Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville/Supernatural/Vampire Diaries
Sequel to: Like Riding A Bike
Chloe had been feeling nervous ever since she'd gotten into town. The bus-ride hadn't been long enough for her, hadn't given her the time she thought it would to butch up. She'd taken the bus that left an hour after Stefan and Damon's own departure, and thanks to the fact that she wasn't leaving the state she reached her destination before they reached theirs. She wasn't grateful though, on the contrary. She was scared, not sure if she'd made the right decision, but then she realized that she couldn't just hide away from her problems anymore. This was an issue she needed to face head on, needed to be an adult about. She could face ghouls and yet this terrified her? It was insane! She needed to get some cojones and just be a man...or, uh...an adult.
Taking in a deep breath, the blonde nodded to herself. She raised her hand and knocked on the door.
First there was nothing, and then the door opened to reveal Sam Winchester.
He froze, looking at her, before smiling. "Hey."
"Hey." She smiled up at him. "So, I came to visit.".
He just looked at her for a moment before rushing out and giving her a tight hug, lifting her off of the floor. "How did you get passed the security?"
She laughed, his enthusiasm chasing away the some of her nervousness. "Vampire. Give me some credit."
"Sammy?" Dean called from within. "Is it the pizza guy? I'm starving!"
"Yeah Dean, pizza guy." Sam called inside before grinning as he put her down, going inside of the house. "Can't wait till he sees you."
Chloe made to follow him before stopping at the threshold for a second despite the fact that unlike most vampires she didn't need to be invited in. Still, her mind knew it, but her instincts always made her pause for a moment, hesitate.
Sam frowned before his eyes widened. "I have to invite you in, don't I?"
"Not really," Chloe smiled sheepishly as she crossed over the threshold. "Other vampires you do, but its one of my peculiarities."
"Sammy! Where's the damn-!" Dean turned the corner and came in sight, freezing when he saw her. "Chloe?"
She turned towards him. "Hey Dean."
"About damned time!" He declared, closing the distance between them and hugging her tightly. "What did I tell you Sammy? When the news broke she'd come. I told you."
"News?" Chloe pulled away slightly, confused. "What news?"
"It's been on the news endlessly since..." Sam frowned. "You don't know?"
"Don't know what?" Chloe looked between them.
Dean kept a hand on the small of her back. "Chloe, CNN and every news station in the world is playing it. On a constant loop. You must have heard something."
"No, I didn't." She was growing worried. "What's going on? Is it Lois? Was she hurt?"
"No!" Sam was quick to reassure. "It has nothing to do with Lois. She's fine."
"Chloe..." Dean gazed at her. "The world knows about vampires now."
"What?" Chloe whispered, her eyes widening in disbelief. "That can't be!"
"You really didn't know." Dean whispered to himself before sighing. "This guy, calls himself an Original, he outed the whole thing on national television."
"His name's Klaus, says he is one of the first..." Sam nodded, running a hand through his hair. "He said that vampires had had to hide for so long in the darkness and that it was time that they were able to live side by side with humans."
"Except I find it hard to believe that someone who believes he's a King of Vampires is just going to be content with being equal with his happy meals." Dean mumbled before cringing, realizing belatedly that he was speaking to a vampire. "I didn't mean-."
"It's okay." She gave him a small smile.
Dean looked away, frowning darkly.
"Do you wanna see it?" Sam asked, motioning towards the large couch. "I recorded the broadcast, figured it was something historical."
"Thanks." Chloe nodded, going towards the couch and sitting down as Sam reached for his remote.
There was a knock on the door, the smell of pizza proclaiming that the pizza man had finally appeared.
Dean dealt with him as Sam brought up the recorded video.
Leaning forwards on her seat, Chloe watched as the video started playing, a handsome man appearing on the screen. Behind him stood a beautiful blonde woman, and a darker haired male who was also unfairly attractive.
'I want to thank everyone for coming here tonight for this occasion.' The main man declared, seated, arms clasped in front of him. 'I am Klaus, one of the few Originals of the vampire race, which has long been considered mythological and just as real as unicorns.' His face shifted slightly, eyes darkening, veins becoming more prominent, fangs descending as a gasp of shock could be heard from the humans in the audience. 'As you can see, this is not so. We are very real. We have had to live in the shadows, and many of us have become a part of your world without your knowledge. Your neighbor. Your colleague. Your crush. We are all these things.' His lips curled in amusement. 'It is now time for us to join your world like the cousins we are.'
