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Thread: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 12/16/14)

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    Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 12/16/14)

    I am having trouble editing posts (they disappear), which is why this post is taken from another forum where swear words are censored. If there are any issues with this thread, you can always find my stuff at:

    http://planetoftheapril.blogspot.com...ths-intro.html



    Title: Out of the Depths
    Sequel to: Deep in the Bottle and The Depths We Sink To
    Author: TheAmazingApe/Apeygirl/April
    Pairing: Chlex (others featured)
    Rating: NC-17
    Warnings: triquel, smut, angst, missing scenes for season 8, alternate season 9
    Spoilers: Up to the end of season 8
    Short summary: Sequel to Deep In The Bottle/The Depths We Sink To. Chloe and Lex end up teaming up to fight an unexpected enemy… there may be sexual tension involved.

    Super long author’s note:

    I always planned to wrap up my Chlex trilogy. I just never knew exactly how. I had these vague ideas about explaining season 8 through Chlexy lenses before taking Chloe away from everything before she was marginalized and derailed (from a character standpoint) in season 9. As much as I enjoyed Chlollie, a lot of the events of season 9 featured a cold and calculating Chloe I had a hard time reconciling with the Chloe I knew.

    But I always heard these rumors about how season 9 was supposed to be… back when they thought Rosenbaum might come back. I never kidded myself they’d go Chlex, but I remember spoilers hinting Lex and Chloe working together to fight a Clark that was not quite right. I always wondered how season 9 might have gone with that. Then I got a charity request fic from Bek…

    She wanted woman-choking Clark in season 9 addressed in a special way… with Chlex working against him with “some verbal judo, some cat and mouse and a whole lot of sexual tension.”

    I pretty much knew then that this was how to wrap this trilogy up. I wanted more than Lex rescuing Chloe from her life of servitude. I wanted Chlex working together, and Lex having a chance to right his past wrongs by being the one that saves the world from an alien invasion.

    How could I resist writing this fic that way?

    In other words, I’m finally finishing this trilogy now. I will be dealing with Season 8 and a small part of season 9, but this will be going AU. I really want to get Chlex to a happy end. But I almost love the challenge of working with canon and making sense of it… but only up to a point. So I want to find a way to explain season 8 for Lex, as hard as that may be. Wish me luck!

    Might I just say that I found season 8 fascinating up to the finale? Despite a few episodes and arcs I hated, the general arc (the B&B of Chloe and Davis) was interesting up until they made Davis just another psycho (and negated all Witwer’s fine work) in the finale. It was a bit like how I felt about Lex, though not to that extent. I really wish this was a show that liked their villains nuanced instead of shoving everyone into black/white boxes.

    There might be some frustration for you guys in early chapters, waiting for Chlex to finally meet up. They will be thinking of each other, but not in each other’s space until I can make it happen. I’m sorry for that. I just want to explain/fanwank some canon where I can. I never have dealt with season 8 directly and didn’t want to move onto my alternate season 9 until I had made people (Lex especially ) explain their actions. I’ll try to keep my forays brief, only dealing with things either related to Chlex or that I want to fanwank.

    Rest assured, I will make Lex look better than the show did. I hope that helps

    On to the story…

    The last we left off was after Season 8’s Odyssey for Chloe and we checked in with Lex at the beginning of Plastique.

    This chapter is taking glances at Plastique, skipping over Toxic, though referencing it, then moving onto Instinct for both Chloe and Lex (as he’s got Tess’ eyes in this time).

    Summaries of each if you need them:
    http://smallville.wikia.com/wiki/Plastique
    http://smallville.wikia.com/wiki/Toxic
    http://smallville.wikia.com/wiki/Instinct

    The prologue you might remember from The Depths We Sink To’s ending. Just reposting it as I’m picking up just after it.

    Prologue

    It was done. After a month of sickening boat trips and fleabag motels, one bed away from the human wasteland that was Otis Bergman as he snored the damned night away, it would be over. He'd still pay him well.

    Lex had always believed in rewarding loyalty, especially when it was hard to find good help on a limited budget. Hell, Otis had been technically working on speculation. He'd paid their way this far on Lex's promises. And Lex would make good on those promises now. They were in Georgetown now. As this was the last fleabag motel, it was only fitting it was the worst of them, dank and mildewy with peeling wallpaper. The only thing he could give it was that it had a coffee maker.

    He went about making it mechanically, not that he'd drink it. It was only Otis who was stupid enough to drink the water here. Still, he stared at it for a moment. Those stupid miniature coffee makers seemed to have that effect on him. They made him think of her. He supposed they always would. She was the one who'd showed him how, speaking obnoxiously slowly with a condescending smirk he still saw so clearly, still wanted to kiss right off her. This is how real people live, Lex, she'd said that weekend, that weekend that, though he'd not known it at the time, had turned out to be the best he'd ever have. He'd long accepted that she'd always be there, always the voice in his head. He wondered if she'd be impressed at how effortlessly he could make coffee now. Obviously not, considering he'd destroyed her best friend.

