by evangelene

*Rating: G

I haven't written fic in awhile. I have never written Chloe fic before. I have never written het fic before. I have never written G-rated fic before. That said, please enjoy this tribute to crushes that I wrote from the perspective of Chloe.

Feedback is awesome!*

Chloe was uncharacteristically silent as the four of them left the caves. She felt completely stupid in her bizarre goth prostitute outfit. She had a headache and an awful feeling of lost time that was becoming all too familiar.

What had she done this time?

At least this time she wasn't in it alone. Her cousin, of all people, was dressed for Halloween as well, though she seemed to be taking it with more good humour than one would expect. She was certainly the most talkative right now.

"Hey, Kent, is that your gun?"

Clark turned and sheepishly retrieved his father's rifle from the cave floor.

"I...I wouldn't really have used it," he said quietly.

It was a weird night.

Lana was quiet, but seemed to at least understand what was going on. She looked like she was putting the pieces together. Chloe wasn't ready to do that, for once. And anyway, she had no idea where to begin.

They left the caves with Clark and Lana in the lead, Lois slightly behind, making comments to no one in particular about her outfit. Chloe stayed a few steps behind Lois. She shivered as the crisp night air hit her. She watched Clark drape his jacket over Lana, then focused her eyes on the ground.

She couldn't believe how consistently and spectacularly she managed to blow any chance she had with Clark. It would never be some normal reason, like throwing up on his shoes. It was always this through-the-looking-glass stuff that they hardly ever mentioned in Jane magazine.

What To Do When A Magical Force Beyond Explanation Makes You Go Psycho On Your Crush For a Weekend.

Clark drove them all home in the Kent family truck. It was an awkward ride, with the three girls packed together, dressed like burlesque performers. Lana, of course, sitting closest to Clark.

Leaning into him a little too much for a girl with a boyfriend.

Chloe faced forward, ignoring Lois's questions.

"So, where did we get all this stuff? Because I know it wasn't in Smallville. I mean, look at this ring!"

Chloe felt sick because she didn't know. She had no idea where she got a black leather corset. She had no idea what she had done to Clark, or to anyone else. For some reason, she knew that if she did something awful, it was to Clark. It always was.

Clark dropped Lois and Chloe off at the Sullivan house. He took them home first, of course.

They crept into the house. Chloe would be mortified if her father saw her like this. Lois seemed to agree. They managed to make it to Chloe's bedroom without being seen. She wasn't surprised. Her father had been anti-social lately, depressed about not working.

Lois immediately opened her suitcase and pulled out some jeans and a shirt. She changed quickly and announced that she was going to go back to Metropolis.

"Right now?" Chloe asked.

"Yeah. I think I've had enough Weirdville. I just want to go home and pretend that...whatever happened...never happened."

Chloe envied her. She wanted to speed out of town too. She felt like just leaving and never looking back. But she knew she could never do that. She could never let go of something like that.

Or someone.

Lois said her goodbyes, gave Chloe a quick hug and, with a grin, told her that she looked hot. Chloe forced a weak smile and watched her cousin leave. She noticed that Lois had packed her entire mysterious witch outfit.

Chloe stood in front of her mirror to see her new look in its entirety. She had to admit, she liked the necklace a lot. But the glitter on her face was ridiculous. She did look hot. But it was the kind of hot that you pull out for elaborate costume parties, not a Saturday night in rural Kansas.

She set about the task of de-witching herself. She pulled the uncomfortable boots off and struggled out of the corset. It all looked expensive. She hoped that her body's evil tenant hadn't emptied her bank account. Hopefully the whole outfit was just...magic.

She dug to the bottom of one of her drawers, finding an embarrassingly cute set of flannel pyjamas her dad had given her for Christmas a couple of years ago. He had such a hard time letting her grow up, sometimes.

She put them on because it was what she needed right now. She took the zillions of bobby pins out of her hair and went to the bathroom to remove the make-up.

When had she been happier? Was it better before Clark had any idea how she felt about him? Was it that painfully brief time when Clark was almost able to return the feelings? Was it after Clark and Lana tried, and failed, to establish a relationship? Chloe tried not to take guilty pleasure in that, but couldn't help it. Perhaps it would have been better if he and Lana had just managed to have that perfect love that Clark had always dreamed of. Then Chloe would have been forced to move on. But the on-again-off-again relationship had been as hard on Chloe as it had been on them. She stood on the sidelines, secretly applauding their fights, then hating herself for being a terrible, selfish friend.

All along there was Pete. Chloe was Pete's Clark. And Clark was Pete's Lana. Chloe hadn't been ready for Pete's confession. Neither was Pete, and of course it wasn't his fault. Chloe had once again been corrupted by an evil power that ruined everything for everybody. Pete left, and that was smart. They never talked about his feeling for her, and they both knew why.

