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Thread: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R) Update 9/6/05

  1. #41
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    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R) Update 6/14

    A/N: Wow, I can't actually think of anything to put here. Huh. Oh, I remember now- The story is taking a turn for the serious at this point. I'm afraid it's what the muse demands. Sorry!

    Chap. 5-

    For once, Lex is up before her. For a guy who is supposedly such a workaholic he certainly likes to sleep in. Of course, Chloe reasons, maybe that’s why he likes to sleep in. He probably doesn’t get many chances. Chloe slips out of bed and hurries over to the TV. She switches it on and immediately hits the mute button. Flipping through the channels, she finds CNN- nothing, FOX- nothing, and then MSNBC- Bingo. Standing behind a podium, almost large as life on Lex’s huge TV is Lionel Luther. Chloe can’t hear what he is saying with the mute on but she’s sure it’s probably some sanctimonious crap about how much he loves his son but will not negotiate . . . blah, blah, blah. Chloe didn’t turn on the TV for him. It’s her Dad. He’s standing off to the side, a show of support suggested by Luthor no doubt. He looks so pale and drawn. Dark circles under his eyes, he looks ten years older. His tie is crooked.

    After all the other things she has put him through, with her investigations and mutant theories, it seems unforgivable that she is sitting in Lex’s beautiful apartment not even bruised while he worries himself to death over her. She misses him so much. Chloe lowers her head into one hand and tries desperately not to cry but the tears leak through her fingers to fall onto the carpet, anyway. She bites her lip brutally to hold in her sobs. She doesn’t want Lex find her like this.

    Too late. Gentle fingers pry the remote control out of her other hand and Chloe hears the soft pop of the TV going off. Lex sits down beside her but doesn’t touch her.

    “You’ll get back to him, Chloe. I promise.” His voice is soft but absolute, like he is relaying commandments or something. Of course the world would never dare cross Lex Luthor. She almost tells him so. It would be so easy to strike out at him, make it his fault somehow- but she knows it’s not. And . . . she needs him and she doesn’t think he is the callous, selfish playboy the rest of Smallville takes him for. Instead, she nods, to show him that she hears him but she can’t lift her head.

    “Talk to me.”

    She can’t.

    “Chloe,” His voice is insistent, “look at me.”

    She wipes roughly at her face and looks at him, determined to be fine. She takes a deep unsteady breath that catches a little as she inhales. Lex’s eyes are so blue and for once his body language isn’t distant and defensive. Sitting on the couch, he is turned towards her, his knee almost against her knee. He is even leaning towards her; like he wants to touch her but one hand still holds the remote and the other lies on his thigh as though he isn’t sure what to do with it.

    “We will get out of this.”

    She nods but he can see she’s still not okay.

    “What is it?”

    “It’s just, my dad-“ Chloe has to pause and take another shaky breath. Lex doesn’t interrupt, doesn’t prompt her. He just waits. Chloe is so grateful for that. “How can I sit here mostly okay, when-“ She can’t finish the sentence but Lex nods. His face is so grave that she knows he understands. “I just wish I could let him know I’m okay.”

    Lex sits back, his eyes on some point in space while he thinks. Chloe is instantly sorry for the sudden distance between their bodies.

    “There might be a way. . .” He begins. The hope that blossoms in Chloe’s eyes produces a strange sensation in his chest. She needs this so much. “Come into the kitchen and try to eat something while I think.” He has noticed her waning appetite over the last two days.

    She isn’t hungry at all but she agrees anyway. Once they get to the kitchen, Chloe pulls out a pan to start on breakfast but Lex takes it out of her hands.

    “Sit down,” He says exasperated, “I am capable of actually doing something in here besides obeying your orders.” Chloe raises one eyebrow, in a sarcastic imitation of the mild look he uses when she is being provoking and he refuses to be provoked. He makes the face back at her and she can’t help but smile a little.

    Lex fixes her a cup of coffee just the way she likes it and gets down to work. They don’t talk much except to discuss what Chloe wants in her omelet. Instead she watches him while he works, chopping and stirring. Everything is done with his usual efficiency of movement. Everything is deliberate and graceful and controlled. She wonders suddenly if he finds it exhausting or if it has just become second nature now. Would he find it difficult at this point, to be awkward, to move spontaneously? He catches her fascinated eye and for a second they both just . . . stop. Chloe isn’t sure who moves first but someone does and the next thing she knows Lex is handing her a plate with a very delicious omelet on it.

    After breakfast Chloe helps Lex load the dishwasher.

