TITLE: Unflinching

RATING: PG

Disclaimer: Do not own



This place was cold. Not very welcoming, but this was important. Chloe had done the research. She had exhausted her mind and body. Chloe knew that not many people truly considered the act or the consequences; but she wouldn't be one of those people. She would do this right. There couldn't be any doubt because there would be no making it better or gentling the effect this one act would have on her life. This was immovable reality and she would face it.

There was nothing but unyielding apprehension. Questions that twisted and entwined into themselves until there was only a knot. There wasn't understanding here. Only four walls, her thoughts, and the relentless stare of the only other person in the room.

********

Chloe knew exactly how she got here, so that wasn't a particular concern. She knew how he would react. She couldn't imagine a reality where this would be okay with him. His control over a situation had to be absolute. His opinion had to be heard and listened to until it was the only thing that filled the space. Of course, Lex's silences demanded their fair share of attention as well.

Her decision would come at a price she knew. It wasn't that she couldn't foresee the issue. It wasn't that she discounted the harm to herself and to her life. Those were the questions that danced like a drunken frenzy in her mind: "How can I tell him? Do I even need to tell him? What about my father? Will they be disappointed? Maybe I should wait?"

Of course there was one consideration that truly resounded within her: "Is this what I truly want?" And that's where her mind stuttered and stopped. Chloe knew that answer. She wouldn't be putting herself through this if it wasn't what she wanted. It didn't make the wait any less nerve-wracking or confusing. It didn't make the decision any easier, but she welcomed it. Such callous disregard to what came next would be morally reprehensible. She held no illusions that this would change her forever; and she welcomed that as well.

There was a line. A line that you walked down and you wondered if there would be an end. Wondered when that line you drew a week ago, year ago, or even ten years ago would be readjusted. Chloe understood that she pushed this line to accompany her new circumstance, but it was life. She would have to remember that when things got hard. It was life and she could deal with it.

Never in a million years would she have thought that she'd be in a hospital in New York at twenty-five. Just another anonymous person waiting to be seen by a doctor. She was nothing special and neither was her present condition. This was necessary. She couldn't let Lex find out before she was ready. It would needlessly complicate things.

Chloe had been a fool to get involved with Lex Luthor in the first place. It was the first in a long list of foolishness that brought her here and that was okay. She could own her mistake and not indulge in the self-pity that could only lead to even more mistakes. If there was one true thing that she prided herself on, it was her learning curve. Of course, the mistakes she made were dramatic in nature and yielded the commensurate results.

She let her hand drift to her belly and saw the knowing glance of a woman slightly older than herself. Chloe met her eyes and there was a moment of shared trepidation. Two random people who, for a moment in time, knew exactly what the other felt. Chloe would always remember the shape of that woman's face and the color of her eyes; and she knew it was true of the other woman. This day would stand among the other seminal events that formed them.

It always amazed Chloe the kind of people who ended up sharing the important moments with her. A bad break-up, one too many drinks, and Lex Luthor proved to share what would probably be the most important event in her life; and now was the time for consequences.

They weren't friends, or even acquaintances. In fact, they didn't speak to each other. They drifted in different circles. Despite their estrangement, Chloe knew that he would want to control this. She knew that he wouldn't be able to let it go; and that scared her. She had ambitions that far exceeded whatever plans Lex Luthor thought would be best.

Tilting her head back, Chloe closed her eyes in a vain attempt to calm herself. She felt herself relax; but whatever peace she had achieved was broken when the nurse called her name. She dropped her hand from her belly, hastily gathered her things and followed the nurse into the backroom. Chloe calmly submitted to the physical and signed the waivers she needed to sign.

********

Chloe glanced at the ultrasound screen. She already knew she was pregnant. This was just a formality. The doctor shifted his eyes to hers. He must have seen her conviction because he simply nodded.

His voice was soft and understanding, "You are sure you want this? You can change your mind."

Chloe nodded to herself and met his gaze. Unflinching. "Yeah, this is what I want."

He nodded and started a speech he must have recited a dozen times, "As you know, abortion during the first trimester carries a small, but serious risk."

She let his voice fill the silence. He was telling her nothing that he hadn't told her already, but this was procedure. This was the right choice for her at this time in her life. She tuned back in to him asking her if she had any questions. At Chloe's negation, he said that a nurse would direct her to the room where the procedure would take place.

Chloe was as ready as any person could be in this kind of circumstance.