The blonde female behind him raised her chin slightly.
The male behind him tensed.
'We refuse to be left in the shadows anymore.' Klaus gaze went to the camera, seeming to be talking directly to those watching through their televisions, his eyes pulsing with Compulsion. 'Humans who listen and watch this, know there is nothing to fear from us, we are benevolent and your brethren, not a threat.' He smirked. 'That is all, for now.'
Chloe frowned. "He Compelled everyone who watched this...those who weren't using Vervain at least." She turned to where Dean was devouring a piece of pizza, and where Sam watched the broadcast with as much intensity as he must have the first time. "Considering that more than three-forths of humans don't even know what vervain is most of the human population who have viewed this broadcast, be it on television or over the internet, are under his Compulsion."
"And that cannot be good." Dean mumbled around his slice.
"So you honestly had no idea about this?" Sam asked in confusion, turning towards the blonde.
"No idea." Chloe got up and went to grab a piece of pizza for herself, taking a bite out of it and chewing to give herself some time to think before swallowing. "I don't understand why now these 'Originals' decided to come out to the human race." She returned to the sofa and straddled the armrest. "What has suddenly changed that they'd leave the safety of anonymity?"
"I've been wondering about that myself actually." Sam admitted, unease obvious on his face.
"So, if it wasn't because the whole big secret got shouted to the masses...why are you here?" Dean suddenly asked, his gaze intense. "Don't get me wrong, I'm all for your sudden reappearance, but what prompted it?" He finished his pizza slice and licked his fingertips lazily. "And how did you get away from the Salvatores?"
Sighing, Chloe told them about how the hunt with the ghouls had gone, and about Elena's call to Stefan, Katherine holding the human's boyfriend and brother hostage in exchange for Stefan returning to Mystic Falls...and how Damon would be returning with his brother. "Elena and Katherine, they're both parts of a past that Stefan and Damon haven't come to terms with, have been sweeping under the rug so to speak so they wouldn't have to deal with how little closure there is...and I realized that I've doing the exact same thing when it comes to my life before my death." Chloe sighed, looking between the brothers. "Vampires can easily become selfish and inconsiderate like that. They can put themselves before anyone else and take others, especially humans, and their emotions, for granted."
The Winchesters were silent.
"I don't want to do that." Chloe closed her eyes for a second before taking in an unnecessary breath as she opened her eyes once more, resting them on them. "I think it's time that I slowly started reintegrating myself into my old life again, and those who were in it."
"So because Saint Stefan and his brother are back with their exes you're throwing us a bone?" Dean whispered, hurt and frustration marring his features.
"What? No!" Chloe stood immediately. "That is not what is happening here! I didn't come here because you two are some sort of consolation prize!" Hurt crossed over her face. "I came here because you two are two of my closest friends. You know everything about me, and yet you still care. You're like family to me."
"So we're like brothers to you?" Sam asked, the same emotions that marred Dean's features darkened his. "You've just swept everything under the rug and expect us to be the same?"
"Sorry sweetheart," Dean stood, smile ugly. "But it's not so easily for us living folk to just be so ice-cold."
"Maybe you shouldn't have come." Sam growled.
She felt as if she'd been slapped.
Blinking back tears, Chloe looked away from them.
Sam cringed and sighed. "Chloe, I'm-."
"No, don't apologize, you're right." Chloe whispered, her voice thick. "I shouldn't have come here. What did I expect? I-I'm sorry."
She raced out of there before they could say anything, and didn't stop running until she'd put enough distance between them and her. Her heart hurt and yet she couldn't be angry with them, not when she understood why they'd feel that way. She was just too selfish! That was why everyone would find someone and she'd be left alone on the sidelines. Because she deserved to be alone! She'd been harboring feelings for four men at the same time! Even she had been smart enough to know that that couldn't end well!
Maybe it was best that she'd had her eyes opened like this while she was alone.
It would make things easier.
A clean break.
