herself in a more comfortable position in the bed. As she was moving around, her hand brushed what felt like a piece of paper underneath the covers. Intrigued, Chloe pulled it out and at once recognised the pink letter folded with Clark's name written across the top in her own hand writing. What is this doing here? Oh! When I woke up, I heard Clark say 'worth the wait'. How did he find the letter and why was he reading it to me? Chloe was instantly mortified that Clark had read her most private thoughts. He was never supposed to know about that letter, or the way her heart had broken into a million pieces when he had said Lana's name. Does this change the way he feels about me? No, I'm sure that when his memory is restored, this letter will pale in comparison to years of Lana worship. He will forget about it, and go back to ignoring my feelings. I shouldn't expect anything else. Chloe sighed as she closed her eyes and tried to go to sleep, knowing that when she saw Clark again, he would not see her.
There we go, finally a new update! Sorry it has taken so long, my muse disappeared for a while. The new season of Smallville has been inspiring me to write Clois, not Chlark. I just love the way that Erica and Tom interact, it's so awesome to see. So there maybe a Clois fic in the works, however I promise to finish this one first. Cos in season 4, Chloe and Clark were meant to be together. So, more to come. I am working on the big scenes between Grady/Clark and Lex/Clark now. Thank you for sticking with me during the long pause, and I look forward to reading your reviews!