Title: Distant Dark Places
Genre: Drama, romance
Summary: Chloe and Lex's relationship has always been complicated and hard to define, but Chloe's hostility toward Lex is simpler to understand.
Disclaimer: I don't own Smallville.
Author's Notes: Thanks to JennyLD for the beta.
"...falling for a banana in the tailpipe."
Lex stared at her, bemused, and Chloe's lips twisted up.
"Oh, come on. Beverly Hills-- Eddie-- you are so severely lacking in the fun department."
He chuckled, glancing around what she liked to call the Relatively-Safe House. "I've had other things on my mind lately. I don't have time to--"
Rolling her eyes, she shoved the screen door open, and stepped out onto the porch with her lemonade. She actually hated the stuff, but it was cold and sweet... after adding a couple of tablespoons of sugar. "The movie is as old as I am. I think you've had time. Face it, Lex you need the time off more than I do."
His jaw clenched, brows lowering as he scoured the yard. "This isn't a vacation, Chloe. Your life is in danger."
Chloe woke up, staring at the ceiling above her bed, Lex's words echoing through her mind. He'd been right; her life had been in danger back then. Lionel Luthor had been gunning for her the entire summer.
Now, it was Lex who wanted her dead because she'd found out too much and he didn't want his precious secrets getting out.
Sitting up, she threw the covers back and went to take a shower.
"Another day, another danger."
"Chloe," Lois hissed, grabbing her arm and dragging her into a janitor's closet. "What the hell are you doing here?" She gestured toward the offices behind the closed door. "If he finds you here, you'll be erased. You're supposed to be laying low. I told you--"
"Stop." Rolling her eyes, she grabbed Lois' arms, reminding her of Lex's favorite 'I'm here for you' gesture. "He's not going to do anything in the middle of the Planet. He's full of ego, but he's not gonna go kamikaze." Besides, she had a feeling he'd want to do it personally.
He'd told her once that getting revenge against his father was when he'd felt the most alive.
She'd expected to be abducted at gunpoint or knifepoint, maybe just knocked over the head and dragged back to Smallville. She didn't expect to be trussed up in the back of a van, left to roll around, smacking into hard things, and then be dragged up to Lex's penthouse suite, all while completely conscious.
It threw her off her game a little.
Wincing as the bag was torn from her head and she was pushed onto a hard chair, she mentally calmed herself, making sure the hate and disgust she felt for him were plainly visible on her face.
Bright white light struck her eyes and she had to close them, ducking her head down to get away from the piercing illumination.
Fingers brushed her cheek, and she jerked away. "Don't touch me." Inside, her mind was whirling. What was his game? He'd only touched her like this--so softly--once before, and afterward, he'd left; stalked down the porch steps, coat flapping, hands deep in his pockets as the inky darkness swallowed him up.
Something cold and wet touched her cheek. It smelled like antiseptic and she frowned. Why was he disinfecting the cuts on her face?
"If you're going to kill me, could you wait until I can see again? I want to look you in the eyes as you do it."
"I'd like that too," he whispered in her ear, warm breath bursting over her skin. "But not while I kill you." His hands grabbed her cheeks, forcing her face forward. "Open your eyes."
She opened them just a tiny bit, squinting under her brows. Either the light wasn't as bright as before, or her eyes had adjusted. Opening them all the way, she reassessed that; Lex was kneeling in front of her, blocking the light.
"Bastard," she spat.
He chuckled, wiping her cheek with the wet cloth again. "I've often wished I was. Alas..." he shrugged, smile playing at his lips.
"Murdering bastard," she stressed, hating him more than she ever had before.
"Lex, I'm not just testifying because it's the right thing to do. Or because your father is a murdering bastard. It's--"
He darted forward, taking her by surprise, hand cupping the back of her head as he pulled her toward him. His lips pressed against hers lightly, skimming over them for a second before pressing more firmly, opening widely. She was so startled, all she could do was grab his coat in surprise.
His other hand rose, lifting to her cheek, brushing lightly against it as his lips stilled and he pulled away.
"--you," she finished in a whisper.
His eyes, bright before the kiss, were dark now, filled with a heavy weight that she couldn't decipher. He considered her for a few seconds, fingertip rubbing lightly at his lower lip. "No, it's not." Turning suddenly, he stalked down the porch steps, coat flapping, hands deep in his pockets as the inky darkness swallowed him up.
Lex darted forward, and she jerked her head back, staring at him. "What--"
He kissed her, no tenderness, no light, soft touches. His mouth moved roughly over hers, as if he were afraid he'd run out of time. Hand pressing on the back of her head, holding her still, he touched her cheek. She shook free of him, feeling disgust at herself for not doing so immediately.
She couldn't still want him, not after everything he'd done.
"--are you doing?" she finished, hopping the chair back. Wanting more space between them.
His eyes, dark in the light of the room, brightened when he shifted, catching the light in them. "Rectifying a mistake I made four years ago." Pushing to his feet, he took one last look at her, then spun on his feet and left the room, coat billowing out behind him as the light enveloped him.