    He grabbed Otis' piece of sh!t laptop and stepped outside, trying to ignore the memory of his supposed death as it assaulted him again. He'd done what he had to. He'd intended on paying for it with his life. The fact that he hadn't was something he couldn't help. But still... Even after he got the money, what kind of life was this? What good would that tropical island be when he was alone? Without the quest, there was only her -- the only thing he needed now and the one thing he'd never have. Still, after a month in squalor, his wants were selfishly eclipsing his needs. He wanted soft beds and good food and the f*cking internet...

    He slapped the side of the laptop as it slowly powered on, knowing it didn't help, but feeling some small satisfaction in just hitting something. This sh*thole boasted free wireless, but only delivered it in choppy bursts if you marched back and forth outside the room. Still, he didn't need much. Just a glimpse of a full account and maybe... maybe just a glimpse into the feed. He'd only seen the world through Tess Mercer's eyes a mere handful of times in this month. But it had been almost enough.

    Enough to see Lana Lang alive and well, though she'd escaped from Tess. He didn't much care about that. He was magnanimous enough to be glad she was free from what he was sure was The Traveler's infection. He'd seen a Daily Planet headline claiming Regan, F*cking Regan, was missing. He couldn't be too bothered about that, either. He knew what happened now. Not in exact detail, but he knew where Chloe was kept at Black Creek. And it wasn't under his orders.

    That was another thing that made him positive he could never touch her again. He'd never be anything more to her than a locked door.

    The door opened behind him and he stepped quickly away as Otis barreled out. "Damn it, Otis..."

    "Oh, hey. Sorry, Mr. Lachlan. Just wanted to thank you for making coffee. Real nice of ya. So how about our money, huh?"

    "Soon," Lex said, rolling his eyes at Otis' presumption, as if they were some kind of team. He'd be dropping his services as soon as... His eyes flew to his second tab. He always had Mercer's feed open, but it barely ever came through. He rather hoped she wasn't bathing. He'd caught that once or twice and quickly shut it off. Tess was a beautiful woman, but something about the sight of her left him disturbed. He wanted to see Chloe. He saw the files through Mercer. He knew her status. But he had to see her face. Just once more. Just to know for sure...

    But Chloe wasn't what he saw on that feed. He saw Clark. He saw Clark looming above him... or Tess. Heard sirens and saw smoke behind him.

    "Guess this must be my stop," he heard Tess say. And Clark. He smiled.

    "He's alive," Lex breathed.

    "Who's alive?" Otis asked, almost disinterestedly. "Hey, this is great coffee, Mr. Lachlan. I'm not even kidding." Lex found himself stiffening as Otis threw a rather beefy arm over his shoulder. "Aw, heck. I'll just say it. I'm gonna miss you."

    Lex shook him off, waiting for another glimpse, but Clark was gone, replaced by paramedics and...

    "So what do we do after we get the money, huh? You know, they got some sweet resorts here. Or maybe somewhere else in the Caribbean. I just bet..."

    "We're not staying here," Lex said, realizing he'd keep Otis around after all. He'd need some help. He had a real mess to clean up over there. It wouldn't do to be seen. "We're going to Metropolis," he said calmly, switching over to his newly replenished account. "And call me Mr. Luthor."

    Chapter One

    Metropolis, September 22nd, 2008

    Chloe stared around the rubble, knowing she’d find Clark around here somewhere. It was his first day at The Daily Planet, after all. That bus crash shook half the block and he’d have heard it even if it didn’t. Sure enough, she found him hovering over a little girl, talking to a paramedic… though not the one she’d just left.

    It was strange. His face kept swimming in front of her eyes. He said his name was Davis. There was something about him. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but something in her wanted to talk to him more… and maybe not surrounded by rubble and smoke and injured people. Maybe that was why she ended up volunteering to ride along to the hospital with the girl she’d been helping, with Bette.

    No. That was for Bette, just for Bette. She was engaged, after all. She shook it off and moved toward Clark. “Hey, Clark.”

    “Chloe?” Clark moved around the stretcher, his hands moving to her shoulders. “You all right?”

    “Yeah. I just got here,” she said breathlessly, still a bit dazed with all the destruction. “I just helped this girl that was on that bus.” And met a handsome paramedic named Davis. Don’t forget that… Stop it!”What happened?” she said, gripping Clark back and trying to focus on what was important.

    Clark started walking, gesturing for her to follow. “Well, I heard there was a bomb on the bus, but I haven't had a chance to check it out.”

    Chloe had to smile. “Even a dress shirt can't hide the hero in you, huh, Clark? Heck of a first day at the office.”

    “Well, that's why I'm there -- so I can be around to help more people. Working at the Daily Planet, I'll hear about every crisis as it happens.” He sighed and turned to her. “I just wish that you were there with me.”

    She rolled her eyes. She knew this was coming. She’d been rehearsing for this. Codependent barely covered her with Clark, but it went both ways. Really, it would be hard. They were so used to investigating together and The Daily Planet would seem like a dream come true if this had been last year. Maybe that dream had become tainted for her, with all that happened.

    “You know, now that Lex isn't running things...”

    Chloe cut him off quickly, keeping a smile pasted on. “Yeah. I've spent almost my entire life praying to the gods of journalism. It might be kind of nice to try something new, you know? See how it feels.” It almost felt true. Really, that was only a small part of it. The fact that Lex wasn’t running things only reminded her that Lex wasn’t there. Maybe a body hadn’t been found, but how could he have survived such harsh exposure when Clark barely did? She didn’t want to mourn Lex Luthor, not after months captive under his orders. But it still caught her sometimes.

