Title: A Number of Issues
Sequel to: Little Red And The Big Bad Number
Universe: Numbers Series
Pairing/Characters: Chloe/Lucas, Clark, Lucy, Lois, Martha
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Number Five and Mrs. Kent have arrived and there are some tensions within the group. And not only that, but Chloe's connection to the crests is deepening, and more questions are popping up with no answers in sight.
"This place is amazing." Clark whispered, dropping their bags in awe as he looked all around the living room of Lucas' apartment.
"I know." Chloe smiled, pulling a strand of blonde hair behind her ear, unable to believe that Clark and Mrs. Kent were back, safe and sound. "Lucas's Cepan started it out and Lucas has kept renovating things and he has really great taste."
"Just don't tell him that." Lucy declared from where she sat on the sofa's armrest, eyeing Clark and his mother thoughtfully. "It'll go to his head and then I'll have to beat him to a bloody pulp to get his ego to be manageable again."
"Don't mind her." Lois smiled as she came towards them, shaking their hands in an awkward yet polite way. "It's very nice to meet the both of you. Chloe has told me so much about your family that I feel like I know you both myself."
"It's nice to meet you two as well." Martha smiled motherly down at Lois, before sending a smile in Lucy's direction before turning to Chloe. "Where's our host? I would like to thank him for taking us in."
Chloe bit her bottom lip, smile slipping. "I don't know. He was supposed to be my ride." Her gaze went to the clock. "He texted me before saying he was coming to my work but he never arrived even when my shift ended. And I know he's okay because my phone calls are going through but he's cutting them off."
Lois and Lucy shared looks.
"That's rude of him." Clark frowned. "If he's so busy he should just let you know. And how could he just stand you up like that? If he's your ride he should have let you know if he couldn't make it. If mom and I hadn't arrived out of the blue like that you would have been stranded."
That just wasn't like Lucas though, and that made Chloe look at her phone in worry. "Something must have come up unexpectedly."
"Speaking of unexpected." Lucy raised her chin. "What exactly are you two doing in Edge City? And how did you find Chloe? I don't care how rude this sounds, your appearing here and just stumbling upon Chloe is just too coincidental for me to buy."
"Lucy." Lois narrowed her eyes.
"I'm here because..." Clark cleared his throat. "I was following Chloe."
"Huh?" The blonde turned to him, confused. "What do you mean?"
"I don't know how to explain it." Clark admitted. "The other night, while I was asleep in my tent, I awoke for no reason with a pain in my heart and somehow I saw you, Chloe. You were somewhere in danger, with this huge guy pressing a shard of glass to your throat. After that I had this need to find you, and somehow I just knew how to find you. It was like this invisible thread that drew me back."
"You saw that?" Lois' eyes widened. "I knew she'd seen the Numbers, but-what if the others saw you too, Chlo? What if the remaining Numbers are making their way here too?"
Chloe's eyes widened as she brought her hand to her pendant.
"You're saying that really happened? Clark didn't just imagine you in danger?" Martha gasped, horrified. "Are you alright Chloe? What happened?"
"The bar I was working in was robbed, one of the robbers wanted to use me as a hostage." Chloe brought her free hand to her forehead. "Lucas saved my life."
"What are you doing here anyway, Chlo?" Clark went towards her, hands on her shoulders as he looked deep into her eyes. "Why aren't you in Smallville? What's going on?"
"They don't know?" Lucy suddenly asked.
"Know what?" Martha frowned in worry.
Lucy grinned, chin raising, strangely smugly pleased. "They don't know."
"You never told them?" Lois asked in surprise.
"Don't know what?" Clark's eyes narrowed. "What weren't we told?"
Chloe sighed, taking in a deep breath. "There was something I didn't tell you that night in Smallville." She took Clark by the hand and led him to the sofa, sitting him down and starting from the beginning. Both Clark and Mrs. Kent were silent as they listened to her tell them about everything her mother had told her, and about how her father and her had had to flee Smallville to save her life. She told them about having to train with her cousins, told them about the attack in the caves, the disappearances of her father and mother, and finally told them about how they'd made it to Edge City and how they'd ended up living with Lucas Dunleavy.
"He let you stay all that time in seedy motels while he had a place like this?" Clark was obviously very annoyed.
"Clark." Mrs. Kent sighed. "I'm sure he had his reasons."
"He didn't know if he could trust us." Chloe was surprised to find herself defending Number Nine from Number Five.
"You're three girls." Clark protested. "He should have brought you here immediately. What's wrong with him?"
