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

  1. #21

    Re: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 7/14/14)

    I can't believe it took me so long to get here, it's in the graveyard. I'll see if I can get someone to dig it up. I'm guessing it's four months or graveyard. I'll remember that and endeavor never to make you wait more than a month again! I am deeply ashamed.



    Quote Originally Posted by cbrunberg View Post
    glad you updated can't wait to see what happens next
    Thanks so much. I'm just sorry you've waited so long.

    Quote Originally Posted by flirtydramagirl View Post
    Your fic is better than the last two seasons of Smallville (so disappointed with so many unresolved/unexplored story arcs)!


    Well, to be fair, it's not hard to be better than the last two seasons of Smallville.

    I stumbled across your first story in this trilogy and am blown away with your sexy/villainous/dastardly/powerful/human depiction of Lex and the snarky/intelligent/torn/kindred Chloe.
    I confess, I do like writing him a little dark. He's just sexy that way!

    I can't say enough great things about each of your fics, but especially this last update. I love that Lex is still pining for Chloe (and really hope that we can get Jimmy out of the way ASAP and avoid Davis altogether--hated that little tangent the writers took her on).
    I'm actually going to be dealing with and making sense of season 8 up to a point. I have extensive notes and am laying a foundation that explains everything. I hope you still enjoy.

    I love that Lex has put down the bottle and is focusing on being more honest...now he just needs to be honest with himself about the depth of his feelings for Chloe and grovel/trick her into wanting him again. He could always dangle Clark over her head to get her back by his side--which is where she belongs.
    He'll get there.

    So excited for a new update! Thank you for the lovely and all-consuming (Yes, I binge-read all of your fics in a weekend!) writing.
    Aw! Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed them! I'll endeavor to be back here quicker with the next chapter.

  2. #22

    Re: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 7/14/14)

    Okay, by the end of two weeks. Sorry!

    Dealing with Committed. Summary if you need it:
    http://smallville.wikia.com/wiki/Committed

    I’m trying not to have Chloe and Lex apart for too long, but there are so many things from season eight I want to apply a Chlexy fix to (or just make sense of) or that I can’t resist letting Lex give commentary on. Rest assured, I will skip anything that I can in the interest of getting our duo in the same general area.

    Chapter Three

    Smallville, October 15th, 2008 - 10:34 pm

    She hadn’t talked about it, not to anyone. But she kept thinking he’d show up somehow. She hadn’t invited him, but there was an announcement and she stupidly thought her dad might come. Just walk in and call her some embarrassing pet name and envelope her like before.

    Regardless, there was a definite lack of benevolently smiling family at their engagement party and that included Jimmy’s end.

    Chloe turned to Jimmy as they lightly strolled away from The Talon, getting some air after the last guest drove off. “You know, it's a shame your parents couldn't be here tonight. I would have really loved to celebrate your impeccable taste with them.” He’d gotten her a ring, and not a plastic one, after all. It wasn’t gaudy or flashy. It was sweet and simple, just like their life would be.

    Jimmy sighed. “Well, they send their love. Dad is this close to closing a big deal in London. His, um, priorities are a little out of whack, but he means well.”

    She couldn’t judge. She wanted to meet them, but it wasn’t as if her father had met Jimmy, either. Not even tonight. She felt silly, again, for hoping he might. If her father had RSVPed no to her wedding, then why would he show up for her engagement party? Maybe it was this dangerous life she led. He’d been blacklisted, they’d both been declared legally dead, and things never, ever went back to anything resembling normal. Maybe he had something normal now. Maybe that was how he wanted his life.

    Still, there was something in her that knew Jimmy wasn’t telling the truth. She couldn’t tell to what degree, but she’d always been good at spotting a lie, after watching Clark do it so badly over the years. Yet, she couldn’t judge there, either. He didn’t know much about her life, her real life. But she would give him anything she…

    Not the truth. That would just be a little too intimate to share with someone you had no real intention of staying with

    Lex. Every time she looked at her life and tried to be happy with it, there his voice was, always a smirk in it. And part of her wanted to hear it, wanted to keep that insufferable, smirking voice alive. But she also hated it, hated that it invaded every moment with Jimmy, as if she wasn’t allowed to be happy.

    And what about you? You with your mysterious activities. Are you happy, Chloe? Unemployed and stuck in a dead-end relationship, always landing in dangerous..."

    She shut him off. She couldn’t keep letting him in. She could be happy if she tried.