    Aside from that, change was a good thing. Lana had taken steps for her to take charge of Isis months and months ago. And, though she’d scoffed at the idea at the time, just a little, there were resources there for Clark. Maybe she might not agree with how Lana started it. But think how much she could do for Clark with all that technology at her fingertips.

    And it wasn’t just something new. It was something realistic, something she could have without worrying it would be snatched away.

    “Now you're ready for a change?” Clark was saying.

    Speaking of something she could have… “Actually, uh... there's pretty big changes.” The ring, silly as it was, was on her finger. She wondered if Clark had already noticed.

    He didn’t. He was staring at his beeping cellphone. “Apparently the goddess of journalism is wondering where I am.”

    Chloe kept her smile on. She should be happy for him, for Lois. Maybe they’d work well together. Still… “With Lois on the case, it's gonna get harder to duck away to save the day,” she warned.

    Clark gave her a withering look. “If I could hide my secret from you, I think I can handle your cousin.”

    Chloe chuckled. “Good luck with that.” He was almost adorable sometimes, thinking he hid his secret so well. His cellphone beeped again, with all the equipment around them and it reminded her she was supposed to be hitching an ambulance ride. “I got to go. Uh, tell Lois that I said to take it easy on you,” she said by way of a goodbye.

    She was happy for him. If anyone was going to have her old desk, she’d rather it was him. When Lois first brought it up to her, she’d thought Chloe might be upset. But she’d rehearsed a lot of speeches since Lex fired her. She didn’t want to go back. Maybe she'd finally said it enough times to believe it herself. She didn’t want to work her way up a third time only to find herself pushed down again. She wanted to focus on realistic goals, things she could have... like a happy life with Jimmy and maybe something like Isis. Just maybe.

    Isis, she could have. Maybe she would reopen it. She could help people. Hell, she was helping people already.

    She moved back to poor Bette, being loaded into one of many ambulances. Poor kid. She really was shaken up. Davis caught her eye and smiled slightly. She found herself smiling back widely. There was something about him that put her at ease…

    The Ritz Carlton, Georgetown, Cayman Islands

    “This is more like it, huh, Mr. Luthor?”

    “It’s Lachlan,” Lex hissed, annoyed. The money transfer had upgraded their lodging in mere hours, along with the internet signal. But he was still working with Otis’ piece if **** laptop. The video kept hanging. He hadn’t seen another glimpse of Clark.

    Otis leaned across the table on the outdoor patio, whispering. “I thought you said to call you Mr. Luthor.”

    “Not in public,” Lex said impatiently. “Everything, including my identification is under Alex Lachlan. For God’s sake, keep up.” Was it strange that he missed f*cking Regan right now? At least he didn’t have the attention span of a gnat.

    Otis just shrugged. “I’m good as long as the drinks keep coming.”

    Then again, there was a simplicity to Otis, unlike anyone he ever had working for him, a… friendliness. It wasn’t something he ever cared about before, but now, isolated from even his own name, it gratified him. He’d keep him around just a little longer.

    At least he’d be spared his snoring as the suite had two bedrooms… if it was ever ready.

    Otis clinked the ice in his glass. “Hey, you sure you don’t want a little…”

    “Just coffee,” Lex grunted. He hadn’t touched a drink since Metropolis. He saw things clearer now. He’d been rash -- always angry and almost always half-drunk. He never thought of himself as an alcoholic. In fact, he hated the idea of those people crying in front of a group of strangers. He didn’t need that. He just wasn’t going to drink. It was as simple as that. He was going to need mental clarity to go on. Now if he could just get clear video… “Yes.”

    “Good news?” Otis piped up.

    “I’ve got the feed back.” Better than that, he saw Clark again.

    “That lady? Oh, good. That should make you feel better.”

    “This isn’t about me feeling better.” Lex rolled his eyes and put his headphones on. “Just shut up for a minute.”

    “… what I can to save the planet,” Tess was saying. “But, for the sake of the shareholders, let's keep that between ourselves, hmm? Seems we were destined to meet. I already had you on my to-do list today.”

    Clark looked uncomfortable. And it was so satisfying that Lex was disappointed when she turned away.

    “Lex told me all about you,” he heard her say as the feed caught the desk. But she quickly turned back and Lex could see that patented Clark Kent look. The one that said he was preparing a lie.

    “Well, not much to tell, really.”

    “Hmm. He said you have a thing for saving people. And after this morning, I'd say that's true.”

    Clark was silent and she moved closer.

    “Ever since Lex's disappearance, I have used all of LuthorCorp's resources to find him.”

    Clark’s brows drew together. “Do you have any leads?”

    Lex had to wonder what Clark wanted to hear – yes or no?

    “The world's a big place. I was hoping his good friend could tell me where to look,” Tess said pointedly.

    Clark took a deep breath. Another lie being prepared? “The Lex Luthor that I knew disappeared years ago. It's been a long time since we were friends.” That or sanctimonious prattle. “I don't know what happened to him.” Now, that was a lie. He’d been there at the end, in his f*cking arms. That wasn’t to say that Clark had an inkling where he was now, but still…

    Yet he wouldn’t have expected Clark to tell the truth, in any case.