And yet it didn't feel like that.
Leaning hard against the alley wall, Chloe let out a heartbroken sob as she slid down to the ground and let herself cry for the first time in a very long time.
"Goddammit!" Dean swore as they continued to search the darkened streets, so far finding no sign of the blonde who'd run out of their apartment half an hour ago. "I'm such a fucking idiot!"
"I wasn't exactly level-headed either." Sam grumbled as they walked around with their hoods up, doing their best to escape detection from paparazzi and fans. "But it was bound to happen. Chloe was right, we have issues that we need to resolve. We need closure with what's happened in our past if there's to be any sort of future."
"We shouldn't have handled it like that." Dean continued inside of an alleyway. "We both know she runs at the first sign of confrontation! She's done it before!" He slammed his fist sideways into the alley wall. "Dammit!"
"We need to stop and think. If we were Chloe, where would we go if we're hurting and feel like we can't go to anyone we know?" Sam asked, running his long, lean fingers through his hair.
"How the hell should I-?" Suddenly Dean went still, eyes widening. "I know where she is."
"And here's fresh news straight out of the oven." Giuliana Rancic declared, smiling into the camera. "Apparently Chloe Sullivan has returned to Tinseltown."
Lois looked up from the burnt cake she'd tried making for herself, eyes wide as pictures shot of a blonde who could only be Chloe walking down a street she recognized flashed onto the screen behind Giuliana.
"Although having disappeared after her stint on Paranormal, and having managed to somehow elude paparazzi after she was involved in a camp massacre involving a rogue bear some months back," Pictures of Chloe and the two men who'd been with her at the time flashed on screen. "She has apparently finally returned to Hollywood. What exactly does this mean? Will the highly popular Chloe & The Dead People return from its far-too-long hiatus? And, on the same vein, is there a second season for Supernatural Diaries in talks? Or maybe there's another guest role in Paranormal lined up. Lois Lane, Chloe's cousin and usual partner in crime, joined the cast of Paranormal not so long ago after their joint guest starring role and Chloe's mysterious disappearance. Will Chloe be joining her cousin as a new member of cast?" She turned to her co-host. "What do you think, Jason?"
Jason Kennedy grinned into the camera. "I have to say it Giuliana, while I enjoyed her guest appearance on Paranormal, and wouldn't be disappointed at all if they decided to explore the plot-line thought abandoned with her disappearance...I'm hoping her reappearance is somehow connected with Supernatural Diaries."
Giuliana nodded her agreement. "Especially with the huge news of vampires being real."
"Exactly." Jason declared. "There have been episodes in Season One where Chloe has helped the creature of the week, empathizing with them when they weren't hurting others, helping them to live in peace with their human neighbors or find a place where they could continue living in solitude. Of course, many people might have doubted the truthfulness of these creatures but now with the Originals coming out of the proverbial coffin, well, I think a lot of skeptics are singing a new tune. And if Twilight made people vampire-crazy, this Klaus guy has amped the craze even further."
"Can you blame everyone?" Giuliana fanned herself.
"Move over Edward Cullen." Jason grinned at her.
"A couple of months ago I would have called that blasphemy, but I must agree now." Giuliana declared, her smile flirty and fun before going a little more serious. "I think you're right, Jason, the vampire craze has grown and who better to help us salivating fan girls find out more about the handsome hunks of the night than the woman who has educated us on so many other supernatural creatures?"
"I couldn't agree more, Giuliana." Jason nodded.
Giuliana turned towards the camera. "Hit us up on facebook and twitter and let us know what you think Chloe's next move should be!"
Lois dropped the fork she'd been holding and hurried to grab her keys and wallet.
Chloe sat above the globe on the Californian branch of the Daily Planet. Everything and everyone were like ants below her, seeming like a universe away. She wondered what to do with her life, what she should do now. The blonde knew that she owed it to Lois to finally go to see her to let her know that she was alive...or, well, let her believe she was 'alive'. Was it right to tell Lois? To give her this burden? Wouldn't it be better to just let her believe that she was fine, just going through normal human problems?