    Sometimes, she wondered if trying would involve telling Jimmy everything. Not the stuff that wasn’t hers to tell, but the things that were… The things she’d done wrong. Lex….

    It didn’t matter. Lex was gone and so was her past with him. They were the only two who knew. She should be happy enough Jimmy could deal with Clark, these days.

    With that thought, she turned her eyes to Jimmy as they strolled. “Oh, well, I still hope you enjoyed yourself tonight. You know what was my favorite part of the evening?”

    Jimmy chuckled. “If you say Lois' toast, I'm getting a prenup.”

    “God, no!” She was still trying to figure out what that was about. Lois had never had any issue with Jimmy before. She turned to face him. “When Clark was toasting us, I looked over at you, and you had the most wonderful smile on your face. You know, it really means a lot to me that you're finally okay with Clark.”

    “Me being uptight about you and Clark is yesterday's news. There may be a textbook's worth of history between the two of you, but the future is all Chloe and Jimmy's story.”

    She leaned in to hug him. This would work. She would make this work. She felt him stiffen slightly… in more ways than one. She pulled back and met his eyes. “You know, I think it's about time we head upstairs for some much-needed alone time.” She’d put him off long enough, almost a year by now. It was time.

    Jimmy grinned. “Oh, I think that is a fantastic idea.”

    But they didn’t get to take even a step back to The Talon before there was a bright light, a man, a stabbing pain in her stomach. She’d been tranqued before. She knew the sting and the numbness. But who…

    Paradise, Nevada – October 16th, 2008, 7:01 am, PST

    “I’m telling you, you’ll give yourself an ulcer,” Otis said from the couch, which was still a mess of pillows and blankets.

    “Shut up, Otis,” Lex groaned, shoving The Daily Planet away and trying to get a better look at his print-outs with the limited space on the thing Budget Suites dared to call a table. “And clean up your damned bed.”

    “Ah, fine,” Otis grumbled, then kept babbling. “My uncle drank five cups a day and, hand to God, his stomach lining went kaput.”

    Lex took another long, slightly defiant sip of his coffee. He’d sent Regan back to Metropolis after taking hold of the crystal and he and Otis relocated to this supposedly more inconspicuous little craphole in the ironically named Paradise, Nevada.

    At least the suite was cheap at a weekly rate and the internet was steady. “Business class,” Otis had called it. “Good enough service and it’s almost all conventions and shit near the airport. No one’s gonna look twice, even at you. It’s just what you need till we can find something better. I’m working on something. I know a guy.”

    Otis always talked about knowing a guy. Otis always talked. It pretty much never ended. Lex wondered if he’d sent the wrong man away.

    “… but you know, he also had diverticulitis. You know, I’m afraid I’m gonna get it, too. Could you imagine, not eatin corn for the rest of your…”

    “Why the hell am I keeping you around again?” Lex cut in, turning to face him.

    Otis dropped a pillow and frowned. “Hey, I’m just tryin’ to help.”

    “Nagging me like a damn woman,” Lex muttered. He had to remind himself that Regan was still the more annoying option. But he had to keep him in the circle with all he knew, that or kill him. He chuckled, then sobered up, reminding himself that it wasn’t a joke. Between Grant, Lionel and Patricia Swann, he’d gone hallucinating, drunken, batshit crazy. He didn’t think he could handle any more blood on his hands, literally or figuratively.

    He’d told Regan to go back and gather documents, said he’d never dealt with things after Lionel’s death with all the Veritas business and The Traveler and being carved up. “I want to make sure my holdings are in order for if or when I choose to come back,” he’d lied. Compared to all he was learning, he barely gave a shit what was in Smallville and Metropolis, but it was enough to send Regan off, mollified.

    “Of course.” Regan had nodded sagely. “You never know what Mercer might do if she has access to sensitive information.”

    Lex let him go on with that assumption, since he was still so damned petulant about Tess. Lex wasn’t sure what he’d say to this little TV show of his. He absently cast an eye and one ear to his laptop, Tess’ feed still active. Lex wasn’t too happy with Tess, himself, at the moment.

    He’d had a good enough morning at first, finding a strange enjoyment in Tess’ frustration at the missing crystal. It wasn’t even at her expense. He liked seeing someone, anyone, share his own anger at being left out. He wondered if Clark found it fun to watch him flounder. Then again, he shouldn’t take the idea of Clark so lightly. Clark was The Traveler and sent to “rule them with strength.”