    “I think I’ve figured out a way to get a message to your father but it’s not guaranteed and it could expose us.” The tone is warning but he doesn’t insult her by asking if she’s sure that she wants to do it.

    “How?” is all she asks.

    “I got Clark a very secure e-mail address, a few months ago so I could mail him from time to time. We’ll go down to the internet coffee house on 10th and set up an e-mail account on one of the free services, like yahoo.” He puts the last plate in the rack and slides it in to shut the door. He straightens and turns to face her, “The name will have to be something obscure but that Clark will recognize as you. You can send him a short message to pass on to Gabe.” Chloe opens her mouth but Lex interrupts her, “You can’t tell him anything, Chloe. Not where we are. Not what happened. Only that you’re alright. Anything more-“

    “I understand.”

    “And we can’t go out until we hear from Anthony. We can’t afford to miss his message.”

    “Okay.” She looks far too pleased. Lex feels a moment of foreboding. Maybe he should have just let it be. Then he knows he couldn’t have. She looked so sad. Lex rubs the back of his head wearily. They need to get out of here. His thinking is becoming cloudy.

    Lex is about to leave the kitchen when she touches his arm gently.

    Chloe hesitates a moment but realizes if he was anyone else. . . So she throws her arms around the young billionaire and as she feels him stiffen thinks, I have made a terrible mistake. Almost instantly though she can feel him relax and slide his arms around her waist to gently return the embrace.

    Lex breaths deeply and then sighs as softly as he can into her hair, hoping she won’t notice. Chloe gives him another squeeze, “Thank-you, Lex. I owe you one.”

    His hands slide up to her arms and he pulls her back away a little so he can meet her eyes, “We’re friends, Chloe. There are no debts between us.” He studies her carefully to make sure she understands. She nods slowly, studying him in return,

    “Okay.” It sounds like a promise or a vow.

    Discomforted suddenly Chloe smiles shyly and turns to step away when Lex pulls her back quickly. The embrace is lightning fast and fierce. He looses her abruptly and walks around the kitchen island to settle on a bar stool, his neutral mask in place. And Chloe wonders, What just happened?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    They receive a message from Anthony later that day. He will meet them tomorrow night at Heat with the information they have asked for. They can use the VIP door. He adds a small note at the end of his message suggesting that they try not to start any fights on the way in. Lex does not care for this little addition. Chloe can see it clearly in the way he smiles tightly at the message. She interrupts whatever he is imagining doing to Anthony Bird with a question.

    “So we can go then? To e-mail Clark?” She sounds ridiculously eager and she knows it but can’t care.

    Lex looks at her. Is she so eager then, to contact Clark?

    When he doesn’t respond, she bites her lip a little, “You’re thinking maybe we should wait until tomorrow- that it would be better to go out once on one day than twice on two days.” She looks so disappointed, “I guess my Dad can wait one more day.”

    Her father. That’s right. That’s what this is all about.

    “The coffee house closes at 8:00 and we’re not supposed to meet Anthony until midnight. I think it would be better to send your message today and come back quickly rather than go out twice tomorrow or try to kill four hours out on the street.”

    Her most beautiful smile. She hops up so quickly he is afraid she is going to embrace him again and he steps back sharply. She gives him a strange look.

    “I’m going to go get ready.” She explains, “You should get changed, too.”

    Right. Of course.

    Lex takes her suggestion and changes into the jeans. They are not the impeccably tailored slacks he is used to but they are fairly comfortable in their own way. He debates what shirt to wear. The button-up he has on now, even sans tie, would be too recognizable. He settles on one of his gray t-shirts. Then he slides on the hat. He feels like he is dressing for a play. Lex hasn’t worn a hat since he turned twelve. That was when he decided that he would never try to fit in, that he would never act ashamed or embarrassed. He was Lex Luthor. The world should seek his approval.

    They step out onto the street and the cold wind hits them. Chloe pulls her jacket tight around her. Today, her disguise consists of a dark red knit hat similar to Lex’s that hides most of her bright hair and a large pair of black rimmed glasses. She looks adorable. Lex glances at her sideways and can’t help but smile a little.

    “You don’t actually wear glasses, do you?” He asks.

    “I happen to have perfect vision,” She informs him primly. “The glass in these is not prescription.” She catches sight of herself in a window, “Do I look more intelligent?” she asks.

    “Absolutely.” His face is completely neutral and Chloe gives him a suspicious glare. He doesn’t smile but she shakes her head in disgust anyway and breaks into a fast walk.