Pete was wonderful. He was a great friend. He was smart and funny and ambitious and generous and he truly cared about Chloe. Most importantly, he noticed Chloe, and had always been there for her. But Pete wasn't Clark.

The more Chloe thought about it, the more ridiculous the concept of crushes seemed. It was like having a disease, or a curse, where you were fixated on one person and nothing could sway you from them. Common sense left you and you became a self-destructive, babbling, shameless mental patient. You lose your peripheral vision, and your priorities get all out-of-whack. Common sense said that she should love Pete. Being with Pete made total sense. But it wasn't going to happen.

She remembered when the three of them were just buddies in middle school. All of those feelings were there between them, but they were better at hiding them. Or at least at being oblivious to each other's feelings. She was sure Clark knew that Pete had a thing for Chloe, just as Pete saw Chloe's feelings for Clark as plain as day. Or as Chloe saw Clark's feelings for a virtual stranger named Lana. You can always sense when your crush likes someone else. It's part of the curse.

She lay on her bed, hugging a shiny beaded pillow. She remembered when they were all just friends. Dragging Clark into The Beanery, and embarrassing him by complaining loudly about a lack of fair trade coffee. The three of them going to see two dollar movies on Monday nights at the old Talon theatre. Chloe would often lose track of the movie fantasizing innocently about Clark moving his hand over hers. She would play fight with Clark over their shared armrest. Any excuse to touch him. His arm was always impossible to move, and he would sit there flashing that smile that melted Chloe every time. He'd pretend to yawn, turn to Pete and strike up a cheerful conversation to annoy her. She was never annoyed. She would act like it, but she was always just delighted to be near him.

Sometimes they would be walking together and he would grab her or tickle her. That was the best. She would scream at him to stop, embarrassingly giddy, but she wanted to tell him to never let go of her. Never stop touching.

Clark was a moody guy, but when he was playful he lit up. When he wasn't obviously pining for Lana, or cursing himself for being a geek. He was a geek. But Chloe loved him for it. He was her big beautiful geek and she was ready to wait forever for him to realize that she was so much better than Lana. She didn't feel overly threatened by Lana in those days. Clark never spoke to her, and Lana had a boyfriend anyway. The big football star. Really Clark's Lana fantasies seemed as plausible as Chloe's plans to marry Johnny Depp.

When they got to high school Lana was suddenly a real person in their lives. Chloe cringed remembering how bitchy she was about it at first. The immature cheerleader jokes, making fun of her with Pete behind Clark's back. Pete went along with it for awhile, but one day surprised Chloe by telling her that Lana was a nice person, and she should try to be friends with her. Chloe was angry because she knew he was right.

Lana made Chloe feel ugly. Chloe knew she couldn't compete with her. Lana was unquestionably beautiful, as well as being a complete sweetheart. Chloe, by contrast, couldn't keep a hold on her acid tongue and was terrible at hiding her jealousy. She busied herself at The Torch, where she could focus on her other great love.

It makes it harder to get over someone when they are constantly saving your life. Chloe couldn't count the number of situations that, had it been a movie, would have been the ideal time for Clark to confess his undying love for her. The damsel is in distress, the hero swoops in, defeats the villains, and rescues her. Then he takes her in his arms and...that's where it always ended. He would take her in his arms for a brief moment and ask if she was alright. She would nod, completely smitten, ready for her hero to kiss her. But he would just let go. Sometimes he would leave to save someone else. Of course, other people needed saving and that was more important than Chloe's make-out fantasies, but it was still a drag every time.

Her dream was so close to realized at that stupid dance. So frustratingly close that Chloe couldn't stop herself from being horribly unfair and awful to Clark for months afterward. That was when Chloe was the most miserable. That was the worst time. She had to leave Smallville to get her sanity back. It was the smart thing to do. It was not smart to think that Clark would even care that she was gone. It was even less smart to invent a summer fling to brag about to him. It was humiliating to think she had actually done that.

She fast forwarded to a few weeks ago. That cheerleader potion that brought the girl she was always trying to hide to the forefront. She was a walking, talking, stalking ball of crush. The worst part is that she remembered every minute of those few days. The cheerleader outfit, shamelessly shouting her love for Clark so the whole world could hear it. The football jersey. The barn. Trapping Clark on the couch. He was so scared, but Chloe couldn't stop herself. She had to make him see how much she loved him. How much he loved her. She thought, for a second, when she was kissing him, he was kissing her back. She is almost sure that he was. But then he ended it, eyes wide and confused.