"What exactly are you implying?" Lucy wanted to know, eyes narrowed. "That because we're girls and thus can't possibly take care of ourselves that we should be receiving special treatment?"
"Other than the not being able to take care of yourselves part, yes." Clark replied as if this should be obvious.
"This is a war, Five." Lucy replied, jaw tense. "Only fools take in strangers on good will."
"I would have." Clark glared at her. "We would have. Chloe would have. It's the right thing to do."
"No, it's the foolish thing to do." Lois surprised Chloe by getting into the argument as she leaned against the wall, arms folded over her chest. "We're not playing by the same rules anymore, this is war."
"Dunleavy's actions might have seemed totally asshole-ish at the time, but in hindsight it's things like that that make me feel safe with him and assured that I can trust him to make the sensible decision should something happen." Lucy continued, before narrowing her eyes. "Not that I couldn't totally take care of myself and everyone else if the need appeared!" She pointed her finger to Clark threateningly. "If what I just said gets back to Nine you're in deep shit Five."
Lois and Chloe shared a look, extremely surprised to hear Lucy say something relatively nice about Lucas.
Lois pushed away from the wall and headed towards the eating area, mouthing something about going to look out one of the apartment's few windows to see if the Apocalypse had arrived.
The sound of the mechanical whirring of the locks opening in the door heralded Lucas' return, and Chloe rose from the sofa automatically, taking a couple of steps towards the entrance hallway, watching as Lucas entered, his motorcycle helmet tightly grasped in his hands. He looked up and seemed to pause when he saw her on the other end of the hallway, his eyes dark, his expression blank, before he finally began walking towards her in silence.
"Are you okay?" Chloe finally broke the silence, not sure about the tension she felt him emitting, but more worried than wary. "Why didn't you come to pick me up? Did something happen to you? Something happened while you were gone."
"I know." He murmured darkly, reaching her, gaze down on her, suddenly seeming so much taller. "I saw Number Five." His face remained terribly blank. "Figured you would want some time...alone."
"How unexpectedly considerate of you, Dunleavy." Lucy sneered.
"Fuck you Luce." Lucas snapped at her.
Lucy blinked in shock. "Luce?"
"That's no way to talk to a lady." Clark frowned, standing immediately, tense as he came towards them.
"Clark..." Martha stood.
"Who you calling a lady?" Lucy cried out, seeming far more insulted by that comment than Lucas' snap.
A muscle jumped in Lucas's cheek and his jaw clenched as he turned to face Clark. "I don't remember inviting you here."
Clark's eyes narrowed.
Chloe looked between the two of them, eyes wide, before getting in between, looping her arm around Lucas' as she stood next to him, facing Clark. "Clark, I want you to meet Lucas Dunleavy. Lucas, I want you to meet Clark Kent."
Clark eyed her arm looped around Lucas'.
Lucas did as well, eyes narrowed slightly in confusion before they went to her face in deep question.
She looked up at him questioningly as well, wondering what the confusion in his eyes was all about.
Raising an eyebrow, Lucas's lips twitched before pulling into a smirk as he turned that smug expression towards Clark. "My bad." Putting down his helmet on a side table, Lucas slung his arm around Chloe's body in a casual gesture, his smugness growing for some reason as he held out his other hand to Clark. "Lucas Dunleavy, Nine."
Clark eyed him before shaking his hand. "Clark Kent, Five."
Lucas' gaze slid from Clark to his mother behind him, his smile charming as he moved Chloe and himself passed Clark, his shoulder accidentally bumping into Clark's as they went passed him. "You must be Mrs. Kent, Chloe has told me so much about you. I hope you will feel at home here, you are amongst friends."
Mrs. Kent smiled at him, obviously charmed as Lucas kissed her hand gentlemanly. "Thank you."
Lucy and Lois shared freaked looks.
Chloe looked up at Lucas in shock to see this utter uncharacteristic side of him.
Since when had he become an utter charmer?
"I'm sorry to hear about your husband." Lucas continued to surprise. "Chloe wanted to go and spring him out but it was decided that it was a trap by the Mogs and we couldn't proceed with the plans."
Martha's eyes teared up as she nodded. "We were staying with people we thought we could trust but they gave us up to the Mogadorians. Jonathan bought us enough time to escape."
In his corner, Clarks hands were clasped, his head bowed.
"The Mogadorians must have killed those people when they realized Clark was gone, and it was blamed on Jonathan. They let him live in obvious hopes of drawing us out." Martha closed her eyes tightly against the thought. "I understand why...but..."