    “Fair enough.” Tess seemed to agree as she turned away to pick up a card. Cards already? She worked fast. “But if you do think of something, please give me a call. And, Clark... you were extraordinary out there. Thank you for saving my life.”

    Clark took it and moved to open the door before turning back. “I saw how this job consumed Lex's life,” that familiar, stalwart tone. How Lex hated it. “I'd hate to see the same thing happen to yours,” he finished before closing it behind him.

    It opened almost immediately on a woman with long, blonde hair. He suddenly wondered if Tess and Chloe could meet just for a second, just to see…

    “Handsome,” the woman cooed.

    “And a liar,” he heard Tess say harshly. “He's hiding something.”

    “I’ll have someone watch him.”

    “No. I'll keep an eye on this one personally.”

    Good. Good girl. He had been initially upset with her on learning of her freeing the mutants from Black Creek. But she’d tagged them, hadn’t she. She was even marking up their files, making note of which ones might be useful. It wasn’t something he might have considered and he had to admire the logic behind it. They might need as much power as they could get.

    Tess moved to the sideboard as the woman moved out. Her hand hovered over the liquor.

    “Don’t do it,” Lex hissed, as if she could hear.

    But her hand gripped a water bottle instead. She drank deeply before sighing. “Where are you, Lex?” she sighed.

    “Don’t worry about it,” he found himself whispering. He didn’t exactly want to be found. He had so much to do. He had been rash before and it wasn’t just the drinking. He needed this time away, this perspective to figure out what was next. He needed to be prepared to face Clark, take him down if need be.

    Doctor Groll was a big part of that preparation, as was Project Prometheus. Groll had nearly found a way to isolate the nanotechnology, get it to graft to human skin. He told himself it was about protecting himself, protecting the world. If they could get it to work, it would be about more than destroying Clark…

    The thought made him shudder. Did he really want to destroy him? There were so many times, looking back now, when his life was saved with no explanation. He knew now that it was all Clark. Hell, they first met with Clark saving his life.

    But Clark… he didn’t know he was a danger. Lex realized that in those last moments with him. All that power, power he didn’t even know the full extent of, could be so dangerous in the wrong hands. Lex didn’t even kid himself that his were the right ones. He was just the one thrust into this position. He knew so much more than anyone… But he could know more.

    There was time now, with Groll still working on the technology, time to prepare for whatever he had to face with Clark, whatever he had to do. Time to gather information. Then he’d know what to do.

    Manhattan, October 7th, 2008

    Lex was glued to his screen – a slightly better screen now, top of the line—as it was showtime. Tess had been contacting Doctor Groll for weeks and Lex had finally given him leave to make himself available to her. Groll had been struggling to find a way to make the nanotechnology work. Maybe the crystal found at the site would work. Lex half-wondered why he hadn’t just had taken it from her to begin with. Then again, how would he do that?

    He glanced at Otis, laughing at a rerun of Sanford and Son while shoveling steak fries into his gaping maw. Otis was pretty much useless in stealth. His girth alone disallowed it.

    Yet he couldn’t seem to cut him loose. Perhaps he was just getting soft. Perhaps he wanted the company. He turned his attention back to Tess as she moved around the crystal, suspended as if in mid-air between the glowing rings Groll had designed to read it.

    “You know, Lex Luthor may have been wowed by your high-tech smoke and mirrors, Dr. Groll,” she said as she circled him as well, “but I've come to expect more hard-core evidence from boys and their toys.

    Dr. Groll seemed to be engrossed in his work. “So far, my toys have provided a breakthrough: identifying the crystal's origin.”

    Tess still didn’t seem impressed. Hell, Lex was. She was so close to things in mere weeks he’d worked years at, thanks to him handing this to her. He wondered if Tess wasn’t a bit of a spoiled brat. Then again, one look at her early life and he knew that was wrong.

    “Prove to me I wasn't wrong spending weeks to lure one of Lex's top scientists out of hiding,” she said dully.

    Dr. Groll moved to what Lex still thought was a rather impressive display, the crystal suspended between the circling rings. “After an exhaustive battery of tests, we discovered that the crystal's composition doesn't match any element on this planet. It appears to be some kind of computer hard drive.” His eyes turned back to Tess. “We believe it may be alien.”

    Tess’ tone was derisive. “You can't be serious.”

    Lex almost had to laugh. Of course Tess didn’t understand. She hadn’t even opened to her mind to the possibility. He supposed she’d learn as he had, the brat.

    It was uncharitable, he supposed, but it was hard for him to respect her these days, with what he’d learned. Not everything about Tess Mercer was clear on her resume. Her relationship with Oliver Queen, for one thing, annoyed him to no end. He couldn’t think why.

    For a moment, he thought it may be jealousy. He’d gone so long without even a glimpse of Chloe, he started to think Tess had supplanted her in his mind. But that wasn’t it. He respected Tess, or he wanted to. Every time those moments through her eyes became too private, too personal, he turned away. And that wasn’t because he was a gentleman. Hell, if the same situation had applied to Chloe, he’d be glued to the screen. He still knew Chloe was lost to him, but he wouldn’t hesitate to look at her… all of her.