Chloe was mostly ashamed of her behavior during those few weird days because she knew it was all secretly what she wanted to do. There was a love-struck cheerleader inside her that just wanted to yell "Yay for Clark!" as loud as she could. She wanted to pin him on a couch and do the things to him that Lana would never do. She wanted it so much that she uselessly confessed her feelings to him, again, when she had returned to normal.

And what was she expecting? Sure, Lana seemed to be out of the picture, but not in Clark's mind. The curse of the crush. Your crush is never out of the picture. Your crush moves to Paris to get away from you, but there's still a chance, right?

The worst part was that he probably did still have a chance with Lana.

Chloe had actually died. Or at least, as far as everyone was concerned she did. Clark wasn't at her funeral. She had asked Lex. Neither was Lana. Or Lois. Pete had been there. She felt horrible that Pete had to go through that. She wanted so badly to call him and tell him it was all a hoax. Of course she couldn't.

The point was that Chloe had actually died and Clark wasn't at her funeral. She knew it would be overdramatic to think that Clark didn't have a good reason for not being there. She had heard vague things about Clark being away from Smallville for three months during that time. His mother had been there. Jonathan had been in a coma, she heard. She used to have ridiculous, melodramatic teenage fantasies where she died and Clark would go to her funeral. He would stand up in front of everyone to speak, overcome with emotion, and confess that he was in love with Chloe, and he never even got to tell her. That he was stupid and should have told her when he had the chance. And now she would never know.

Chloe wished she could stop these ridiculous memories. But her brain was on a roll now.

She remembered a shamelessly obvious mix tape she made Clark in the ninth grade. If he got the less-than-subtle message that the lyrics (or hell, even the titles) of each song then he did a good job of pretending he didn't. Chloe didn't know whether to be disappointed or relieved. She had been so nervous about even giving him the stupid tape. Clark just told her it was great a couple of days later. That was the last that was said about it.

Then there was "the other Clark." Sometimes it seemed that Clark was possessed by pure evil. It was terrifying and, admittedly, interesting. It only started happening in high school. Clark had never said or, probably, even thought a mean thing in his life. Now he was to be approached with caution. Which Clark would it be today? Chloe really was worried about him when she told him he needed mental help. Sure, it was maybe hypocritical to be angry about his various alter-egos, but, unlike Chloe, Clark never admitted to being possessed or altered. He was always just "not himself." The most frustrating part for Chloe is that he never seemed interested in investigating what was happening to him. That made Chloe believe that it wasn't entirely accidental.

The last time Clark "wasn't himself" was the most chilling for Chloe. He had perhaps been more threatening when she sought him out at his apartment in Metropolis last summer, with a violent temper and fiery eyes, but he wasn't as...cold. She could still see Clark in that violent, angry

Clark. Just like when a part of her was exposed by the magic cheerleader juice, a part of Clark was exposed. Clark had real anger in him. Real frustrations, and somehow they had all come to the surface. But the Clark she saw a few weeks ago wasn't Clark at all. She didn't recognize him. He was so cruel, yet so...charming and confident that she couldn't resist him.

It reminded her of someone else.

She wished that Clark would just tell her what was wrong with him. Why did these changes keep happening? She knew she wasn't the only one who worried, but she felt that she was the one that

Clark should tell. She would never make a story of him. She knew she had done a lousy job of convincing Clark that she wasn't interested in him as a news item. He wasn't a freak. He wasn't weird. He was perfect.

Chloe never got what she wanted for her birthday.

Clark lay in bed, gently touching his now unscathed chest where Chloe's deep nails had dug long gashes earlier that evening.

It had been agonizing watching three of his friends being possessed by something so evil. Lana had always been the love of his life, but for some reason seeing Chloe like that had been the most disturbing.

When they were holding him down, Clark helpless to stop them without his powers, it was Chloe that he pleaded with. Chloe was the one that couldn't be pure evil. Chloe was always there for him.

It almost seemed to work. He thought he saw Chloe for a moment. Then she laughed in his face. It was a cruel, mocking laugh, and it hurt far more than her nails.

He didn't want to kiss Lana when he was chained up. He was powerless to stop it. In that moment he wanted Chloe. The real Chloe, not this dark, pornographic version (Although, he certainly had a similar fantasy or two about the four of them in the past, which was only making the whole situation even more uncomfortable for him). He wanted his smart, funny, caring friend who was in love with him, though he could never understand why.

He didn't mean to laugh when Chloe stood up, confused in the caves after being unconscious. The way she had said "What am I wearing?" was just so Chloe that it made Clark beam. It was a relief to have her back.

He never did give Chloe her birthday present. It was totally lame anyway. Especially now.

He would go see Chloe tomorrow. He thought maybe he could finally give her what he knew she really wanted.


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