Title: Inaccurate Perceptions
Summary: After the unexpected death of her parents, Chloe Sullivan was adopted by Lionel Luthor and raised as his own. Now ten years later, Chloe is ready to break out on her own, move away from the confines of the Luthor mansion in Smallville and begin classes at Met U. All on her way to living her lifelong dream of becoming a Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist for the Daily Planet. But everything she knows is about to change when she begins to investigate recent terrorist attacks on her family's company and finds out that the Luthors are not what she always believed them to be.
Characters: Chloe Sullivan/Luthor, Oliver Queen, Lex Luthor, Lionel Luthor, Lois Lane, Clark Kent, Bart Allen, Victor Stone, Author Curry, Dinah Lance, Mia Darden
Pairings: Chloe/Oliver, Lois/Clark, AC/Dinah, Bart/Mia
Rating: Mature/ NC-17 (Eventually)
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Drama, Romance
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
A/N Thanks to those of you who left me feedback on the last chapter! =)
Chloe tapped her foot nervously against the marble floor. This was the moment she had been dreading all summer. Any minute now she would be called into the large office in front of her and be face to face with Pauline Kahn. She should be excited this was Pauline Kahn, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Planet, the kind of woman Chloe aspired to be, and yet she couldn't seem to force away the lump growing in her throat. By the end of her meeting with the woman Chloe would know for certain if she'd been accepted to the Daily Planet internship program.
She nervously thumbed at the edge of the small portfolio resting in her lap and tugged at her lower lip.
What if the older woman didn't think she had enough experience since she'd never worked on in a newspaper before, not even in high school thanks to her home schooling?
What if the one of the women she admired most thought her writing samples she brought with her sub par?
Chloe swallowed heavily and looked up at the woman in front of her, "Yes?" she croaked out.
"Miss Kahn is ready for you."
She nodded and rose from her seat, Thank you," she replied quietly.
Chloe followed the woman through the doors leading to the editor's office and tried to force away the nauseous feeling coursing through her body.
Pauline looked up from the file in front of her and smiled, "Miss Sullivan… please have a seat."
She slid into the seat on the opposite side of the large desk, "would you like anything… coffee? Water?"
"No I'm fine… but thank you."
"All right, that'll be all Melissa… please hold all my calls."
"Yes Miss Kahn," the woman said before turning on her heel and exiting the office leaving Chloe alone with the woman she prayed would be her boss by the end of this meeting.
"So, Miss Sullivan, lets get right to it… why do you want to be a journalist?"
Chloe cleared her throat, "well Miss Kahn, Journalism is the only career that has ever held any interest for me. Getting into the thick of things to discover the truth, and righting wrongs through the power of my pen… It's all I can imagine doing with my life."
Pauline nodded, "Now I notice your file has no previous articles written by you, for high school or otherwise, why is that?"
"Once I reached the high school level my father insisted on having me home schooled, but I did bring along some writing samples for you to see. They may not have been published anywhere, but I think they'll show what you could expect from me." Chloe held out the folder to the older woman, which she readily accepted.
Chloe returned to tugging on her lower lip as Pauline flipped quickly through the pages. About halfway through the stack she pulled one out and smiled faintly.
"An essay on Nellie Bly," she commented, "I take it you're a fan?"
"I am," She answered with a short nod, "I hope to one day leave as big a mark on journalism as she did."
"Very high aspirations, getting to that level takes a lot of dedication and discipline, do you think you're prepared for that?"
"Well I've gotta ask… why Nellie Bly? Most of the female intern's applicants I get in here tell me they'd like to start in newspaper and hopefully end up like Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer. Why is she who you aspire to?"
Chloe cleared her throat, "When I was eight years old, I read Ten Days in Mad-House, and honestly… it inspired me… She got right in there doing whatever was necessary to get to the truth, even going to the point of getting herself committed to Blackwell Island not knowing how exactly she was going to get back out."
"Some people would call a move like that far too risky." Pauline noted.
"It was risky," Chloe admitted, "but how can one not admire the bravery it took for her to do that."
The older woman nodded with a small smirk and leaned forward, "honestly she's who I admire most too," she told her in a lowered voice.
They sat for several minutes in silence after that as Pauline read the paper in front of her. When she finished she set it back in the folder and closed it, "well you certainly seem capable enough… but there is one final question I have to ask."
Chloe nodded and waited for her to continue.
"Why aren't you using your legal name?"
Chloe faltered for a moment. She knew she shouldn't be surprised that someone like Pauline Kahn knew who she really was.
"You are after all Chloe Luthor after all, just your name could open a lot more doors to you." she continued.
Chloe nodded and leaded slightly back, "I could," she admitted, "but to be honest with you… any progress I make in my life should be based on my abilities… not on my family or my name."
"I respect that," Pauline told her with a smile, "but you do realize that given whom your family is there's a high risk for a conflict of interest, seeing as we're based out of Metropolis and the Luthors stretch reaches to nearly every corner of the city."
She nodded again, "I'm certain that I can separate myself from anything Luthor related and still write some great stories for you Miss Kahn… I just need to be given the chance." she said firmly.
Pauline eyed her for several seconds and Chloe cringed inwardly waiting for what she was sure would be the typical 'we'll call you' dismissal. She had known that using her former name was a risk, but she had hoped that she'd at least get a chance to prove herself before her falsehood was discovered.
"You have to guarantee me that you'll stay away from any stories having to do with anything Luthor related."
