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Thread: The Lesser of Two Evils - NC-17, Chapter 56 (May 27, 2016)

  1. #791

    Re: The Lesser of Two Evils - NC-17, Chapter 55(Updated April 3, 2015)

    Thanks for the update, great chapter!

  2. #792
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    Re: The Lesser of Two Evils - NC-17, Chapter 56 (May 27, 2016)

    Chapter Fifty-six

    "You're spending the whole weekend on his house?"

    Lois Lane blinked half a dozen times, wincing into the motion as if it strained something in her brain. She sat down across from Chloe in the hard-backed chair pulled up to interview people at the Met. U. newspaper. All the student reporters shared the one spare chair, fighting over it on busier days.

    "You're out house shopping with Lex, because the hussy who took you guys out the first time only gave you a bunch of fancy-schmancy mausoleums to look at and you weren't pleased. Because you, somehow, have to approve his living situation."

    "I wasn't pleased for him and Cara," Chloe said quietly, still trying to find the quote in her notes to finish off her story. "I don't think he gave her any idea he didn't want the most expensive houses. She knew his credit rating."

    A dark, carefully shaped eyebrow lifted and practically pirouetted off her cousin's face. "And you know everything about him? This is weird. You don't pick out a house with someone unless you're good and married. That guy - I mean, he might be more of a romantic catastrophe alone than most people can manage juggling multiple affairs. I thought he was helping you have normal relationships."

    The insult was too broad to notice, and Chloe did her best to shrug it off. It wasn't fair, but there was no point trying to explain the nuances of Lex to other people. He wasn't good at sharing himself without an incentive. Their incentive to get along was based on pretty extreme events that wouldn't be duplicated.

    He was a special case, and she was his special case. Saying so would only set off another list of Lois' issues with their relationship.

    "We are trying to be friends," Chloe corrected calmly. "We might become more than that, but we are not rushing to a label so you and the tabloids can put a bow on us and call it good. He wasn't happy with the houses she showed us, and it took a while to figure out his tastes. Now that we know what might work, we're all going to look at more houses."

    "All?! I swear if you are sitting there trying to sneak your secret baby past my nose with phrasing like that, Lex is going to need to buy a grave plot long before he needs new real estate."

    Across the room, a very old printer bristled to life. Chloe stood up with a sigh. "Don't listen to Aunt Lois," she muttered as she put a hand obviously on her belly. "She's crazy. I was counting the dog, Lo."

    "NOT funny, Chloe!"

    The walk to the printer was another litany of concerns, and then the walk back to her desk. The blonde stopped trying to work and shoved the printed story into her purse. She crossed her arms. Chloe did not need Lois giving her extra doubts when she had plenty to wrestle on her own.

    "I didn't ask you to run my life. He is doing his best. I am trying very hard to be normal and functional," Chloe said sharply. "I'm sorry I can't just fuck anything with a dick like y-"

    A genuinely breathless Lois should have been at least novel, but all Chloe felt was shame as the other woman froze. She had envied her cousin's ease with men, her satisfaction with her job, and the seeming comfort in letting her life flow confidently through to adult life. Even dropping out of college had worked out well for Lois, and it seemed mean of the universe to push so much luck in her face.

    Remorse made her swallow hard, but Chloe didn't apologize. Lois was always telling her to stand up for herself. She had fought Lionel to have her own life, and would fight anyone else telling her who was worthy of her time.

    "That was out of line. I am okay spending my weekend with Lex, even if it promises to be less of a romantic outing and more of a hassle. He's terrible at being close to people. I have some empathy for that issue, though his is more feelings and less sex. If he is hopeless, so am I."

    "I just want you to reserve some of your time for people who are -" Lois paused, obviously trying to phrase something carefully. "I'm worried about the expectations you're forming."

    "I'm not looking for a ring, Lo," Chloe told her. "I want to rebuild my sex life. Lex doesn't need help with that, but I can help him have a decent relationship with a woman that doesn't end on the gossip pages the morning after. I know I spend a lot of time with him, and I know it's not going to happily ever after for us. Maybe it's the way I get to happily ever after with someone else."

    Swallowing audibly, her cousin shook her head. "Just help yourself the most. You owe yourself a better chance than you had before. And if that means you let Lex go hang the second - the very fucking second - you think you're not getting what you need."

    The blonde pursed her lips, looking sadly at the floor for a moment. "I want to trust a man in my life. I'm not swept away by romantic ideas, but I want him to be able to trust me. It means I can't just disappear on him, either. I'm trying to believe in human kindness. I have to show some."

    Lois paused, fiddling with the bracelets she wore. "Just be careful."


    Lex looked back over his shoulder, his arm stretched forward as Cara pulled him toward the fireplace.

    "The space is good," he said, letting himself show enthusiasm for the first time in their many house viewings. "Not small but not a - What did you call that last place?"

    "It was a hotel lobby with a kitchenette. The ceilings were thirty feet high for absolutely no reason and there were built in pedestals for statues. I'm pretty sure I went to Romeo and Juliet at Met U. last year and they were using the same set up for the tomb scene," Chloe told him drily. "It was perfect if you want to sit on slabs instead of a sofa."

    He walked slowly, trying to ease the dog back without tugging the lease. The walls were an offensively neutral grey, but otherwise the living room was pretty normal.

    "Funeral slabs would be easier to remove fur," Lex said.