    Yet, when it came to Tess, he felt almost sick. She was an attractive woman. He knew that objectively, but viewing her in those moments felt wrong. He couldn’t quite explain it. He even half-wondered if it was guilt. That emotion Chloe seemed to think he should feel and was incapable of.

    You want to know what you can't feel, Lex?... Guilt. And you should. You really should… You might justify what you do with some great end, but you can't admit that what you do to get it is sick and depraved and...

    When would she stop? It had been months since he’d seen her and she was still this voice in his head.

    He didn’t feel guilty about using Tess to monitor what was happening back home. She might not know she was his eyes and ears, but she was being compensated for more than that. Didn’t she have control of his entire empire? And it would even out in the end.

    Still, he couldn’t bring himself to see Tess unclothed. Maybe it was because she was vulnerable. Maybe it was just a step too far. Maybe he did have boundaries. As for Oliver, maybe he was just annoyed. He wanted to respect her. That was hard to do with her consorting with the overgrown frat boy that made his life miserable for years.

    She’d told Oliver about Lionel, too, about his part in his parents’ deaths. He’d been annoyed at her over that, too. Not that he shared any blame in that. But he wondered, he just wondered, if Oliver would choose to put that on him. Pete Ross had, after all, hated him violently for years, for something his father did. He wondered when he’d stop paying for the sins of Lionel Luthor? Then again, maybe it was only fair. He had ended Lionel’s life. Maybe it was only right he pay for his crimes.

    He forced his attention back to Tess and Groll.

    “I know that's hard to accept,” Groll was saying, “but that's what the facts support.”

    Tess’ feed moved closer to Groll. “No, the facts are, Lex disappeared in an arctic wasteland here on earth. He's not lost in space,” she said derisively, as if irritated at the idea.

    Oh, Tess. You’ll learn…

    “This crystal is the only clue that we have, so stick to science, not science fiction, and find me Lex Luthor,” she finished hotly.

    Dr. Groll moved back to his laptop. “ Preliminary findings suggest that the crystal responds at a molecular level to sonic vibrations. If you allow me to proceed, this frequency generator may be the key to telling you what you want to know.”

    “For your sake, I hope it is,” Tess said drily before Groll pushed a button.

    Lex chuckled. He did like her, some annoyances aside. His laughter died as he saw, through Tess’ eyes, the rings speed up, the crystal spin as if possessed. Maybe it was. In the next second, it shot a bright, white pillar of light straight through the ceiling.

    Tess’ eyes followed it before dropping back to the crystal, growing dark as the rings settled around it, slowing yet still moving.

    “What just happened?” Tess breathed.

    Lex was wondering the same damned thing.

    Weeks in Manhattan now and he had only got pages of Virgil Swann’s notes from what staff there were at the end. Most of it was encrypted… or in some form he could barely comprehend. Symbols and scribblings. Some of them looked to be so close to the cave drawings. He’d had Jimmy Olsen, silly boy that he was, diving into them, but nothing ever came of it.

    Then again, Jimmy wasn’t the right resource to tap. No. That would be Chloe, always so loyal to Clark.

    He pulled off his headphone. “Otis, I need a hacker”

    Smallville, October 8th, 2008

    Chloe dug into Jimmy’s box. Each item unearthed was a surprise. Not all of it was a good surprise, either. Bass fishing. Not her thing. In fact, most of his things were decidedly not her thing. But couples didn’t have to be simpatico on every level.

    She was committed to Jimmy, regardless, just like she was committed to Isis. She was determined to make both work. She caught sight of her ring. Clark had found it last week, had returned it to her with the unanswered question of what it all meant.

    She’d felt so afraid at the time. “When Jimmy and I get married, things will probably change -- between us, I mean.”

    But Clark had told her that her happiness was the most important thing in the world, that she’d have a wonderful life with Jimmy, not to worry about anything else. But she had been worried, so she’d held on tight, wanting to feel safe with him just one last time before everything changed. It had changed. It was strange with Clark last week, even through Oliver’s sickness, there was stiffness between them.

    But maybe that was to be expected. Everything was changing… and that included her.

    She’d only just adjusted to the idea of her meteor power to find it gone. She supposed she could see this as Brainiac infecting her… if she wanted to see the glass half empty. But couldn’t it be half full? Maybe this wasn’t so much an infection as a higher state of being.

    Regardless, things were changing even now. Jimmy was moving into the already cramped apartment. She tried to see that as a good thing, but it was still hard, especially when staring at VHS marked “Bass Explorer.”

    She heard the door open behind her and knew it had to be Jimmy. She manufactured a laugh. “You know, unpacking your fiancé really should be a wedding requirement course. I had no idea you had such a propensity for recording bass-fishing shows and reading Pablo Neruda love poems... and that you've collected every CD ever made by ABBA,” she finished, trying to withhold judgment.

    Jimmy only shrugged. “I'm complicated.”

    “Who knew there were so many sides to Jimmy Olsen?”

    He moved around the counter. “Why? Do you have a problem with that?”

