Everything In This World

By Viv

Email:: viv_ngan@yahoo.com.au

Summary: "Chloe ... There's more to this world than Clark Kent."

Category: Chloe/Lex, Clark/Lana, Clark/Chloe, Lana/Whitney

Spoilers : Smallville Season 1; a general knowledge of the Superman saga may also help.

Disclaimer : All characters on 'Smallville' that appear in this story are owned soley and exclusively by the WB, etc. I am not intending to profit from anything, 'k?

Author's Notes: This story started as an attempt at a Clark/Lana Clark/Chloe, but ended up as a Chloe/Lex with a heavy dollop of Clark/Lana. I'm eventually going to do a separate story for Clark/Lana which will act as a companion/crossover piece with this story - the key word being eventually. *s*

If there are any small inconsistencies with season 1, it's because I haven't actually seen the whole season yet (Australia has
only just started showing Smallville). In that case, I'd really appreciate it if you could point it out to me so that I can go back and correct anything. And of course, feedback is always craved and welcomed! ;-D

*~*~ Part One ~*~*

Chloe squinted into the distance.

Her pale hands tried to shelter her eyes from the glare of the sun's rays, but it wasn't much use against the harsh Kansas sunshine in the midst of summer. A city girl by nature, she just couldn't seem to think of the celebrated summer sunshine as anything but frightening. Frightening because of her skin's non-ability to tan. In fact, no matter how many times she had tried to tan her pale skin, she had invariably ended up looking like an extremely unhealthy variety of lobster. The boiled alive kind.

Her hands idly flipped the pages of the book she had placed on the grass before her, but she wasn't really paying attention, because all of the said attention was currently fixed on two figures in the distance, their forms almost haloed by the afternoon sunshine behind them.

Her tall, Smallville-bred, produce delivering, gorgeous-as-hell best friend. And the figure by his side, the just as freakishly gorgeous ex-cheerleader turned coffee house proprietor. Known to people outside her head as Clark Kent and Lana Lang.

She wondered how they would look in pictures together. They were probably the best looking couple of people in Smallville, she thought wryly. Probably the best looking two people in the town ever full stop. Both brunette, both freakishly good looking, both so unendurably nice - Chloe's mind couldn't discount the not-so-distant possibility that the meteor rocks (the root of all Smallville evil, and then some) were somehow responsible for Clark and Lana's freakishly good looks and freakishly friendly personalities. Freakish, she stated emphatically in her mind. Was she using that word too much? Because hey, if the shoe fits ...

She shook her head, trying to dislodge her thoughts. Way to spend an afternoon Chloe, she chided herself. Obsessing yet again about her best friend, and the wickedly maudlin love triangle that no one had had the guts to talk about yet, because really - and she couldn't emphasise this enough - could they get any lamer? Chloe Sullivan, one time cynic who had spurned the ridiculous normality of teenage-hood, now found herself standing knee deep in the worst kind of teenage trauma that had ever been devised.

She sighed, biting her lip. Things weren't really all that complicated. The whole ridiculous situation could be described with a few simple facts.

Firstly, Chloe liked Clark. Check. So far so okay, at least from her point of view.

Secondly, Clark liked Lana. Check, even though Chloe definitely didn't want to think about that.

Thirdly, Lana kind of/maybe/perhaps/possibly liked Clark. Half a check, because with someone liked Lana, you could never really tell. There was also the Whitney factor, which Chloe didn't know what to do with, so she put it aside for the time being.

But the real cruncher - the thing that had turned the maudlin status quo on its head - if indeed it had a head, which to Chloe seemed kinda funny, but which wasn't really the point at the moment - was that Clark kind of/maybe/perhaps/possibly also liked Chloe.

Hmmm. "And therein lay the rub." She murmured under her breath.

It was a circle. A circle of death by unrequited love and near-farcical complicated teenage angst. Only the murky genetic pool that was high school would have been able to spawn such deviant friendships, such intricately interlacing lives. And again, such teenage angst.

Chloe giggled in spite of herself. She could be such a drama queen at times. Maybe that was what made her a good writer.

"What's so fascinating?" Chloe was jolted back to reality by the hearty slap across her back, as Pete flopped down onto the grass beside her. He squinted at the two figures that had caught her rapt attention, and understanding dawned on his face.

"Again?" He said, in mixture of exasperation and understanding.

"Lay off, jock strap." She retorted bitingly. "Contemplating the futile nature of my own existence is a staple of teenage angst. I'm a teenager, and therefore -" she shut the book in her hands with a mighty thump, "I angst."

"I just think -"

"I know what you think." She bit her lip to keep the hurt expression from flowing on to her face. This was the last thing that she needed to talk about while being half-boiled alive in the hot afternoon sun. She ducked her head to shade herself against Pete, momentarily losing sight of Clark and Lana in the distance.

"Actually, you don't." Surprise suffused Chloe's face as she beheld Pete's determined expression. "You really don't Chloe."

"What's that supposed to mean?" She asked, her voice harsher than intended.

Pete ignored her hostility. "It means you're an intelligent, pretty girl, and you've wasted enough time on Mr 'I can't make up my mind because I'm an idiot'." He sighed. "I love Clark and everything, but this time ... I don't like to see you like this. You deserve better."

"Mr 'I can't make up my mind because I'm an idiot' just happens to be one of my best friends."

"Is he?" Pete asked her significantly.

She ignored that last question, disliking the twinge of familiarity the concept tugged in her. It was true that the whole tangled emotions thing had driven a serious wedge in their previously wedgeless friendship. But she didn't want to think about that right now. "I thought you liked watching this soap opera that is the days of my life?" She asked half-seriously.

"Chloe." Pete said, refusing to be side-tracked. "There's more to this world than Clark Kent."

And for once, Chloe Sullivan, trainee reporter extraordinaire, could find nothing to say.

(c) July 2002