    On this third planet from this star Sol, you'll be a god among men. They are a flawed race. Rule them with strength, my son. That is where your greatness lies.

    It had come from Swann’s notes, not a translation, right beneath a sketch of a spacecraft, a small one according to the dimensions scribbled around it. There was no source for the passage, but Swann claimed that there were many ways to take it, though he didn’t elaborate.

    Lex could only think of one way to take it. And it was disturbing, to say the least. He should be concentrating on that passage, translating the rest, not grousing over Tess’ questionable dalliances. But to see Oliver Queen lounging behind what was his desk… for a time was truly pissing him off.

    “…can't find time to return my calls,” the idiot was saying, “but you do manage to fit it into your busy schedule to buy the Star City Towers right out from under me.”

    “Business is business,” Tess said levelly.

    “Well, this is not about business. And to be honest with you, revenge is not your best…”

    “Why don’t I get you some green tea?” Otis nagged. “There’s a Starbucks right across…”

    “Shh!” Lex waved him off. Luckily, Tess wasn’t taking Oliver’s shit.

    “One of the most important things that Lex taught me is you can't afford to live in the past.”

    “Did Professor Luther also teach you a thing or two about deception?”


    “Fuck you,” Lex growled.

    Otis sniffed. “Well, I was only…”

    “Not you!”

    “…about obsession?” Queen was saying. “I hear his class in murder's an easy A.”

    “Nothing to your class in torture,” Lex ground out, “you sadistic, suddenly self-righteous…”

    ”He's done more for this world than you ever will, Oliver. He dedicated his life to making it a safer place,” he heard Tess say.

    “Thank you,” Lex breathed. Damn it, he was trying!

    “So is that a yes on tea?”

    He turned to Otis. “Yes. Fine. Anything to get some damned quiet.”

    “…like Lex may have been a little bit more than a mentor,” Oliver was saying insidiously.

    “Seriously? Fuck you,” he hissed over the vague sound of Otis shutting the door.

    Tess seemed to share his sentiments. “If you're done wasting my time, I have phone calls to make.”

    “Look, uh, I'm sorry. Really, okay? I didn't come here to battle with you. Actually, I came here to…”


    Lex’s phone took that damned moment to ring. “Yes? What, Regan?”

    “Sir, I never anticipated… That is…”

    “Spit it out. I’m busy,” Lex snapped, then thought better of it. He didn’t want Regan disgruntled. “I’m very occupied with these symbols. Unless this is important...”

    “It is. Among all the documentation on stocks and property, I found your journals and…”

    “Burn them,” Lex cut in. Everything he thought he knew was wrong, anyway.

    “But what about your father’s journals?”

    “My father didn’t have any journals,” Lex said absently, turning his attention back to Mercer and Queen.

    “...over dinner,” Queen was saying, an obnoxious, shit-eating grin on his face.

    You haven't changed one bit. Oliver always wants what Oliver can't have.

    Lex chuckled. “Good girl.”

    “You know, sometimes a meal's just a meal.

    Lex shook his head. “Don’t fall for it.”

    ”You pick me up at 7:00.”

    “7:30 it is.”


    “Damn it, you’re better than this,” Lex hissed.

    “Sir? Sir?”

    “Yes. Regan. What?” he snapped.

    “Your father’s journals? I can’t just leave them here for Mercer to find. She’s been filling out forms for access to documentation and…”

    “My father didn’t keep journals. I told you.”

    “With all due respect, Sir, I’m looking at them and he did. There are also scribblings, scraps of paper with strange drawings like…”

    “Like the caves,” Lex breathed. He’d suspected it at different times, but maybe it was true. It would certainly explain Lionel’s sudden admiration for Clark Kent. Maybe he’d invaded Lionel’s mind as well as Chloe. “Send me every scrap he wrote.”

    “And your writings? Should I destroy…”

    “No,” Lex cut in, watching through Tess’ eyes as she moved about her office, humming to herself, as if looking forward to her little dinner date with Queen. How old was she, anyway? Barely twenty-five? She should know a little more about the world, should know there was more to it than what she saw. Maybe that would help her keep focus. “Leave them. I want them where Mercer can find them,” he said, knowing Regan would balk, which he did.