Maybe she should make up a big romance. Lois would appreciate that. With Chloe's past history the brunette would be able to easily believe that Chloe had run away from her problems and had kept herself from dealing with her old romantic issues by finding a new one. Chloe could draw up qualities from Sam, Dean, Stefan and Damon and come up with this extremely fake, completely perfect man.
Then again, if he was perfect Lois wouldn't believe it at all.
She knew Chloe's weakness for flawed men.
Sighing, the blonde gazed up at the stars.
"Can vampires die from falling from heights?" A voice asked.
Jerking up, she nearly lost balance. "Dean?" The blonde leaned over the globe as much as she could without slipping off, seeing Sam and Dean standing below on the roof of the Daily Planet, hands shucked in their jackets and hoodies on. "Sam?" The blonde stared down at them in confusion. "How did you get up here? There's security!"
"We're celebrities," Dean gave her a little grin, pulling off his hood. "You'll be surprised by how far a few autographs and pics can get you in life."
Despite how ugly things had been between them earlier, Chloe couldn't keep from laughing. "That's abusing your power, isn't it?"
Sam cleared his throat as he pulled down his hoodie as well. "Chloe, about what I said earlier..."
"No." She sighed before sliding down the globe and landing in front of them with one knee bent, tasting the spike of fear that'd raced through them and the way they'd moved towards her before remembering that she was a vampire and had reflexes like a cat. "We need to talk. And we're going to." She stood, pulling a strand behind her ear. "But not right now. I-I have something I need to do before that."
"See Lois?" Dean asked.
"Actually, uh, I need to feed." The blonde couldn't look them in the face as she said this.
Both brothers paused, obviously awkward and not sure what to say or do.
"Uhm," Dean cleared his throat, coughing softly into his fist. "How exactly do you plan on doing that?"
"Dean." Sam warned.
"No, he's asking a valid question." Chloe responded in understanding. "And don't worry, out of self preservation I know a place nearby that sells blood bags. I'm just going to go there and, uh, eat, then I'll find you guys in your apartment."
"We could...come with you." Sam offered.
Chloe smiled softly at their attempts to apologize. "I think I'll manage."
"How do we know you're not just gonna skip town instead of coming back?" Dean was ever blunt and straight to the point. "You have a bad track record." He raised an eyebrow. "I'd prefer not to take my eyes off of you for a second."
The distrust didn't insult her as she knew she deserved it and more. "You would call attention to yourselves."
Sam put on his hood.
Dean did the same and pulled out some shades and put them on.
"Shades? During the night?" Chloe raised an eyebrow.
"You'd be surprised how many douchebags actually do this." Dean declared with a smile before motioning with his head towards the door. "Let's get outta here."
Chloe looked between the both of them and then smiled, shaking her head.
In the Salvatore Boarding House, Stefan and Damon were uneasy. They'd driven nonstop at neck-breaking speed until they'd made it to Mystic Falls way before schedule, and they didn't know what they'd expected, but for Katherine to give up Jeremy and Matt without a fight hadn't exactly played through their minds. The two boys had been fed upon, but hadn't been really hurt, and Katherine hadn't even stuck around. She'd just smiled at the brothers, waved her fingers at them, and then promptly disappeared, giving the both of them an evil little smile. That'd left them jarred and wary because obviously there was something Katherine was planning, and they were all falling into whatever trap it was.
Elena and Bonnie filled them in on the whole "Originals" thing while Matt and Jeremy slept off their fatigue (from the scent the vampires suspected Katherine hadn't just used the boys as food but for pleasure as well), and the whole thing had been shocking. For one thing, Stefan and Damon hadn't heard anything about Originals before, and secondly, why in the world had they decided to come out and show their existence now? The brothers watched the broadcast on youtube and noted the Compulsion which Elena and her friends and family managed to avoid thanks to the vervain jewelry she'd gotten them.
Everyone else though, they'd been Compelled.
Damon wanted to leave to go back home to Chloe immediately, having no more reason to stick around.
Stefan argued though, things had been too easy. Katherine was obviously playing some game and Stefan refused to be the person to bring Chloe to Katherine's attention. The sire refused to put her in danger.
Until they knew what Katherine was planning, Stefan insisted they stay in Mystic Falls.
Damon was not happy. "I shouldn't have fucking come here with you. This was stupid. We should have known that that bitch would pull something like this."