    "You have a housekeeper, and Cara barely sheds."

    She peeked down a hallway, finding a tiny laundry room and a side door that led into the garage. The realtor had finally grasped the idea of an understated but luxurious home. The driveway could easily hold a dozen cars but the house was a two storey townhouse. It managed to look almost humble from the street, though Chloe could tell there were at least four bedrooms upstairs.

    She had spent a lot more time than anticipated helping him find his house, but Lois had a vastly busier social calendar than her own. Chloe hadn't had big plans for her weekend.

    "Do you tell your housekeeper when you go house hunting," she pondered aloud. "I mean, it's definitely more to clean. Is it grounds for renegotiating a salary?"

    Lex ignored her, facing the patio doors. He opened the door slightly, and let the dog out to sniff the ground. Chloe joined him, petting the dog as she followed them outside. A wooden walkway turned left and spread out over the lawn to make a seating area nestled under an outcropping of the roof. The simple railing above indicated there was a balcony off one of the bedrooms.

    "I like the backyard," he said, taking a long moment to observe the rather ordinary space. His tone sounded a little surprised.

    "You're allowed to like it," Chloe told him. "I like it, if that helps. Do you like it, Cara?"

    She took the leash so Lex could walk the patio. He had a way of measuring by his steps. It was a little stupid when they could ask the realtor for the actual measurements, but Chloe suspected he was visualizing his life in the house. He continued along the edge of the yard, following the fence.

    The dog whined to be free, and Lex rattled the gate. "It's locked. She can run around."

    Chloe turned and pulled the patio door shut with an apologetic shrug at the realtor. The list of modest houses was three times as long as the list of mansions. Lex seemed to have taken her advice too seriously when she suggested he look at as many houses as possible.

    "We won't be long, Ms. Hatcher. Sorry," she said.

    "It's no problem, Ms. Sullivan. Take as much time as you need."

    It was flawlessly polite but obviously a lie. They had started before nine that morning, and it was a little past two. Chloe didn't know how the woman was staying upright on her overly fancy shoes. She was wearing sneakers, because Lex seemed impervious to fatigue. It was obviously up to her to remind him none of them had eaten. Cara had needed two walks to do her business and the excitement had waned to determination for everyone but Lex.

    He was smiling at the fence, admiring something small about the construction Chloe couldn't spot. She walked onto the grass and sank down beside Cara.

    "You're not doing a good job playing it cool," she said, smiling. "It's going to hurt you later when you put in an offer. You won't be able to negotiate your price at all."

    "You seem sure I'm going to buy this one," Lex said. "Why?"

    He was admiring a corner of the house, touching lightly to test something about how it was put together. Chloe was certain they were both equally ignorant about house building, but she enjoyed his faking it to complete the house hunting experience. All they really needed to sew things up was a quick argument about the size of the closets.

    "It's the right . . . scope, maybe? It suits what you need and it feels the way I think you want to live. It's not remotely cheap but it's not chilly. I know you like your space. The yard has spectacular grass for rolling-" She indicated the dog's careful testing of the new ground. "-and it's calm."

    Lex stood back, looking up at the house as he smirked. "Calm? No one has accused me of that," he said.

    He was very mild around her, careful and thoughtful. He rivaled Clark at his most studious adherence to Martha Kent's strict manners. Lex had dimmed his intensity for her sake, and Chloe tried to pretend they were an ordinary couple as much as she could. It helped to ignore the tangled traumatic history and just like him as a person. So she ignored his question and petted the dog without looking at him.

    "I know you pretty well by now. We should insist on looking all through the house, though. It's good business."

    "I do like it," Lex told her. "It is the right something. It feels like a good house to live. I know it's nonsense, but it's different than the other properties."

    She leaned down and ruffled the dog's ears. "My Dad's house feels like that. I can feel the house around me and I have a sense every room without having to go into them. It's homey because it's familiar. I know it's a just a place and furniture, but it's a form of comfort."

    He brushed a palm across his head and nodded, looking pleased at her understanding. "Maybe that's it. I can't say I've felt it before, but it might be here? Once I inspect the upstairs to perform my due diligence."

    Chloe was betting he'd found his house. She was sure of it when he sat down on the grass next to her, his hand briefly resting on the small of her back.
    Last edited by kitten; 27th May 2016 at 08:10.
    Her soul is senstive like a finely made tuning fork. It vibrates and resonates with every little hint of trauma, evil and monstrosity that might be humming in the air, and channels it into expressions of fiction... or recomended websites - somethingeasy

  3. #793
    An Accused Heretic Senior Member Kit Merlot's Avatar
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    Re: The Lesser of Two Evils - NC-17, Chapter 56 (May 27, 2016)

    So thrilled to see this lovely fic updated--WOO HOO!!
    KATHY

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  4. #794

    Re: The Lesser of Two Evils - NC-17, Chapter 56 (May 27, 2016)

    I found this fic after randomly feeling the urge of reading some Chlex after YEARS of having given up Smallville completely (Lexana is what did me in... Not even my beloved Chloe could make keep watching after that!)

    As I was nearing the last pages of this fic, I began to panic, because I loved it so, especially this part, with Chloe and Lex trying to build a healthier, healing relationship, and iIwanted to see where this is going... So imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw that the last update was only from a few months ago!

    So I registered to the forum just to say... Keep the updates coming, please, pretty pretty please!

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