    “Sir…”

    “Do you work for me or not? Maybe you should trust that I know what I’m doing!” It was a lie. He was making it up as he went, but it felt right, the way taking this time to learn felt right. He hadn’t felt anything this clearly right since Room 23 at The Paradise Motel. “Send me Lionel’s writings and anything with one of those damned symbols, but leave the journals for Mercer” he finished, wondering if her little date with Queen wasn’t on the right path after all. Maybe she wouldn’t find out anything was missing if she were sufficiently distracted. He’d decide later, after he saw what his dear father wrote, what she was and wasn’t ready to know.

    He needed a distraction himself. His eyes moved to that copy if The Daily Planet. He’d been having Otis pick it up at an airport news stand, knowing Kent worked there now. But he hadn’t seen much from him or even Lane. He did see an engagement announcement, however.

    And he refused to think about it.

    Smallville – October 16th, 2008, 7:45 pm

    She could barely think about it without shuddering, how close she’d come to ruining everything. It wasn’t the threat of death. She’d been at the mercy of crazy people too many times to fear death. It was the idea of dying the wrong way that ultimately killed her. As much as she had entertained the idea of telling Jimmy about Lex, she didn’t want him or anyone to know as her last utterance.

    Jimmy had only just begun to accept Clark’s place in her life. Even with it her insane affair with Lex over, even with Lex gone, Jimmy couldn’t handle knowing that. Yet, in those few moments with that obviously unhinged man hooking her up to a polygraph, she thought of spilling it all. Not because of the lie-detector. Any idiot knew those were bunkum and any number of stressors could cause that needle to go wild whether you were telling the gospel truth or not. No. It was because a part of her needed to tell all.

    Hadn’t she always been the greatest proponent of the truth? Maybe this latest round of being strapped down in dank room with a psycho was her comeuppance for all the times she kept things from Jimmy, from Clark, from Lois, from all that knew her. Maybe she deserved to die confessing her sins. Last rites, last confession. Wasn’t that what they called it? Her religious education had been disinterested at best, but weren’t you supposed to come clean at the end?

    But something in her said not to tell it, that surviving this was the only thing that mattered, with flashes of calm amid the panic and sometimes, she could swear, the face of that nice paramedic whenever she thought of Lex.

    Chloe… Have you ever cheated on your fiancé?

    No.


    She said it with surety. Jimmy wasn’t her fiancé then, after all. Just Jimmy. Just a boyfriend she was struggling to connect with again. And she’d been ready to leave him for Lex. With Lex. So it hadn’t been cheating. It was just love for the wrong man.

    Are you in love with anyone else?

    Jimmy begged her not to answer, but that was silly. She wasn’t in love with anyone else. How could she love a man now dead? He didn’t even exist. That lie, it didn’t even take work, though it did leave her feeling empty inside.

    I’m going to ask you one more time. Are you in love with anyone else?

    No. Only you, Jimmy, forever.


    She’d kept her breathing even, but had been afraid of a spike. But the polygraph didn’t react, only confirming that polygraphs were a toy. Even so, she meant what she said. If it wasn’t true, she would make it true. He loved her, even with her dangerous life and her secrets. Wasn’t that worth forever?

    Congratulations, James Olsen, Chloe Sullivan. I now pronounce you husband and wife.

    “Chloe?”

    She jerked in the tub, turned to the door. “Yeah, Jimmy. Out in a sec.” She knew she had beaten the test, but a part of her still felt so… dirty about it. Not about saving her life, obviously, but about there being lies at all.

    The doorknob rattled. “I can come in and…”

    “No. I’m fine,” she called out. “Just a sec.”

    She’d told him she didn’t think she’d have survived across from anyone else in that room and she meant it. Jimmy didn’t know polygraphs were easily fooled with a few deep breaths. More than that Jimmy didn’t know how to lie. He didn’t have any secrets. She’d told him that, too. She loved that about him. He was normal, he was simple and uncomplicated and, she was positive, good for her.

    Better than Lex, at least. She had to stop fixating on him with his irritating… She frowned, staring into the bathwater. She couldn’t think what was so irritating about him at the moment. Was it his eyes? Dark and sort of knowing or the dimple in his chin that…

    No. That was Davis. She shouldn’t be thinking of Davis. She leaned back in the tub, struggling to see Lex. Sometimes she liked to remember the good parts. Sometimes she worried she was forgetting him altogether, especially lately.

    But maybe that was for the best. She shouldn’t be thinking of Lex, either.