Stefan took a long drink. "Chloe can take care of herself. And she's safe at home. If she's there, away from Mystic Falls and out of the spot light, there's no reason why Katherine should even know she exists."
The television, which had been on, cut into their conversation as Giuliana Rancic and Jason Kennedy, the hosts of one of the celebrity shows Chloe watched to keep up to date with how Lois and the Winchester boys were, appeared.
"We already have an update on our earlier story concerning the newly reemerged Chloe Sullivan!" Giuliana smiled brightly. "Hold onto your seats Schleaners because Brenda S sent us a twitpick of the pretty blonde walking down the street with not one, but both Winchester boys!" The twitter picture mentioned appeared on the screens behind them, showing Chloe walking down some street with Sam and Dean Winchester, quite recognizable despite their shadow-casting hoodies. "While causing some controversy for its taboo-ish nature, these three ignited screens whenever they were together, quickly winning over fan favor...especially once it was slipped by heartthrob Dean Winchester on an episode of Supernatural Diaries that they had most definitely participated in a...menage a trois."
"And no one can forget that memorable scene during her guest appearance on Paranormal." Jason grinned slightly lecherously.
Giuliana rolled her eyes at him before returning her attention to the camera. "Is there a Schlean reunion in the making? Both offscreen and on?"
"I don't know, Giuliana, we never got the 411 on those other two dudes." Jason reminded, as behind him appeared pictures of Stefan and Damon escorting a shaken Chloe after the camp-site massacre. "The two mystery men here, whom have been given the names Stefan and Damon Salvatore (names we are unable to confirm) by the small but rapidly growing fanbase, sure look like they wouldn't give her up without a fight."
"But, they are also suspiciously no where to be seen." Giuliana pointed out cunningly. "Or maybe she subscribes to the small yet also growing fanbase for 'Schleanvatore'."
"Maybe even Schleanvatorennedy." Jason joked.
"Oh Jason," Giuliana pretended to be annoyed but was obviously amused.
"What the hell?" Damon snapped, standing up immediately. "Does she have a death wish?"
"Damon, she doesn't know what we do," Stefan was doing his best to keep his annoyance and jealousy from getting the better of him. "She can't be expected to-."
"What the hell is she doing with them?" Damon ignored Stefan, like he always did. "Why is she with them?"
Stefan wanted to know the same thing, biting the inside of his lip to keep from saying something that would egg his older brother on.
Someone cleared her throat.
They turned to see Elena in the doorway, blushing, seeming so unsure of herself as she stood there.
"What do you want?" Damon frowned at her.
"Damon." Stefan sighed.
Elena ignored Damon and turned her dark gaze on Stefan, giving him a small smile. "I wanted to thank you, for coming back, for helping Matt and Jeremy. You didn't have to and yet you did." She gazed down before looking back up at him as she slowly made her way towards him. "I need you to know how much that means to me."
"Oh god, I'm going to puke." Damon finished his drink and started towards the doorway.
"Where are you going?" Stefan turned towards his brother, frustration and unease growing.
"Fucking Hollywood." Damon growled, leaving the room, heading towards the front door.
"What's in Hollywood?" Elena asked, having reached Stefan's side, gazing up at him with a shy smile on her face.
Stefan stared down at her beautiful face, into the face he'd loved for so many centuries, before finally giving her a small smile. "Home."
Elena looked up at him in confusion. "You live in Hollywood now?"
Stefan pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Call me if you hear from Katherine again." He pulled away and rubbed her shoulders. "Be happy, Elena."
And with that he hurried out after his brother.
Lois hadn't been in her apartment and when the boys had called her number Chloe could hear the ringing from inside. Obviously the brunette had gone out in a hurry and forgotten to take it with her. Disappointment filled the blonde, she'd really wanted to see her cousin, but it'd have to wait for later.
It wasn't the best of locations, but for some reason being out in the open in the middle of the night, walking down the streets, it felt more...more...liberating somehow. Less confined. Less trapped. The blonde started talking, telling Sam and Dean everything she'd never told them about how her training with Stefan and Damon, and listening as they filled her in on their lives as well which they hadn't told her over the phone or skype.