She hadn't expected to leave the penthouse alive. Carried in a bag, or rolled up in a rug, whatever Lex's henchmen preferred, but not this. Her cuts were seen to, and the man who'd brought her upstairs even apologized for the rough treatment.
Lex took her arm as he led her down in the elevator, watching her with a silent vigilance.
It threw her off her game a little.
"What are you doing, Lex?" That she was still alive didn't truly surprise her. He was smarter than a fifth grader; he knew there'd be questions. But she'd expected some sort of payback. Not this... calm silence. As if he didn't have a care in the world except to see her to the car.
Which he helped her into.
Lex's hand on her arm was disturbing for many reasons, chief among them being that she liked it, but there was also the urge to shrink from him, from what he'd become. To claw at his hand for what he'd done to--
His grip, firm, but not forceful, tightened as he drew her down the hallway to the basement office she used to work in. The Planet was the same as ever; only [I]they[/I] had changed.
She was a freelance sidekick.
He was a murderer.
Sighing, she tried to understand his reasoning for bringing her here. "If you're going to kill me, can we hurry it up? This is getting--"
She turned at the sound of her name, jerking her head toward Jimmy. "You're--" gasping, she ran the last few yards toward her ex-boyfriend. "You were dead. Oh, god, Jimmy. We buried you." Tears burned her eyes as she hugged him, inhaling his familiar scent, changed in the past week since his death.
She pulled back, mystified. "How?"
A grin stole up his lips. "My man, Mr. Luthor there. Pulled me out just before the explosion." He shoved his sleeve back, showing her a white bandage on his arm. "Barely got out. But I had to lay low for a while. Got some burns, nothing I can't handle though."
She hugged him again, letting the tears fall. Her eyes lifted to Lex, keeping watch in the doorway. "Thank you," she mouthed, holding his gaze.
A small upturn of his lips was his only reply.
"What happened?" Chloe asked Lex, sitting on the arm of the couch, watching him fidget as only a Luthor could do; absolutely still, but with a sense of edginess. "You took off for weeks, and I didn't..."
His eyes darted her way briefly, and they were coldly impersonal. "I was busy. I got a lead on some artifacts that--"
"Bullshit," she muttered, crossing to the small kitchen. Tossing her cup into the sink, she leaned back against the counter, watching him.
He followed her to the kitchen, black pants, white shirt, purple tie, looking as clean and crisp as ever while she was a melting mess of sweat and nerves. "It was just a bad idea, Chloe."
"It's a bad idea, Lex."
He shook his head, pressing her back as he kissed her again, slamming her apartment door behind him. "It's the only idea I wish to entertain." His hands grasped her hips, spinning them around, then pinned her to the turquoise wall. "Do you have any idea how much I've wanted you over the years?"
Shaking her head, feeling warmth shoot through her, she gazed up at him, trying to read his face, but all she saw was hunger. For her. For them?
Pressing his hard cock into her belly, he rested his forehead on hers. "This need; it's always there for you. It's always going to be there for you."
Closing her eyes, unable to reconcile the Lex she'd grown to hate over the past few years with the one from that summer, she shook her head again. "No, it's not." Pushing away from the wall, she moved past him, feeling empty and dead inside.
Chloe woke up, staring at the ceiling above her bed, Lex's words echoing in her mind. It's always going to be there for you.
Feeling his hand snake around her thigh, she realized why she'd woken up. His fingers skated higher, slipping between her folds, teasing the flesh with small movements.
"Again?" she asked incredulously, staring down to where his head rested on her thigh.
Maybe he was sex-starved; after all, hadn't they already fucked three times in the last five hours?
"You want me dead?" she asked, smirk riding her lips as her hips rode his hand. "I think you're trying to kill me with sex."
He breathed out a laugh, breath tickling her skin. "I'm just making up for lost time. I figure five times in every twenty-four hour period for the next three years should just about cover it."
She stared at him, then burst out laughing, tossing the covers back and scooting lower, closer to his hand.
"Another day, another danger."
"I finally got you to take a vacation," Chloe whispered, rocking her hips forward slowly. "It only took four years and some change." She gasped as his fingers slid to her clit, rubbing hard. "Fuck." Her breath left her in a gust as her body finally gave in to the pleasure. Hips jerking against his, she clenched on him, feeling him thrust up.
"Fuck, Lex. I love you, I love you... I love--"
Feeling like she was breaking apart, she let out a sound that resembled his name and dug her fingers into his bare chest. His warm skin beneath hers was covered in a fine sheen of sweat and her fingers slipped. Muscles quivering, she collapsed on him, little tremors continuing to pulse through her.
Exhausted, she closed her eyes, unable to move more than that.
Lex smoothed the sticky strands from her face, leaning up to kiss her temple as he slowly moved in her. "And it didn't even take a banana in a tailpipe," he whispered, tightening his arms around her.
She huffed out a laugh and smacked his side, moving her hand behind her to where they were joined. "Close enough," she chuckled.