    “Not at all,” she said brightly. “I love a man of mystery.” He leaned across the counter and she met him halfway, meeting his lips. Maybe they didn’t know everything about each other. Maybe it wasn’t fireworks with Jimmy, but it was… there for her. It was dependable. He was dependable and sweet and most girls had to make scads of mistakes before finding a guy like him. Hell, she only had one mistake… and, as it was Lex and as it was hidden from all who knew her, it barely counted. And damn it, she was supposed to go a day without thinking of Lex today. Starting again now…

    She pulled away from Jimmy, trying to focus on him. She would be completely focused on him. “But I would keep the ABBA away from Lois,” she said with a smile as she took his CDs to the table. Mamma Mia was a smash hit on Broadway, but not with Lois. “She's a Whitesnake girl, and I don't think she'd understand this side of you.”

    Jimmy rolled his eyes. “Well, I don't think that Lois likes any side of me these days. She's still mad 'cause I didn't tell her the truth about Lex Luthor's arctic antics.”

    Chloe couldn’t blame Lois there. She knew how it felt to be kept out of a secret. “Yeah, Lois wins medals for holding a grudge.” She smiled. “Don't worry. Just a couple of weeks of walking around on eggshells, and it'll all be over.” Or she hoped so. Lois hadn’t been the biggest Jimmy fan before this and Jimmy’s deal with Lex certainly didn’t help. She tried to tell Lois it was loosely connected to her and her time away, but it didn’t help.

    Jimmy chuckled. “Great.”

    Chloe just kept unpacking, moving to the bedroom… or bedspace. How the hell were three people going to share this tiny place when two barely worked? She came back out to find Jimmy staring at a wrinkled, pink paper.

    She knew what it was. She’d kept it all these years, hadn’t she? “I guess we sort of skated over the conversation about boundaries,” she found herself saying dully.

    Jimmy looked slightly guilty, then aggrieved. “Looks like I stumbled into the razor wire surrounding the Clark issue again.”

    She wasn’t sure who to be angry at here. Herself for keeping it or Jimmy for reading it.

    “I knew that he was your first love. I just,” Jimmy swallowed hard, “never knew that you felt like this.”

    Herself. That was who was to blame. Why the hell had she kept it? “It's ancient history,” she said, moving toward him. “I wrote that when I was 15. I've told you before -- Clark is my best friend, and that's all.”

    Jimmy was staring at the letter. "I'm the girl of your dreams masquerading as your best friend," he read before glancing at her. “You realize I'm living my biggest nightmare right now.”

    “Jimmy, it was a schoolgirl crush. And to be perfectly honest, this constant insecurity about Clark is really starting to wear thin.” How many ways and times did she have to reassure him?

    “Every time I try and leave it in the past,” Jimmy said with annoyance, “it just keeps making its way into the present.”

    “I…” Chloe was seriously at a loss here. She’d told Clark about her and Jimmy, that she was engaged to him. Hell, she had accepted his proposal with a plastic toy ring! “I don't know what else I can do.”

    Jimmy stared hard at her. “Why don't you start by asking yourself... why you never said these things to me?” He handed her back the letter and turned away.

    Chloe stared after him as he left, not sure what to say. Weren’t they adults? It was a letter written by a child! Why did she have to explain something from so long ago?

    Manhattan, 11:00 pm

    “How is this taking so long?” Lex griped to Otis. He’d given the hacker the address to the Isis building last night. All he had to do was transfer some files. Just the symbols and their meanings. He knew Chloe had them, if anyone did. Hell, she could at least give him that, whether she knew it or not.

    “Hey, I just hired the guy. But, believe me, he’s good. He’ll get you what you need.”

    “How do you know?”

    “Hey, he helped me erase my entire existence.” Otis shrugged and moved to him. “You try getting away from loan sharks. They don’t give up easy. Now, let’s just order something. Maybe with protein. You look too pale.”

    Lex shrugged Otis off. “Stop mothering me.”

    Otis just laughed. “Somebody should. You’ll give yourself an ulcer, the way you keep…”

    “Just shut up and let me check the feed,” Lex grumbled. It was obnoxious, the way Otis kept trying to… he wasn’t sure what he was doing. If he were naïve, he’d call it taking care of him. But to what end? Otis got a hotel roof over his head and weekly paycheck, but it wasn’t that much.

    “You and your Tess show,” Otis clucked as he moved to the living area. “I don’t know why you watch. It doesn’t even tell you anything and you only end up hating it.”

    He supposed Otis was right about that. The last installment, this afternoon, was just an exercise in futility. He had to watch Tess be nearly strangled by some woman… or creature. Tess only lost consciousness, but Lex wanted to reach through the screen and handle it better. He wasn’t sure how, but he would at least have been less surprised. She still didn’t know, did she, that there was more out there than simple science could tell?

    He sometimes wondered about contacting her, about just hinting that she should open her mind. But what good would that do? Maybe she wasn’t ready to know…

    His breath hitched as the feed came in. It wasn’t the mansion or The Planet. She was somewhere new tonight. The Talon. And, as he knew all too well, there was only one reason to be there after closing…

    That reason was almost walking out of frame, checking her phone before Tess spoke.

    “Good evening, Miss Sullivan,” Tess said evenly, stopping her.

    Chloe turned and faced her, faced him. It had been months since he’d seen her face. She’d kept her hair short… not that he minded, but Lex always noticed. Was she still with Olsen? After everything she’d been through, he rather hoped not, that she had a wider scope than to play with little boys. He almost hated that he didn’t know for sure. But he’d been trying to keep clear of things that clouded his judgment. And Sullivan definitely could count herself among those things.

