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23 November 2008 @ 06:46 pm
The Countdown - PG13 (Chlex; Drama/Romance): Chapters 1 & 2  
Here´s the beginning of another old fic of mine. Enjoy!

Summary
:
Chloe is behaving completely out of character after a visit from Lana. Lois is keeping a close eye on her cousin and discovers some disturbing news. Lexs finds himself in a quandary and Clark is chased by an unexpected female.

Disclaimer: all Superman and Smallville characters belong to DC Comics and Gough & Millar. No Infringement's intended.

Author: lexie

Homepage:
www.freewebs.com/lillianschild

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E-mail:lillianschild@yahoo.co.uk



¨THE COUNTDOWN¨

CHAPTER 1: Over-reacting

THE TALON

A myriad emotions crossed the young reporter´s face. She tried to school her features to no avail when she saw Lana´s puzzled look.

Chloe´s mind was in a whirl. Should she or shouldn´t she comply with Lana´s wishes? What would Clark think? Who was she kidding? Despite her love for Clark and her promise to keep his secret, the first thought that had come to Chloe´s mind had nothing to do with the Kryptonian.

Drawn by some invisible force, Chloe found herself uttering her acceptance and regretting it as soon as the words had left her mouth. ´Oh, Sullivan! What the hell have you done? ´

¨Hi, Chlo! You look like crap, cuz. What´s up? ¨ asked Lois, readying the espresso machine for the first patrons.

¨It must be all those hours in front of my computer screen. I´ve got a splitting headache, ¨ said Chloe with red-rimmed eyes.

¨I didn´t hear you come back yesterday evening. Though, you know me, as soon as I put my head on the pillow it´s bye-bye realm of the living. ¨

¨Yeah, I could hear you snoring from downstairs. ¨

¨I don´t snore! ¨

¨Says who? Oliver Queen? ¨ answered Chloe with a snort.

¨OK, OK, I may snore a little. But you, sister, aren´t a quiet sleeper either. ¨

¨Well, I wouldn´t know. ¨

¨You mean... you and Jimmy have never... ¨

¨In his dreams! ¨ exclaimed Chloe, sipping her hot cappuccino and feeling a sudden tremor running up her spine.

¨And whose dreams are we talking of? ¨ asked a masculine voice with a hint of humour behind it.

¨Haven´t they taught you it´s bad manners to eavesdrop, Mr Luthor?¨ asked Chloe tersely.

¨You shouldn´t discuss private matters in public places where anybody can overhear your every word, Miss Sullivan. ¨

¨ Oh, yeah, I forgot. You´re the master of hush-hush, ¨ she answered bitterly.

¨And where´s all this resentment coming from, Chloe? ¨

¨Bite me, Luthor. I don´t feel like engaging in verbal judo with you today. And since when I´m Chloe to you again? What have I done to deserve such an overture of friendship from His Royal Highness?¨ asked a venomous Chloe, turning on the stool.

¨Is this what a caffeine overdose sounds like or are you on something? ¨

¨What! ¨ shouted Chloe, jumping off the stool.

¨Chloe, calm down, ¨ interfered Lois, coming round the counter and grabbing her by the arm. ¨ Excuse her, Mr Luthor, she isn´t herself today. ¨

¨Don´t you dare apologise for me, Lois, ¨ she responded, disengaging herself from her cousin´s grip. ¨I think... I´m going to be... sick, ¨she added, turning green all of a sudden and rushing to the toilet.

¨What´s wrong with her? ¨ asked Lex when Chloe was out of earshot.

¨Beats me,¨ answered Lois, shrugging her shoulders.

¨I´d rather leave before any of us say something we might regret, ¨ responded Lex.

¨Here´s your strong coffee to go and the weekly numbers, ¨ said Lois, handing him the styrofoam cup and a blue folder.

¨Thanks, Lois. See you tomorrow, ¨ he said, ambling to the entrance with a frown. ¨Tell her to take care, ¨ he added, stopping before pushing the swing door open.

¨I will, ¨ nodded Lois.

¨Is he gone? ¨asked Chloe from the doorjamb of the toilet.

¨Yeah, haven´t you heard the screeching wheels of his Porsche? ¨ responded Lois ironically. ¨What the hell was that? PMS? Do you care to elaborate? ¨

¨Not particularly, Lois. I don´t feel well. I think I´ll call in sick. ¨

¨Have you got a temperature? ¨ asked a worried Lois, putting her cold palm on her cousin´s feverish brow. ¨You´re hot. Come on, I´ll drive you to the medical centre, ¨she said, grabbing her handbag and the car keys.