Chloe reached out and clasped her hand around the woman's, squeezing tightly, tears filling her eyes. "I understand."
Martha's eyes opened, a tear cascading down her cheek as she nodded. "I know you do."
She squeezed Chloe's hand tightly, both drawing comfort from the other, who understood being separated from their loved ones due to the Mogs.
Lucy's watch beeped and she made a face as she slid off of the sofa's armrest. "It's time."
Chloe nodded. "Give me a couple of minutes and I'll be ready." She turned to Lois. "Could you get Mrs. Kent comfortable in my room?"
"Sure." Lois nodded. "Lucy will move in with me so Five can have her room"
"When did I agree to this?" Lucy gasped.
"I couldn't possible take-." Martha began.
"Please Mrs. Kent, it's not a problem." Chloe smiled at her reassuringly.
"What about you?" Clark frowned, coming closer. "I can't sleep in a room if you're not going to have one."
"She's gonna have a room." Lucas grinned, tightening his hold on her, insinuation quite obvious.
Chloe slapped his chest before turning to Clark with an embarrassed smile. "I'll be fine."
Clark's eyes narrowed further on them. "Chloe, I think you and I need to have a talk."
Lucas' eyes narrowed on him. "Got a problem, Five?"
"Yeah, Nine, I do." Clark glared. "I don't know you, and truthfully from what I've heard about you I don't like you-."
"Clark!" Mrs. Kent gasped.
"That's fine." Lucas sneered at him. "I don't like you either. The only reason why you're not spending the night on the street is because your mom's hot."
"Excuse me?" Clark snarled, coming towards him menacingly.
"You wanna start something, Five?" Lucas slipped in front of Chloe, eyes flashing. "I'm more than willing to-."
"Stop it you two!" Chloe got in the middle of them and pushed out with her hands, resting them on their chests to keep them apart. "Don't be such-!"
But she didn't get to finish her admonition because electricity gathered at her palms and shot into her body like lightning, searing her from within as the crests of Nine and Five suddenly lit up with that Lorien blue, the color radiating from the crests before seeping into her body and infusing her with a blue glow that spread from her body to Clark and Lucas. Like before when her life had been in danger, images flashed before her eyes.
In some underground place, One, Two, and Three's crests vibrated viciously, levitating slightly from their perches. The Mogadorians guarding them turned towards them, fear racing in their eyes as they raced to duck behind columns and boulders seconds before the crests erupted in a light so fierce the walls and boulders and such were beginning to give off steam. The guards covered their tightly closed eyes and faces with their hands, bringing the front of their shirts to cover the lower half of their faces.
To Chloe's right Six, Four, and the boy who could only be Sam Goode trekked through some sort of forest, looking injured and tired yet determined. Four and Six's crests began to vibrate and glow, levitating slightly from off of their chests. The light was strong, encompassing the three of them, and Sam had to turn his back on his companions due to the intensity unlike Four and Six, who seemed unfazed by the brightness, eyes widening as they looked around them. They turned and suddenly were gazing at Chloe. Four took a couple of steps towards her, mouth moving in speech and yet she was unable to hear what he was saying.
Suddenly movement to the left caused Chloe to look away from Four in time to see the image of Seven, once more in a different location, which this time happened to be a bathroom where the signs to not smoke and such were written in a language she couldn't read. He gazed down at his crest as it levitated slightly above his fist, eyes widening, before looking up at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. The older male seemed to see her in the reflection and turned to face her, mouthing something that just like with Four, she couldn't hear in the least bit.
Eight was surrounded by five Mogadorians coming in for the kill when her crest lit up, causing her attackers to roar as the blue began to burn at them with its intensity, their skin beginning to bubble slightly from the intense heat. As her captors collapsed to the ground, Eight looked up and seemed to catch sight of Chloe, sending her a huge grin before taking off running as far away from the Mogadorians as she could.
Suddenly the images broke, shattering like glass, and Chloe found her breath returning to her so violently she nearly blacked out. She reached for Lucas as her strength left her immediately, and wasn't surprised when he caught her before she fell, lifting her into his arms as she'd known he would.
"Red?" Lucas shifted her higher up his arms, taking her to the sofa and laying her down. "Red, are you okay?"
"Wh-what just h-happened?" Clark brought a hand to his stomach, looking a little queasy.
Now that she looked up at Lucas, he was pale and didn't look that well either.
Chloe wanted to ask him if he was okay, if Clark was as well, but she felt her eyelids closing on her in fatigue as sleep descended.