    “I am sorry for the cloak-and-dagger routine,” Tess was saying as she moved closer, “but I didn't have time to schedule this little meet and greet. My name is –“

    Chloe cut her off and she stopped. “You can save the introduction. I know who you are. And I don't care to talk with anyone connected to Lex Luthor.”

    So she was still angry. Maybe he couldn’t blame her. F*cking Regan had put her in with the other mutants, after all, as if she was just another freak.

    Tess barely paused. “It's no secret that you and Lex have your differences, but...I'm sure that you are far too fair a person to fault me for his mistakes.”

    Chloe only scoffed.

    “Because I - I really need your help,” Tess went on, unfazed. “I know that you've cracked into some of the most complex and protected computer systems in the world, and I'd like to hire you to do the same for me.”

    “I guess Lex's lackeys didn't tell you that he actually dropped the dime on me for being a techno-wiz,” she said, smiling all the way. “I was locked up. It wasn't pretty.”

    That wasn’t true. He hadn’t told a soul. Sure, he’d locked her up, but not by telling tales to the DDS. In fact, he’d shielded her from them. Then again, he couldn’t expect her to be grateful, not with where f*cking Regan put her.

    He looked over her for a moment, noting her blouse, buttoned to the neck and ugly plaid jacket. She was wearing pants, too. It was a real shame that a woman with a curvy, compact body like Chloe’s did nothing but hide…

    “Well, no laws will be broken,” Tess was saying slowly. “You'll be trying to hack a very… unique supercomputer.”

    Lex’s eyes widened. Was she talking about the crystal? Chloe may have some skills, but hacking this technology was beyond her… Or did he know even less than he thought about her?

    Regardless, Chloe gave her a look that was almost a sneer. “Sorry. My plate's full,” she said before turning away.

    “Yeah, I'm sure planning a wedding and starting up the Isis Foundation have you pretty busy.”

    Chloe stilled. So did Lex.

    Planning a wedding? He shook his head. “No,” he whispered aloud as Chloe turned back. “Chloe, no.”

    “How did you know all that?” she asked.

    “I have access to all of Lex's records.”

    Lex shook his head again. She didn’t get this from him. Planning a wedding? Running Isis? Planning a f*cking wedding? This was after his time.

    “And I know everything about you, Chloe,” Tess went on. “Which is why I know you're the only person that can help me. So I'm hoping you'll reconsider.”

    Lex barely cared what Chloe said now. She was running Lana’s pet project. She was marrying… f*cking Jimmy. It had to be. Who else would it be?

    “You learned well from Lex,” Chloe said sweetly, with a smile. “When you don't get your way, you just...threaten. This isn't my first tour of duty on the Luthor battlefield. So you're gonna have to come at me with a lot more firepower.”

    She walked away. Tess watched her. Lex watched her, pissed off and dazed and just a little turned on. Even buttoned up like a schoolmarm, even marrying God damned Jimmy Olsen, he wanted to reach through that screen and take her.

    But she was closed to him now. He had to remember that. He had things to do, so much to learn and…

    There was a knock on the door and he snapped the laptop shut. “That better be good news,” Lex said, turning, rubbing his temples. Marrying… Jimmy Olsen… Damned….

    Otis came out of the smaller bedroom, apologetically. “You know, it might be the food. I know you said you didn’t want anything, but I thought some soup might…” His voice trailed off as he opened the door. “Oh. Did you-know-who send you?”

    “I’m looking for Mister… Lachlan is the name I have.”

    Lex squeezed his eyes shut at that voice. He knew that voice. He just hoped he’d never hear it again.

    “Who’s asking?” Otis said warily.

    “Just let him in, Otis,” Lex said tiredly as he stood, moved to the door and saw the man. Of course. Of all the people to find him, it had to be F*cking Regan.

    TBC

    I’ll be back with a wee bit more on Identity (and F*cking Regan might have some explaining to do) before glancing over as many other episodes as can cram into the next.

    You know what’s funny? Around the end of depths we sink to, I gave Otis the last name Bergman. I just picked it because I couldn’t find a last name for him. Funny enough, I just looked up the Smallville comics to see what they named him out of curiosity and they named him Otis Berg. Heh. Did not know that. Weird. I thought of changing it, but eh… I’m not really going to go with the comics as I’m breaking with canon in early season 9. Besides, SV’s had a decided lack of overtly Jewish characters. Has it had any?

    I’m looking forward to writing Otis as I want this fic to have SOME comic relief. As it is, season 8 is a rather joyless season.

    Anyway, hope you enjoyed despite the separation of Chlex. Back as soon as I can be.
    Last edited by TheAmazingApe; 16th December 2014 at 19:52. Reason: date change, some posting issues

  2. #2
    NS Full Member TrinityR's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the Depths (sequel to Deep In the Bottle/The Depths We Sink To)

    Ok, I've had a pretty rough, busy and tireding few days and now I come back home tired again and with no life left in me until... I open up my FeedDamon with all the updates from pages I look into and... there's your blog! And there's Out of Depths!!!
    I'm alive again! I am SO FUCKINNNGGGGG HAHAHAHAPPPPPPYYYYYY!!!
    Thank you so muchhhh for starting this!!!!!!!
    Can;t wait to read more.
    This is a great idea - the Chlex against evil Clark angle.
    I hope they will work through all their issues and have their happy ending which will be probably a little bitter sweet after everything they've been through, but still... that;s even better. More real.