¨I´ll be fine, Lois. It must be a twenty-four hour bug or something. ¨

¨Fine my ass, Chloe. You´re coming with me voluntarily or I´ll carry you like a sack of potatoes. ¨

¨I´ll phone my doctor and see if he can make a house call. ¨

Two hours later, Dr Robertson put away his stethoscope and thermometer in his bag and gave Chloe his diagnosis.

¨Well, everything seems to be perfectly fine, Miss Sullivan, ¨stated the doctor after examining her.

¨I told my cousin it was nothing; maybe a twenty-four hour bug or something. Then, when you started asking me questions, I remembered that I´d had similar symptoms twice at high school when I had to sit for my finals. ¨

¨It´s natural for the body to react to stressful situations. Diarrhoea, vomiting, headaches and a temperature are the commonest symptoms. ¨

¨Three out of four. Not bad, doctor, right?¨ she responded with a nervous laughter.

¨Listen, Miss Sullivan, the best advice would be for you to avoid stressful situations. If you can´t, I´d recommend you take a mild herbal sedative and 500mg ibuprofen. There isn´t much to be done, I´m afraid. ¨

¨And if I can´t sleep? ¨

¨I´m not very fond of prescribing sleeping pills, but if you can´t sleep two nights in a row... take one of these, ¨ he responded, handing her four capsules.

¨ Thanks, doc, ¨said Chloe, taking the prescription and buttoning up her blouse.

¨Call me if the symptoms persist, ¨added the doctor, opening the apartment door to leave. ¨Goodbye. ¨

¨Goodbye, doc.¨

¨So? ¨ said Lois, coming into the room with a tray in her hands.

¨Stress. He´s given me ibuprofen and a mild sedative. ¨

¨And that´s all? ¨asked Lois with a frown.

¨ ´Avoid stressful situations, ´ he said, ¨ added Chloe, mimicking the doctor.

¨Mm, ¨answered Lois.

¨What, Lois? ¨

¨You tell me, cuz. What´s bugging you? ¨

¨Miss Kahn´s been pressing me to meet a deadline, ¨answered Chloe while changing into more comfortable clothes.

¨I don´t buy it, ¨ said Lois, placing two cups of steamy coffee and a plate of brownies on the counter. ¨You´ve been acting strange ever since Miss Pompom came down the stairs yesterday morning. What did you talk about? ¨

¨She´s asked me to be her maid of honour, ¨ said Chloe, sitting on a stool and washing down her medicine with a gulp of coffee.

¨And? What did you say? ¨asked Lois, nibbling a brownie.

¨I think I said´yes´. ¨

¨You think? ¨

¨ You know Lana. She started talking about this and that: honesty, secrets, Clark. I really don´t know how she does it, but she never fails to make you feel guilty of everything that befalls her. So, I guess, I blurted a ´yes´ to make her stop talking. ¨

¨ But now you regret it, is that it? ¨

¨I don´t know how I´m going to break it to Clark, ¨confessed Chloe.

¨Being friends with both parties sucks, doesn´t it? ¨stated Lois, taking a sip of cappuccino. ¨Is that all? ¨

¨Yeah, that´s it, ¨ said Chloe, throwing the Styrofoam cup in the bin.

¨Why were you so rude to cue ball earlier this morning? ¨

¨Lex? Well, you´ve got to admit he´s a pain in the butt sometimes. He just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Besides, what gives him the right to barge into somebody else´s conversation uninvited? ¨

¨Still, I believe you owe him an apology. He looked concerned when he left. ¨

¨Concerned? Maybe he was worried about finding the best way to cover up for what he´s been doing at 33.1. ¨

¨33.1? ¨

¨Yeah, a secret Luthorcorp project involving meteor freaks. He´s experimenting on them. ¨

¨Have you got proof of this? ¨

¨No, he´s very good at covering his tracks. ¨

¨He said you should take care. ¨

¨He must be worried about what I might come across. Now, if you´ll excuse me, I´d like to lie down. ¨

¨Sure. I´ll be downstairs if you need me, ¨responded Lois, taking the tray and the empty plate along with her. ´You don´t fool me one bit, cuz, ´ she thought on closing the apartment door.