    The man she should be thinking about knocked again, just then. “Chloe, the police are downstairs. Also, Clark left some messages. He sounded worried.”

    “I’ll be right out.”

    Paradise, Nevada – October 16th, 2008, 8:01 pm PST

    Lex wanted to tell them both to get out so he could concentrate. Between Regan’s insufferable good mood and Otis babbling about whatever-the-hell… booze, now.

    “… and you just get some cheap stuff and pour it in.

    “Seems like a lot of stupid effort for a couple shots of cheap vodka,” Regan was saying, still a smug edge in his voice.

    “No, no. You drink the good stuff and replace it with the cheap stuff. You rich types don’t know how to save a buck…”

    “Would the both of you be quiet?” Lex snapped, rubbing his eyes when the symbols started swimming in front of them. Lex had always been a good student. As few friends as he’d had in his formative years, he'd had nothing else to do with his time. But he couldn’t decipher this with all the noise. Besides that, Lionel’s scribblings weren’t neatly organized or even clearly drawn as compared to Chloe’s little database. But he’d get it done before he touched the journal. He wouldn’t open it now, anyway, with these clowns still in the room. But he was also… not quite ready.

    He’d made his peace with what he’d done in those dark months. Not that he had any illusions he was forgiven in the eyes of God, should he exist. But he knew it wasn’t the action of a sane man. He wanted to stay sane, stay focused, keep absorbing what he could before thinking about his father. He wasn’t quite sure what that would do to his mental clarity.

    “Sorry about that,” Regan said, not sounding sorry at all. “Are they still going at it?”

    “I could care less,” Lex lied. He’d minimized and muted the feed and it would stay that way until he was sure Queen was gone. He really didn’t need to see or hear that, but Regan seemed awfully interested and amused about the whole thing.

    Fucking Regan was supposed to send the journals and writings, not hand-deliver them. And stupid Otis had opened the door before Lex had time to hide Tess’ feed. The only upside to Regan knowing was that it had cured him of his obsessive jealousy. One of the many downsides were the snide, congratulatory remarks.

    “Now I understand everything. Amazing idea, Mr. Luthor. I’m sure you’ve learned so much,” he’d said, then proceeded to make so much debauched commentary whenever Tess passed a mirror in her workout, that Lex was ready to shut it off. He did it in a snap once he saw where things were going with Queen.

    “At least it’s clear how she operates now,” Regan was saying, lounging on the couch with a tiny bottle of scotch. “I think I finally figured out why your father hired her in the first place. A little young, but I understand Lionel had no minimum age.”

    Lex ground his teeth. She might have been hired before his time in charge, but he’d have made the same call. “Mercer’s level of education had her over-qualified to work in a lab,” he said as calmly as he could manage, “so I really doubt that’s the case.” What did Regan have anyway, some two-year community college degree?

    “Hey, I guess only that journal will say for sure,” Otis said around a mouthful of chips. “Have you…”

    “No,” Lex broke in. “I’m waiting for some time to absorb it in peace,” he finished pointedly, turning in his chair.

    “Okay, okay.” Otis stood. “I can take a hint. I’ll get over to the gas station, get some more liquor for the company.” He nodded to Regan. “You know they sell it right at the gas stations here. Isn’t that the best?”

    “The very best,” Regan said with a phony smile. He waited until Otis was out the door before he laughed. “So I understand why Tess is around, but why him?”

    “I need someone for simple errands. Might as well be Otis. He’s simple enough to follow instructions without improvisation.”

    “I know you weren’t expecting me.” Regan sighed. “But I couldn’t just send the writings. This is too sensitive for Fed-Ex.”

    “How much of it did you read?”

    “Just enough to confirm it was Lionel’s,” Regan said soberly. “I understand now how you feel about your family’s privacy. But I still wish you’d let me in further. I think I could help analyze some of…”

    “You know as much as you need to.”

    “Well, there’s one thing you don’t know. I have reason to believe Tess has the orb.”

    Lex frowned. “I haven’t seen it.”

    “But you said it was months before you got the feed on Tess. I think her team may have recovered it along with the crystal.”

    “Then why didn’t she have Groll…”

    “I don’t think she trusts Groll. Sir, I’m not even sure you should trust Groll.”