    Just one question though, not that I mind, but I thought Lex knew Tess was his sister from the beginning. In the finale when they finally met she asked: Did you always know?
    And he said: Why do you think I recruited you?
    So I just guessed he found her because he knew she was his sister,
    But ya know, this way it's even better, because I really like that he doesn't want to see her naked, but doesn't know why.

    Great job! Looking forward to more!
    Last edited by TrinityR; 28th April 2014 at 18:28.

  3. #3

    Re: Out of the Depths (sequel to Deep In the Bottle/The Depths We Sink To)

    Quote Originally Posted by TrinityR View Post
    I'm alive again! I am SO FUCKINNNGGGGG HAHAHAHAPPPPPPYYYYYY!!!
    Thank you so muchhhh for starting this!!!!!!!
    Aw, glad I could help with a bad day.

    This is a great idea - the Chlex against evil Clark angle.
    It was really Bekah/msedopportunity's idea. I'd previously wanted to have Lex kind of kidnap Chloe after Doomsday and get her away from all the misery to end this. I only had vague ideas, as I wasn't going to start it until I'd got my other fics down to a manageable number. Then Bek requested a dark fic with Chlex vs. Evil!Clark and I thought that might be a better way to end this. I truly think Smallville was going to do something like that in season 9 before the plan changed/they wussed out. I've got some ideas as to how this could have been set up by season 8's ending and am really looking forward to Lex and Chloe meeting again as well as him clashing with the JL.

    I hope they will work through all their issues and have their happy ending which will be probably a little bitter sweet after everything they've been through, but still... that;s even better. More real.
    I definitely want to get them to a place where they're ready to be together. Lex is going to use this time away to become a better man.

    Just one question though, not that I mind, but I thought Lex knew Tess was his sister from the beginning. In the finale when they finally met she asked: Did you always know?
    And he said: Why do you think I recruited you? So I just guessed he found her because he knew she was his sister,
    I'm not going with SV canon after season 8 (though I might use some parts of season 9). But I have an alternate explanation in mind as to how Tess was put on his radar.

    But ya know, this way it's even better, because I really like that he doesn't want to see her naked, but doesn't know why.
    I think it'll be interesting when he finds out.

    Great job! Looking forward to more!
    It might be a bit before I get back to this one, but I'll try to be as quick as I can.

  4. #4
    NS Full Member
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    Re: Out of the Depths (sequel to Deep In the Bottle/The Depths We Sink To)

    can't wait to see what happens next.and you know lex does not want chloe to marry jimmy.going to be interesting see lex and chloe working together against evil clark

  5. #5
    NS Full Member TrinityR's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the Depths (sequel to Deep In the Bottle/The Depths We Sink To)

    I don't mind all the waiting As long as this at least started It can only go forward now In the meantime I keep on rereading Almost Whole

  6. #6
    NS Full Member
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    Re: Out of the Depths (sequel to Deep In the Bottle/The Depths We Sink To)

    This is great. I've waited forever for this sequel and now it is finally here. I am so happy and can't wait for more.

  7. #7

    Re: Out of the Depths (sequel to Deep In the Bottle/The Depths We Sink To)

    Quote Originally Posted by trckyrcky View Post
    This is great. I've waited forever for this sequel and now it is finally here. I am so happy and can't wait for more.
    You might have to wait a bit for the next, but I promise not more than a a few weeks. I've just got a few updates on other fics, then I'll be back to this one. Honestly, I've seriously missed this. I think I wrote that first chapter in one sitting. I was just so happy to get back to a Chlexy world.


  8. #8
    storie girl Senior Member starmoon's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the Depths (sequel to Deep In the Bottle/The Depths We Sink To)

    great start please keep going I can't wait for more.

  9. #9
    NS Gold Member Senior Member malugargula's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the Depths (sequel to Deep In the Bottle/The Depths We Sink To)

    OMG this is so great
    I've been a little away from Chlex because of my obsession with Chlollie but I think I can manage both ships together from now on lol
    Can't wait for more
    Malu

  10. #10

    Re: Out of the Depths (sequel to Deep In the Bottle/The Depths We Sink To)

    Quote Originally Posted by starmoon View Post
    great start please keep going I can't wait for more.
    I'm definitely going to keep going. I can't promise the updates will be especially quick as I've got three other fics ahead of this one, but I should have this one updated later this week.

    Quote Originally Posted by malugargula View Post
    OMG this is so great
    I've been a little away from Chlex because of my obsession with Chlollie but I think I can manage both ships together from now on lol
    Give in to the multishipping. Chloe is too much woman for just one ship. She deserves two --- dare I say THREE -- ships at the least!

    I enjoyed Chlollie as well (and we all know about my enduring love for Chlark), but there's something about that Chlex! I am so happy to be writing in my Chlexy universe again!

    Also new icon coming!

    ETA: I hope? Does anyone know how to upload an icon here? IDK, but there seems to be no option to do it!
    Last edited by TheAmazingApe; 8th June 2014 at 13:21.

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