"I promise I will," Chloe said trying to keep her growing excitement at bay.
"And if you're working on something and you discover a link to your family you have to immediately hand the story over to someone else."
"I can do that."
"All right then," Pauline stood from her chair and Chloe followed suit. She held out her hand with Chloe gladly accepted, "Welcome to the Daily Planet… Sullivan."
The folder slammed to his desktop and pulled his attention away from the most recent 33.1 files the team had managed to acquire during their last mission. Oliver glanced at the man standing in front of him and glared, "Problem Vic?"
"You need to be more cautious of who and what is going on around you."
Oliver leaned back and folded his arms over his chest, "What the hell are you talking about?"
"Look inside," Victor nodded in the direction of the folder he had just placed in front of him.
Oliver eyed the other man for several second before leaning forward and opening it slowly. Inside were candid photos of himself as well as lengthy notes on his daily activities since his arrival in Metropolis three weeks prior.
He breathed a sigh of relief when he realized there was no mention of his nightly activities. Whoever was tailing him obviously had missed anything to do with the Green Arrow.
"Where did you get these?" Oliver asked thumbing his way through the photos again.
"You know how I've been trying to hack into Lex's private computer remotely?" he asked.
Oliver nodded in response.
"Well… I found these."
"Did you find anything else?" Oliver asked hopefully. If Vic had managed to get into the computer and find these, there was a chance he'd also found something helpful to their work with Lex's lab.
"No… at least nothing of relevance. I have a pretty strong feeling that Lex has his information on 33.1 stored somewhere else."
"Of course he does," Oliver grumbled he glanced back down at the photos still clenched in his hand, "So Lex is having me followed?"
"Are you really that surprised?"
"No," he admitted slamming the folder shut and sliding it away from him, "are you sure this is all he's gotten on me?"
"Seems to be… luckily whoever he hired is completely incompetent."
"So how do you plan on handing this?"
"I think it's about time Lex and I had a meeting." Oliver told him standing from his desk.
"So your plan is to what? Just go over there guns blazing, throw these photos in his face, and tell him you know?" Victor asked incredulously folding his arms over his chest.
"And how exactly do you plan on explaining how you got them?"
"I don't see the point on offering him any explanation at all." Oliver answered with a small shrug.
"Oliver confronting him isn't gonna accomplish anything. All that'll do is make him ask more questions about you. He'll end up hiring someone more capable then the guy he currently has tailing you, and he'll dig further into your movements… you can't let that happen."
"Well then what do you suggest I do?"
"For starters… I think it would be best if the Green Arrow took a small vacation… just to be safe," Oliver opened his mouth at argue but Victor continued before he could speak, "it won't be for long, just until we can find some solid proof of what Lex is up to and shut him down."
"Oh yeah… because that won't take long at all," Oliver bit out sarcastically. "How long have we already been trying to get him?"
Victor shook his head, "I really don't think you have any other option man… this is how you're gonna have to play this thing out."
Oliver nodded, stood from his desk and walked over to his large window overlooking the Metropolis skyline. His jaw firm and his hands clenched into tight fists. They needed to get this problem with Lex taken care of and now his team would have to do it one man short.
Chloe stepped off the elevator and headed straight toward Lex's office. As she walked by his secretary's desk she smiled down at the woman, "Hey Victoria… is he available?"
"Sure Chloe, go right in he's expecting you."
"Thanks," she replied over her shoulder as she pushed open the double doors leading into his office.
"Well how did it go," Lex asked not looking up from his paperwork.
"Really great," she answered with a smile, "but I fill you in over lunch… let's go I'm starving." She closed the distance between them and gently tugged on the sleeve of his shirt.
Lex smiled and shook his head at her, "All right, I'm coming," he set down his pen and stood from his seat, "So where am I taking you."
Chloe smirked at him and he groaned, "Really? You're going to make me eat one of those horrible hamburgers you never stop talking about?"
"Oh come on," she whined, "don't complain, you know they're good. Besides I haven't been there since I moved to Smallville." She smiled brightly, "Please?"
Lex held up his hands, "fine, but just so you're aware Luthors really shouldn't eat at a place called Big Belly Burger," he sneered in distaste as he said the restaurants name.
"Oh don't be such a snob," Chloe scoffed, "now throw your jacket on and lets get out of here." She turned on her heel and headed back out the doors.
When they reached the restaurant she told him all about her interview and acceptance to the internship program, both were so lost in conversation that neither noticed the man on the other side of the restaurant pull out his phone and take several pictures.
Victor stepped off the elevator and walked straight over to Oliver, "I think I might have found a solution to our problem," he said holding out a folded newspaper.
"Check it out." Victor urged.
Oliver glanced down at the article his eyes wide. It was a picture of Lex Luthor eating in a small burger joint with a smiling petite blonde woman and under it was the caption…
"Metropolis's own Little Orphan Annie is back!"
"And how exactly is this 'the solution to our problem'?" he asked as he continued to stare at the paper in confusion.
"Simple… you want a way to get information on Lex… you're looking at her."
(A/N for those of you who don't know or haven't read it the Nellie Bly article listed above is actually a great read and you should check it out if you like that kind of thing here's the link . Enjoy!)
Just a heads up I may not be able to update this until late next week. I have several one-shots I'm working on that I want to get posted as soon as possible plus a ton of fanfic from the past couple of days that I wanna catch up on!