    “You know, your annoying habit of distrusting everyone I choose to work with is getting a little tiresome. Groll’s fine.” Even if he wasn’t, Lex wasn’t likely to find someone else to do what Groll could. On that note, Lex moved to the fridge. Groll had him on some concoction to lower his white blood cell count, realizing the constant healing was interfering with the skin grafts. An initial test didn’t work out, his skin rejecting any invasion as if it were an infection -- as if he needed to be reminded he was a freak.

    He should have known this might be an issue. He’d once looked into hair implants and nothing would take. Why would this be any different? But he needed the suit. He needed something to even the field when he faced Clark again. He needed to be armed with power as well as knowledge. If it would just fucking work!

    Based on Groll’s last little home-visit, the snake oil he'd been choking down wasn’t having a lasting effect. He was upped to three vials a day in the hopes he’d be ready for the suit when it was completed. He hoped this worked, otherwise, Otis would be poking him with a needle soon enough. Failing that, infusions might be necessary. Failing even that, he’d have to resort to the ridiculous first prototype, which amounted to encasing himself inside a bulky robotic skin. He hoped it didn’t come to any of that.

    Lex downed half the noxious stuff and turned to Regan. He had to get rid of him again. It was hard enough to concentrate with Otis talking his ear off. He didn’t need to put up with Regan nosing into everything he was doing on top of it. Besides that, he still needed things Otis couldn’t be sent to do with his air of blue-collar breeding. The suit wasn’t the only protection available to him and a portly man in a sloppy suit may be good enough at blending in, but people didn’t exactly jump to do Otis Bergman’s bidding.

    “I don’t need you to think about Groll. I need you to go back to Smallville.”

    Regan tilted his head. “Not Metropolis?”

    “I need you to go anywhere you can get at least a seven or eight millimeter chunk of green meteor rock. Then I need you to have something made for me…”

    Smallville, October 17th, 2008, 10:02 am

    Chloe smiled, watching Lois hug a very confused Jimmy, thinking of what she’d said earlier. Not the drunken rant of a toast the other night. She’d apologized for that and Chloe was ready to consider it forgotten. But just now…

    Just knowing that I had everything that I wanted right in front of me... and having it slip away. I just didn't want to see you have that kind of heartache.

    Lois was a bit too late to stop that. She’d been there with Lex, at the point of boarding a plane to some deserted island for him until he showed his true colors. Then again, she’d always known his true colors. She’d just been stupidly infatuated last spring, thinking what she'd convinced herself was love could change him.

    More than that, she’d had her heart broken to one degree or another, by every man she’d ever looked at with the exception of Jimmy. When she said she knew in her heart that Jimmy was the one, she meant it. Jimmy would never break her heart. So many people said some variation of “marry a man that loves you more than you love him,” that it would even out in the end. She was sure and safe in how he felt about her and she… she was getting there with him. Maybe it would take a few years, but she knew she could get there.

    “Congratulations, Jimmy,” Lois said before leaving.

    Jimmy smiled, still looking confused. “What was that all about?”

    “You and me, oddly enough,” Chloe said on a laugh. “Speaking of which, I have something you need to see.” She pulled him into Isis’ control room, picking up a remote, letting the pictures on the screens flash around them. “After the Spanish Inquisition, I was thinking we deserve an extra-long honeymoon. So, maybe Bora Bora, Saint-Tropez…”

    “Chloe,” Jimmy cut in, “before you start booking anything, there's something you need to know. As insane as that guy was, he made a great point. If we're gonna make it, we can't have any secrets from each other,” he finished soberly.

    Did he know somehow? He couldn’t know. No one knew but her and Lex and no one else would even suspect. There was no way. Calm down. Chloe held her smile with some effort. “Yeah, but if the last twelve hours have proven anything, it's that we don't have much left to hide.”

    “Yeah. There is.”

    Her eyes widened. He knew something, maybe not what, but something. Was he going to wait for her to say it? Maybe it was time to finally…

    “I'm not who you think I am,” he finally said.

    So he didn’t know. She wasn’t exactly relieved. “The sudden knot in my stomach tells me this isn't you embracing your inner Nietzsche.” She attempted to smile, but couldn’t get the damned grimace off her face.

    Jimmy ambled around the console, looking anywhere but at her. “My parents aren't coming to the wedding. They, uh… well, they actually don't exist. Well, I mean, they do. Of course they do. They exist. It's just that... my dad's not an investment banker in Manhattan.” He finally turned to her. “He's a part-time mechanic and full-time alcoholic in Oklahoma City. I never even really met my mom.”