    It’s early afternoon, between the lunch crowd and the after work crowd so the coffee house is almost empty. They find a table in the back and when the waitress asks them what they would like Lex orders them two lattes, one with whipped cream and a chocolate chip muffin. Chloe shoots him a smile from behind the computer.

    “How do you know that’s what I like?”

    “I’m a genius.”

    “And you spend way too much time at the Talon for someone who should be busy running a multi-billion dollar company.” As she says it, Chloe realizes how true that is. He does spend a lot of time there- where Lana is.

    Lex sees Chloe’s smile fade as she turns back to the computer.

    “What?” He asks, trying to understand her sudden turn of mood.

    She shrugs, starts typing. Lex is watching her intently; looking for clues . . . They were talking about the Talon. They were talking about the Talon last night too when she shut down. What was wrong with the Talon? She spent more time there than he did. What could . . . Lana. He taps one finger rapidly against his thigh. Hmm. His eyes still on Chloe, he says casually, “Lana makes good espresso.” There. She flinched. Actually flinched at the sound of Lana’s name.

    Lex is coldly furious suddenly – at Lana who has convinced Chloe that she has the patent on what is desirable in a woman, at Clark for always always choosing Lana over Chloe, and at Chloe herself for allowing Lana and Clark to convince her that she is ordinary. They’re all morons.

    The girl turns the computer screen towards him, interrupting his thoughts. Lex reads-

    To: farmboy@lexcorp.com
    From: wallofweird@yahoo.com
    Clark-
    Just a little line to let you know everything is okay. Investigation proceeding as planned. Me and the crazy driver hope to be home soon. Please pass on to all concerned parties.Don't tell the MB.
    Love, Your former prom date


    “What do you think?” She asks anxiously.

    “I think it barely qualifies as English but it works.” Your former prom date, Lex thinks in disgust. Again, Chloe has to define herself in relation to Clark.

    Chloe hits the send button, drains the last of her latte, and stands. “I guess we should go then.” She sounds almost uncertain. Something in Lex’s expression is making her nervous.

    He is silent and cool on the walk back. Chloe points out different sights, attempts to draw him into conversation but his answers are brief and polite. She is getting progressively angrier the closer they get to the apartment. By the time they stand in the foyer, she has worked herself into a fury. When the door clicks shut, she rounds on him, “What is your problem? Are you mad at me because I needed to get a message to my dad? It was your idea! You can’t-“

    “Why are you still in love with Clark after everything he’s done to you?” It wasn’t what he meant to say. It wasn’t something he ever meant to say. But the question has been lurking in him for days now, pressing against his vocal cords, trying to climb out his throat. It has worked its way free of him using his anger as a crowbar.

    The color drains from Chloe’s face, “What?” she whispers.

    “Why,” Lex speaks slowly, “are you still in love with Clark?”

    “What gives you the right to ask me that?” She is furious again. The color returning to her face as quickly as it had left. “Who do you think you are?”

    “Who did you think you were when you demanded to know about my relationship with my father?”

    “Is that what this is about? Tit for tat, right? That’s the Luthor way.” Her voice is so sharp, so bitter. “Fine. If that’s what you need. I’ll tell you the truth- I’m not in love with him.”

    His skeptical look says it all.

    Chloe shakes her head, her beautiful hair falling in her eyes. “You think you know so much.” She meets his eyes again and says deliberately, “You’re an idiot.” You could cut diamonds with Lex’s jaw at that moment.

    “Explain it to me then.” Arms crossed against his chest, Lex is looking down his nose at her in a way that makes her want to scream. Despite this provocation, something warns Chloe that she shouldn’t answer. That she should never play his game. There is danger here. The guilt is still with her, though. All the trouble she has caused because she had to know the truth. Isn’t it poetic justice that Lex is standing here now, demanding a big truth from her? Isn’t it fair that she answer his question? A question for a question, that’s the bargain she made last night.

    “Alright.” She agrees, almost against her will. Somewhere deep inside she’s horrified- but it’s too late, days too late to try to hide anything from him. She walks towards the windows and leans against the arm of one of the chairs. Lex follows and seats himself. Chloe glances briefly at him. He is sitting in his usual posture- knees wide, feet flat on the floor, forearms resting on the arms of the chair. The position is relaxed but supple, he could be out of the chair in a moment or sit there for an eternity.