Slowly, gradually, their conversation went towards the conversation they really wanted to have. They spoke about their relationship before she'd left, admitted to having dated casually while she was gone, and while she was a little jealous she understood it completely and couldn't really feel animosity. She spoke about Stefan and Damon, about her feelings for them, about their relationship, and about Katherine and Elena. She admitted that she'd needed Elena and Katherine's intervention to realize that she was hiding in the small town.
For a while she'd tried not to even think about her future, but after the episode with the ghouls and working alongside two die-hard fans, well, she'd realized how much she'd missed and loved that lifestyle.
"Are you thinking about returning then?" Sam asked as they continued to walk at a leisurely pace.
"I want to, but I'm worried." Chloe admitted, hugging herself despite not feeling any cold. "I'm getting more control over myself-I was able to feed in the alleyway with you two there and not actually want to attack you-but if I do this I want to be able to be back completely...and that means being in my own paranormal hunts. With the adrenaline and such I'm not sure I can control myself." She hugged herself tighter. "And I know that Damon and Stefan will want to spend time with me here, even if they do get back with Elena and Katherine, and I don't want them to be under the eye of the press. Even if our kind is now common knowledge I know that they'd like to keep what they are secret, and to be truthful, so would I."
Sam nodded as they neared the boys' apartment. "That's smart. Even though the Originals have outed everyone and used their Compulsion to make mostly everyone indifferent to the fact that vampires are around us, there are still people out there who would try hurting you because of what you are."
"You need to come back." Dean surprised them by declaring, determined. "You need to be back in the eye of the public, return to your Morbid Darling status."
"Morbid Darling?" Chloe blinked, not having known that she'd held that title.
"People know about vampires now, use it to your advantage." Dean replied, hazel eyes on her. "I'm not saying tell the world, I'm saying the opposite. Keep it hidden, return, they'll love you again. They haven't really stopped. And if your secret comes out, well...you'll have their support."
Chloe gazed up at Dean, considering his words.
The blonde froze and turned to look towards the front of the apartment complex, where a lone figure was hugging herself in a similar manner, staring at her, voice breaking.
Tears filled Lois' eyes and she bit her lips before racing forwards and hugging Chloe, hugging her tight.
For a moment Chloe was stiff, and then she hugged Lois tightly as well, though not enough to hurt, as she cried.
"Why did you cut me out of your life like that?" Lois cried, voice accusing and hurt as she held on tightly. "It was always us against the world! Why did you leave me like that?"
"I'm sorry." Chloe apologized, heart breaking at the hurt in her cousin's voice, knowing then and there that she would tell Lois the whole truth. "I'm so sorry."
"Don't ever do that again!" Lois hid her face in Chloe's neck, tears falling on her skin.
"I promise." Chloe whispered, her own face hidden in Lois.
Being in this compromising situation, with a weak human next to her, emotions on the fritz, a neck right in front of her...it made Chloe realize she could do this.
There was no hunger.
She could control herself.
The blonde cried harder.
"She's fine, Stefan." Sam announced as he gazed at Chloe as she sat with Lois in the living room, telling the shell-shocked brunette the truth about everything. Dean had gone out to get them something more than cold pizza to eat, and Sam was on the balcony giving the cousins the privacy they needed as Chloe explained her vampirism and the struggle she'd had all this time to control her bloodlust. Sam had been watching them when Stefan's number had flashed on his phone. "She's in the living room talking with Lois."
"Did she tell her?" Stefan's voice was tense.
"Yes." Sam nodded, eyes narrowed. "Even though vampires are common knowledge Lois understand that you three want your privacy and she won't tell anyone. You don't have to worry about that."
Damon could be heard hissing in the background.
Stefan cleared his throat. "I don't know what Chloe told you, Sam, and I need you to understand that I do consider you an ally...but I'm not letting go of her without a fight."
Sam's gaze went to where Chloe and Lois were hugging once more, the blonde noticing his gaze over her cousin's shoulder and sending him a sweet smile. "I suspected as much." The hard protection he'd placed around his heart began to crumble as he realized he needed to stop preparing himself for heartache and instead take a page out of Dean's book and start to fight for what he wanted. "And I hope you understand that I convey the exact same sentiment towards you."