    “Why would you keep something like this from me?” she asked, even over the irony. As far as Jimmy knew, her father was working overseas and was impossible to contact and she hadn’t seen her mother since she was eight. But it was different for her to have secrets. They were tied up with a dangerous life that Jimmy needed to be kept safe from. He wasn’t supposed to have secrets. He was supposed to be a sweet, safe, blessedly normal open book.

    “This city -- it's huge. It's the top of the world coming from where I come from. And the only way I could fit in was to... be someone else.”

    Chloe shook her head. “Why didn't you trust me?”

    “I know. I'm sorry. I'm... so sorry. I screwed up big-time. And I totally understand if you need some time or even if -- if you want out.”

    She wasn’t sure if she would go that far. Did this change anything? Wasn’t he still safe and normal? Drunk father, absent mother. These were very normal problems, nothing to the darkness she’d seen.

    “A guy like me... doesn't get a girl like you, Chloe. Life, it doesn't work like that.”

    Poor Jimmy. How could she hold this against him? This really was nothing compared to her lies. “Yeah, it does,” she finally said, leaning in to meet his lips, then hold him, frowning over his shoulder.

    Maybe she owed him some truth in exchange. She could never share Clark’s secret, but maybe just one of her own. Maybe she could tell him the truth about her father, her mother.

    No. It was too tied up in Clark and in her dangerous life. But Lex… she could find a way to tell him that left Clark out of it. Just a little...

    No. She wouldn’t. What good would it do? Clearing her conscience weighed nothing against how much it would hurt Jimmy. Telling him about Lex was tantamount to a break up. It would be over because he couldn’t handle it. There was no way anyone who knew her could. Even those that loved her most would look at her differently from then on.

    “So is now a good or bad time,” Jimmy began still hugging her tight, “to tell you my name’s technically, legally Henry?”

    She pulled away. “Henry?”

    “You’ll see it on the license.” He sighed. “It was my father’s name.”

    They talked until dusk, then. About how his father had treated him, treated his mother, according to the stories, how she left when he was too young to remember, just after giving birth to his brother. She could understand why he’d lied, built a different life for himself, refused to call himself by his father’s name. He’d only stayed till he was eighteen, then he helped his grandparents get custody of little James and he never looked back.

    Maybe that meant they were right for each other. She knew something about growing up a motherless latchkey kid, though never abused. If anything, her father’s biggest crime was indifference these days.

    She didn’t tell him that, but she held him and told him they were like orphans who found each other. She told him that, but she didn’t tell him anything else, even after they promised, again, they wouldn’t keep secrets.

    He gave her everything he'd been holding back and she wasn’t returning the favor. But he loved her. He loved her so much that marrying him would be enough. She could give him everything but the truth and it would even out in the end.

    It had to.

    TBC

    Back in less than a month. I swear!
    Last edited by TheAmazingApe; 16th December 2014 at 19:40.

  3. #23

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

    Also adding this lovely alternate banner Chleansmile made for me:


  4. #24
    NS Full Member TrinityR's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 7/14/14)

    Haha! Less than a month? I'll be counting! You know I remember reading your last chapter just when the last season of TrueBlood started and telling you how happy I was about the two things. Now I actually own that last season on DVD!!! and you just updated. Yeah, long wait...
    but I hope this time we will have to wait less):

    I still have troubles with understanding season 8. I mean undestanding Jimmy's story. He tells Chloe about his absent mother and drunk father in the show and he doesn't mention his brother and then there's the funeral in the finale and there's suddenly his whole family! It was weird... Stupid, stupid writers. they screw up big times just like they did back in season 6. Lana says she's pregnant, Lex is shocked and happy and then it turns out he faked that pregnancy... Unloess he's delusional, big mistake!

  5. #25
    NS Gold Member Senior Member malugargula's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 7/14/14)

    Really interesting
    I'm loving 'hearing' all Lex thoughts and his jealousy lol
    Can't wait for more
    Tks for sharing
    Malu

  6. #26
    NS Full Member TrinityR's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 7/14/14)

    Oh, and I think you forgot to update your blog, because I haven't gotten any notification yet.

