Sequel to: Paradise Interrupted
Pairings: Chloe/Sam, Chloe/Lex
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Two years later, Chloe runs into Sam, and he just doesn't know what to make of the dangerous bitch she's become. But her bad attitude and edgy clothes aren't what he has the most trouble adjusting to. Lex Luthor is.
Chloe gazed at her reflection, viewing the pale, skinny emo-chick Dean had called her. Her eyes always darkly lined, her skin always abnormally pale, her clothes always black. Sometimes she looked at herself and wondered if she wasn't a vampire, she felt like one most of the time. Cold. Empty. But if she was a vampire, if such creatures truly did exist (because if a creature like her existed, vampires really weren't that long a stretch) she wouldn't have a reflection, right? Or was that just a common misconception like the one where witches rode brooms and had very unappealing noses?
Chloe reached forwards and touched her reflection, gulping.
The mirror felt as cold as she did.
As lifeless as she did.
Just a reflection.
Only a reflection.
Her gaze lowered.
She'd taken longer in the shower than usual, allowing the loudness of the falling water to drown out the sound of her sobs.
The teenaged girl hadn't cried this hard for a very long time.
She'd even wondered if she could cry anymore.
Well, she knew her tear ducts were still fully functional, and that the act of crying was the body's way of relieving stress.
Chloe had had much stress to relieve.
And she'd cried before.
And yet hadn't.
She cried in the sense that tears were fall silently down her emotionless face, hadn't cried so hard her body had shaken, hadn't cried so loudly she'd needed another sound loud enough to drown out hers.
Chloe looked up when there was a knock on the door and it opened.
Lex leaned with his hip against the doorway. "How are you?"
"I'm great." She smiled for him. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Maybe because you were crying?" Lex asked softly, coming towards her and cupping her face. "You know you can't hide anything from me, Chloe."
She looked away, smile fading. "I'm fine."
"Chloe." Lex sat down on the counter with a sigh. "You're no good to me."
She looked up at him, shocked and hurt. "What?"
"Well, you're a mess, and the Winchesters' visit helped me see that." Lex replied. "You've been isolated from everything normal, and it's screwed you up completely. The way you are you'll have a nervous breakdown or a complete psychotic breakdown in a year or two. I can't have that."
"So I want you to take a bit off." Lex interrupted, folding his arms over his chest. "Of course, you'll be doing some odd jobs for me now and then, but otherwise you'll be taking the time to mend on the inside so that one day you can be fully usable once more."
Chloe blinked, a little of her panic subsiding. "You're not...throwing me away?"
"Of course not." Lex smiled tenderly, reaching down to press a kiss to the tip of her nose. "But I need you to be better, can you do that for me? Can you stay away from the hustle and bustle for a while and just concentrating on getting better? Especially psychologically?" He tilted his head to the side. "You can understand my worry about you going psychotic on me."
She nodded. "Yes, I can understand. It's completely illogical to keep me around you if I'm a ticking bomb."
Lex nodded as well. "I knew you'd be sensible and understand the logic behind your sabbatical."
She smiled at the compliment.
"And think of it this way." Lex pressed. "If you're able to learn to completely integrate yourself into society, you'd be of much more use to me."
Chloe leaned forwards and placed her hand on his knee. "Why don't you just come out and say that you're worried about me and you want me to take some time off to just be normal?"
"It doesn't sound half as diabolical." He replied.
Laughing, Chloe leaned back against the seat. "You really...you're really worried about me, aren't you?"
"I don't like the Winchesters, but they had a point." Lex was reluctant to say with a frown. "Don't get me wrong, Chloe. I like you. I really like you. But I don't want you to only be with me because you feel you need to-obligated to. If we ever do become more than just what we are right now, then I want it to be once you have a clear head."
She looked in his eyes. "You love me."
"You're lovable." He shrugged, trying to play it cool. "I know you find it hard to believe that others can love you, but a lot of people do. Like the Winchesters. Mercer. Lana and Lois."
"Aside from Mercy they love the old me, Lex." Chloe hugged herself. "I'm not that person anymore. I'm a murderous junkie."
"You are special, Chloe." Lex grabbed her chin, giving her a little shake. "So you have a couple of flaws, who doesn't?"
"A lot of people don't murder others...or compel them to murder themselves."
Lex frowned. "I didn't realize that it bothered you this much."
"It doesn't...not really." She wouldn't look at him. "And that is what makes me sick." Chloe took in a deep breath. "I lived with the Winchesters for a while, as you know, and it was only when I was with them that I learnt the truth of what was good and what was bad." She finally looked at Lex. "I know that I'm doing is bad, is wrong, but I still do it and it doesn't bother me." She gulped. "And that is what makes me sick."
Lex sighed, watching her. "This sabbatical will be just what you need then. You can detoxify, finish high school, have a boyfriend, maybe get a shitty part-time job."
She chuckled at the last one.
"I'm making Mercer your legal guardian, though I fear her influence on your young, susceptible mind."
Chloe raised an eyebrow.
Lex ignored her. "You can choose whether you want to move back to Lawrence...or whether you want to live somewhere else. Everything is up to you. You have the control."
Chloe looked at him. "I love you, Lex."
He smiled sadly and reached forwards, pressing a kiss to her lips before standing. "I expect consistent, continuous reports on your progress, of course. So keep me updated."
And with that, he left.
Chloe watched him go, before turning to look at herself in the mirror.
She hadn't seen herself smiling that way in a very long time.
Going over the things she needed to pack that same night, Chloe looked down when she heard her phone ringing.
Blinking in confusion when it read UNKNOWN CALLER, she flipped open the lid and brought it to her ear. "Who is this?"
"I feel really stupid right now." A male voice told her in annoyance. "All day I've been trying to sneak back in to shake some sense into you, and the goons haven't let me-and only now did I remember that I had your phone number."
"How did you get it?" She wanted to know, intrigued. "I never gave it to you."
"I stole it and prank called my phone so your number would be recorded in it." He admitted.
"That was devious of you." She was impressed.
"Chloe, I know you made your choice, but I can't accept it." Sam Winchester told her, voice determined. "You're making a mistake and I won't leave Vegas without you. So even if I have to get some shitty job here and annoy you day in and day out on your phone, I'm going to-."
"I'm leaving." Chloe laid down on her bed. "I'm packing now, actually."
There was a pause. "You are?"
"Lex says I need a sabbatical. He told me to go live wherever I want for however long I want, but that my home with him is always there waiting when I want to come back."
"If you want to go back. Which you won't. Not after really living free." Sam assured her.
"She's leaving?" Dean could be heard asking in the background.
Sam ignored him. "So...where are you going?"
"Lawrence." Chloe smiled brightly. "I'm nervous as hell about...well...fitting in again, but Mercy's my guardian now and I want to see everyone, and go back to school, and Mercy's threatened to make me join some shitty after school club...so that's exciting."
"I want to see you." He surprised her by saying.
Chloe smiled up at the ceiling. "Then move back to Lawrence."
"Maybe I will." He replied.
Once again the future was unknown and scary.
And she really wondered if she could handle this 'normalcy'.
Well, she was just going to have to see.