    Chloe stares out the window, deliberately not looking at him, trying to collect her thoughts. When she begins her voice is low, “Love and hate. Ice and fire. Dark and light. People think love and hate are opposites- they’re not. They’re two sides of the same coin, two fierce and terrible motivations.” She pauses, frowning out at the skyline, “I saw it so clearly, that day in your office- how you had twisted yourself around trying to make Lionel love you. Trying-“ She takes a ragged breath and Lex studies the little bit of her cheekbone and far away eye that he can see from where he waits. She always says ‘Lionel’ now instead of ‘your father’, he notes. He is strangely grateful for this little piece of mental distance she gives them. When she continues her voice is lower than before and she still won’t take her eyes from the window, “When you want something so badly, it can make you angry. You start to think that wanting, if it’s strong enough, is a good enough reason for having. That feeling- it can make you do things you never would have dreamed you were even capable of.” The bitterness is back and that tone of self-recrimination she uses. Lex is motionless with watching her. He hardly seems to be breathing. Chloe continues, “I know all about that feeling. I saw all the things I had done trying to make Clark love me the way I wanted him to. So many stupid, petty things. I realized then, that I might be willing to lose my best friend but I wasn’t willing to lose myself.” She puts the palm of one pale hand flat against the glass and as though she is speaking to it or perhaps to herself she says, “So I made a choice; I love Clark but I can’t be in-love with him. It would destroy me.”

    It is all the truth she has the strength for. Still not looking at him, she pushes off the chair and disappears into the kitchen.

    Lex watches the sun set over Metropolis and feels things swelling up in him he has never felt before.

  2. #42
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    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R)

    you can't leave it there. I love it please up-date soon

  3. #43

    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R) Update 6/14

    Quote Originally Posted by tracyaching
    I saw all the things I had done trying to make Clark love me the way I wanted him to. So many stupid, petty things. I realized then, that I might be willing to lose my best friend but I wasn’t willing to lose myself.” She puts the palm of one pale hand flat against the glass and as though she is speaking to it or perhaps to herself she says, “So I made a choice; I love Clark but I can’t be in-love with him. It would destroy me.”
    It's amazing how you really know Chloe. No matter have people try to deny it Clark is Clark. He is a part of Chloe. Yes he might be stupid sometimes okay most of the time when it comes to the girl who is willing to wait for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by tracyaching
    “Love and hate. Ice and fire. Dark and light. People think love and hate are opposites- they’re not. They’re two sides of the same coin, two fierce and terrible motivations.” She pauses, frowning out at the skyline, “I saw it so clearly, that day in your office- how you had twisted yourself around trying to make Lionel love you.
    This is so heart breaking. But so true in so many ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by tracyaching
    Love, Your former prom date
    So funny. And so original!!....

  4. #44
    NS Full Member
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    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R)

    Wow. That was emotionally intense. And I really liked her explanation about not being in love with Clark and the whole defining herself through other people. Very interesting. Intriguing even.

  5. #45
    An Accused Heretic Senior Member Kit Merlot's Avatar
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    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R)

    This was a very emotional chapter. I like that Lex and Chloe are unafraid to confront one another.

    I really enjoyed the part where you had Lex remembering when he was a kid, and deciding to never hide who he was--Wonderful!

    And I liked Lex figuring out Chloe's inferiority complex because of Clark and Lana, and that he got angry with Chloe for letting them influence her.

    Beautiful update
    KATHY

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  6. #46
    Spunky Chick Senior Member hfce's Avatar
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    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R)

    Wow that was great chapter. I love how you are seeing them getting closer the more they reveal to eachother. And the last sentence about Lex feeling a swell in his heart. I believe he feels he has a chance with her.


    Hope
    "Everyone seems normal until you get to know them. "

  7. #47
    LarkLuthor
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    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R)

    Well no one can call you a slow updater! I finally get around to starting this and you have 5 chapters up! I'm really enjoying this story it has a lot of depth, both in the plot and the characters. *grumbles about her unmanagable obsession with charactization* I'm looking forward to more...

    Honestly there's a lot more I could say but giving feedback for five chapters in one post is little overwhelming so when you update again I'll giving detailed reactions for each chapter...

    Lark

  8. #48
    red turtle
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    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R)

    You have to update soon. I'm want to see what happens, it's a very interesting story.

  9. #49
    Escapeism Artist Senior Member asharnanae's Avatar
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    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R)

    damn, now that was truly wonderfull. Loved every word!

  10. #50
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    Re: Two Sides of the Coin (PG 13/R)

    I love your spin on the Chlex kidnapped plot! The scene at Heat was hott! Also, the way they're slowly opening up to each other is very real. Love your writing and cant wait for an update!!!

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