  7. #27

    Re: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 7/14/14)

    Have some replies for you guys, but first:

    Does anyone know which moderators are active these days? I PMed two last Tuesday about getting this fic out of the graveyard and was just thinking maybe those were both Mods that were no longer active. Also, I really want to ask someone about the posting and editing issues. Whenever I hit edit on a post, my post is deleted in the editor as if it never happened. I've found ways around it, posting the draft from another forum every time, but it's a real headache as the forum rules state you have to edit the first post every time you post a chapter to reflect the update. I'm wondering if that's a rule that can be changed in light of posts disappearing every time you go in to edit them.

    Has anyone else had that issue? Let me know.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrinityR View Post
    Haha! Less than a month? I'll be counting! You know I remember reading your last chapter just when the last season of TrueBlood started and telling you how happy I was about the two things. Now I actually own that last season on DVD!!! and you just updated. Yeah, long wait...
    The shame, she is deep! I really do try to make more writing time, but my job has been busy from about May till... now. But I swear to you that, come January, I will be out of gigs and with nothing to do but sit home and write. I am going to use that time well!

    I still have troubles with understanding season 8. I mean understanding Jimmy's story. He tells Chloe about his absent mother and drunk father in the show and he doesn't mention his brother and then there's the funeral in the finale and there's suddenly his whole family!
    The personal fanwank I used in this fic, I've used for about two others before it and it only took a few lines each time. How hard would it have been for Smallville to add something to foreshadow so we weren't so blindsided by the Jimmy/Henry thing? It would have been simple and didn't even have to give the twist away if, indeed, this was something they planned. IMO, the show was either lazy or pulled it out of their asses. I always land on a mix of the two.

    Lana says she's pregnant, Lex is shocked and happy and then it turns out he faked that pregnancy... Unloess he's delusional, big mistake!
    preaching to the choir. I still get so annoyed at the Lexana discrepancies in season 6. I usually fanwank them into Lex having implanted her with her own clone (as a baby carrier to prevent the Lexmas death) as at least that is more purposeful than Lex making her fake-pregnant to force a marriage.

    Quote Originally Posted by malugargula View Post
    Really interesting
    I'm loving 'hearing' all Lex thoughts and his jealousy lol
    Can't wait for more
    Tks for sharing
    Glad you enjoyed. He's definitely having trouble absorbing that Chimmy is getting to the point of freakin marriage. Me and you both, Lex!

    Quote Originally Posted by TrinityR View Post
    Oh, and I think you forgot to update your blog, because I haven't gotten any notification yet.
    I haven't forgotten. I just haven't had time. I'll get to it today or tomorrow, for sure.

    I really will get back here before Jan 16. No matter what!

  8. #28
    NS Full Member TrinityR's Avatar
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    Re: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 7/14/14)

    Have you tried Julie, the moderator? Or Lexie? Although I'm not sure if she's one.
    As far is the empty edited posts are concerned... boy, I had troubles with that, too and there's nothing you can actually do. I know it can be troubling.

    Haha, don;t worry. I know how life can get in the way of writing and I was just teasing

  9. #29
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    Re: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 7/14/14)

    So, so excited you're back writing this fic! I read this whole thing a couple months back and loved it. I'm so happy you are committed to finishing it. You've written a heck of a story and although it's sometimes difficult to read (I either want to throttle Chloe or Lex), it is totally engrossing. Please update soon!

  10. #30

    Re: Out of the Depths (3rd of a trilogy - updated 7/14/14)

    Quote Originally Posted by TrinityR View Post
    Have you tried Julie, the moderator? Or Lexie? Although I'm not sure if she's one.
    Lexie must have emailed Julie for me because I'm out of the graveyard now! I LIIIIIVVVE!!!

    As far is the empty edited posts are concerned... boy, I had troubles with that, too and there's nothing you can actually do. I know it can be troubling.
    I've tried various things to work with that. Thanks goodness Ksite uses the same code or I'd have lost it all by now.

    Haha, don;t worry. I know how life can get in the way of writing and I was just teasing
    I am trying to make more time for this and other writing efforts in my day, though. I'm hoping the new year will be much more productive for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ree View Post
    So, so excited you're back writing this fic! I read this whole thing a couple months back and loved it. I'm so happy you are committed to finishing it. You've written a heck of a story and although it's sometimes difficult to read (I either want to throttle Chloe or Lex), it is totally engrossing. Please update soon!
    Thanks so much! It's tough, working with canon (especially seasons 6-8 when both Chloe and Lex were pod people whose actions were waffly, depending on what the plot demanded that week. Super annoying!), but I kind of like the challenge.

    I vow I will never (except in the event of untimely death) leave my fic unfinished.

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