CHAPTER 2: Two Calls

The following day Chloe woke up with a cold forehead and a better countenance. She had a quick shower, got dressed and gathered her stuff to climb downstairs for her caffeine fix. She was applying some lipstick when her mobile rang. The ringtone announced an incoming call from Clark and Chloe hesitated, wondering whether he had already heard the news.

¨Hello, Clark, ¨she said, flipping the mobile open.

¨We need to talk,¨ snapped the young man.

¨Can´t it wait, Clark? I´ve got to be in Metropolis at ten. ¨

¨How could you? ¨ he asked reproachfully. ¨I thought you were my friend, Chloe. ¨

¨Listen, Clark, she´s my friend, too, ¨she stated. ¨Hold on, ¨ she added when she heard a sharp knock on the door. ¨Lois, you shouldn´t have come all the way up. I was..., ¨she blurted, opening the door.

¨Good morning, Chloe. Lois sends you this, ¨smirked Lex, handing her a cup of cappuccino.

¨What the hell´s he doing there? ¨ barked Clark on the phone.

¨We´ll talk later. Bye bye, ¨responded Chloe before hanging up on him.

¨Clark, right? ¨asked Lex with a small smile.

¨What do you want, Lex? ¨

¨So it´s Lex again. ¨

¨Considering I´ll be Lana´s bridesmaid, I suppose a semblance of civility won´t hurt anyone. ¨

¨May I come in? ¨

¨I was leaving. ¨

¨Please, Chloe, we need to talk. ¨

¨I thought you had said everything you wanted to say the last time I was at the mansion. ¨

¨That´s one of the things I wanted to talk about, Chloe. ¨

¨Isn´t it a little too late for apologies, Lex? ¨she asked, raising up her voice.

¨Are you willing to make a scene for all the people downstairs? ¨

¨Worried about what people might think of you, Lex? ¨

¨We´ll finish this inside, ¨ he said, pushing the door open and shutting it firmly behind him.

¨Are you going to bully me, Lex? ¨

¨What´s wrong with you? ¨

¨What´s wrong? ¨she echoed.

¨I´ve been observing you of late. You´re too strung-up. Is everything OK with the young Olsen? ¨

¨You´ve been observing me? Why this sudden interest in me? Do you think I might be 33.1 material? And who the hell do you think you are meddling in. my private affairs? ¨ shouted Chloe.

¨Chloe..., ¨warned Lex. ¨Calm down. You´re my bride-to-be´s best friend. I worry about you, OK? ¨

¨Worry? You didn´t seem to care too much about my feelings when you spat those hurtful words in my face the last time I went to see you. ¨

¨I was pissed off, Chloe. It wasn´t my intention to hurt you. ¨

¨Wasn´t it? You know, there might be some truth in what you said about my romantic life, but you had no right to rub salt into the wound; especially, considering your own record, ¨she answered with glassy eyes.

¨I´m sorry, Chloe. I just want for us to be friends again, ¨ he said, stretching out his hand.

¨I thought we could be friends once, Lex, and you blew it. Why? ¨she asked chokingly, refusing to shake hands.

¨Nothing good in my life ever lasts, ¨ he answered gravely, putting his hands in his pockets.

¨Bullshit. You gave up on our friendship, Lex. I´ve always wondered why, ¨responded Chloe passionately, grabbing her handbag from the counter and making for the door. ¨Now, if you´ll excuse me, I´ve got to be on my way to Metropolis, ¨ she added.

¨Chloe... ¨ he murmured, grabbing her wrist before she could turn the doorknob.

¨Save it, Lex, unless it´s the truth. You can lie to her but not to me, ¨she stated, feeling goosebumps on her skin.

¨Are you coming to the engagement party? ¨ he asked, releasing her.

¨I never thought I´d say this: you´re a coward, Lex Luthor, ¨she said, looking at him straight in the eye, before storming out of the room and leaving an unusually inarticulate Lex behind.

TBC

CHAPTERS 3 TO 5


 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
 
Jengreenlady2 on November 24th, 2008 07:17 am (UTC)
Whoa!
This is great. Chloe is really pissed off at Lex. Hmmm. I wonder.... :-)))
lillianschild: Chlex tvguidelillianschild on November 24th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Whoa!
Yes, there´s a lot of tension in the air and a lot more to come. Still, there´ll be a good dose of humour to balance things.

Thanks for your comment. :)