by Rawles

This is sort of a vague season four AU, building on the idea of what could have come from Chloe and Lex's interactions and the summer he spent saving her life. Originally posted on my LiveJournal: http://oroinziliel.livejournal.com

His grip on her shoulders was firm and possessive and protective and scared. It was enough. Tears gathered at the corners of Chloe's eyes, because she knew what he would say.

"For you. I did it for you."

She shook her head, denying her role.

She traced their path backwards through time, wishing that she had found some way to derail it before it went this far, before it got here. Glances that lingered a bit too long and touches that transmitted heat when they knew that it was inappropriate. Long days inside that house passed so slowly while the world outside went on, and he visited, and they talked about anything and everything except Him. Because He was at the center of it all, and to touch the center and acknowledge how they had come to be this way would be too much for both of them. Everything came back to Him, and they had an unspoken agreement--everything was unspoken--that they would not let Him be the cause of those feelings-that-should-not-be on top of everything else.

They wanted something for themselves. They took something for themselves.

When it was all over, and she was alive again, but still not quite old enough, they found a single night to acknowledge what they left unsaid. They did, and they did not speak again. Until now, as he stood there with his hands on her shoulders, answering her barely muttered question of: "Why?"

There could be many reasons that Lionel Luthor was dead, but they both knew that there didn't need to be many reasons. Two were enough: her and him.

The tears finally began to fall.

Lionel Luthor deserved to be dead. Lex Luthor did not deserve to be a murderer. She would have died to save him from it, but she was robbed of that choice by unsolicited heroics, and he was left with his choice. Chloe or Lionel. Just easy enough. He tried to think that he was saving himself in the process. They both knew better. She did not like to consider the possibility that the attempt on her life was just an excuse.

She was old enough now.

He kissed her for the first time. The only first time that they would ever acknowledge in years to come when anyone asked the question, which people tended to in situations like theirs. Situations where people didn't and couldn't understand, and made judgements, and gossiped, and overexaggerated until they found something else to occupy their time. They didn't care. He needed her, more than he needed anything else in the world, even long after he'd forgotten that it was so, when the nights and the bed and his skin were all cold.

She was almost enough. Not enough to save him, but close enough that they could both pretend.

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