Sequel to: Toxic
Universe: Toxic Girl Series
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Chloe has been back in Lawrence for two months but is having a very hard time readjusting to normal life and the Winchesters. She's even having a hard time reconnecting with Lois and Lana. It doesn't help that another phase of her mutation is about to start, and she's entirely unprepared for it. Sam's far from ready as well. And then there's the fact that someone from Chloe's past whom she thought was dead...really isn't.
The drive back to Lawrence had been silent, and Chloe hadn't pushed Sam to the conversation he'd hinted to wanting before, knowing that there was a lot on his mind. She slipped into the back of the truck and changed into a less revealing shirt and laid on the backseat, gazing up at the ceiling, thinking about all that she'd learnt tonight. The blonde wanted to go back to Mercy immediately and tell her everything, but she knew that she owed it to everyone to go to the Winchesters and have a good time. Even if she had to fake it. She'd learnt how to fake things before, hadn't she? These people deserved for her to fake to her best.
And fake it she did.
She faked her confidence, faked her good mood, faked enthusiasm for Lois' newest ultrasound (which thankfully didn't allude to any sort of tail) and Lana's stories of new admirers. And it was worth it. John and Mary were beaming, hugging her every couple of minutes and telling her how happy they were to have her, and Lois and Lana were happy as well. Sam had retreated to his room but that was probably for the best, since Chloe needed to fully concentrate to do this.
She realized though, that with the red!k dust in her system it was easier to just open up and smile and laugh and pretend.
Maybe Lucas could hook her up with a supply.
That way she could always have some whenever she needed to come over and spend time with the Winchesters.
They deserved a fun, open Chloe.
Also, the doses weren't large enough to make The Bitch really come out.
It...it couldn't hurt.
She ignored the slight craving rising in her throat and the goosebumps of pleasure at the thought of another hit of the red dust.
"I know we must be annoying you with all the times we've said it tonight, but we really are so happy you came."
Chloe turned from where she'd been in the kitchen drinking a glass of water while everyone else were in the living room watching a movie.
Mary Winchester smiled softly at her, that tender, wonderfully maternal love just radiating out of her. "Tess asked us to go easy on you, to let you ease into having us around again, but you have to understand that you're one of my daughters and it's hard for me."
Chloe's grip tightened on the glass, eyes widening, emotions churning inside of her.
"Chloe, we missed you so much." Mary whispered, eyes filling with tears as she gazed at her. "We never stopped praying-never stopped looking-never stopped hoping..."
Chloe couldn't look at the woman, lowering her gaze.
"I know this is hard for you honey." Mary came towards her slowly, like one would approach a wounded, scared animal. "And I can't even begin to understand the horrible things you've gone through these last couple of years...but whatever happened, we still love you. Nothing is going to change that."
Chloe couldn't look up at Mary, shame and horror filling her at that trust and love.
She'd killed mothers who were probably wonderful like this this.
Chloe had done so many horrible things...so many things they could never know.
Mary gasped in horror.
The sound jerked Chloe out of her daze and she stared at her hand thoughtfully, watching the blood trickle down her skin as the broken glass in her hand cut into her.
She hadn't even felt the pain.
"Honey are you okay?" Mary hurried her to the sink, making her drop the broken shards into the garbage before running water over the wounds. "I'm so sorry! I shouldn't have pushed!"
Chloe watched as Mary tended to her tenderly, tears in the woman's eyes, slowly making their way down her cheeks as she cleaned the wound and checked for any remaining glass.
The blonde didn't deserve this.
She shouldn't be treated this way.
Desperation and pain rolled inside of her, the tears silent as they made their way down her cheeks.
"Honey." Mary sent her a worried look, cupping her jaw. "Does it hurt that much?"
It was agony.
She forced a smile for the older woman. "Sorry for breaking your glass, I was just clumsy."
"Hon, I don't care about the glass. It's you I'm worried about."
"This is nothing. Promise." Chloe tried to let the woman know that she really wasn't hurt, she'd lived through worse. "I'll just need some pain killers and this will heal up in time."
Mary failed to seem reassured though as she wrapped a kitchen towel around the injured hand. "We should take you to see the doctor, these cuts are deep. You could bleed out."
Oh, she doubted it.
"I'm fine Mary." Chloe continued to smile at the woman, needing her to not worry. The whole idea of this trip was to make her, John, and the others happy. To keep them from worrying about her. She couldn't fail in this. "You know I'm a fast healer."
Mary sighed as she nodded, caressing Chloe's cheek with her thumb. "You've had to be."
Chloe gulped around the emotion lodged in her throat. "Mary?"
"I know...I know I've been...unfair to everyone." She cleared her throat. "I know that I should be around more and I know that I should be more enthusiastic-believe me-Sam and I fought about this earlier so I know I'm disappointing everyone."
Anger flashed through those eyes. "You are not disappointing us Chloe. We don't understand what exactly you've been through, even Lois and Lana haven't a full scope of what has happened to you, but we're just happy to have you back." She cupped Chloe's face between her hands, staring directly in her hands. "You're family, Chloe. Our family. And we love you."
"Thank you." Chloe's voice was hoarse with emotion.
Mary sighed and leaned forwards, pressing a kiss to her forehead before hugging the girl, cradling her in her embrace.
Chloe tensed before willing herself to calm down enough to rest her cheek against Mary's heartbeat, allowing the steady sound to slowly ease her into relaxing completely.
She was glad for the pain in her hand which kept her grounded, gave her something to focus on. With Lionel her body had grown accustomed to fearing prolonged physical contact, and it was only thanks to Lex that she was growing out of the sick queasiness at being held like this.
Not everyone who held her had ulterior motives.
She didn't wear a collar anymore...at least not one that worked.
Mary wouldn't hurt her.
And she had enough control over herself at this moment to be sure she wouldn't hurt Mary either.
Not at this moment at least.
So if only for tonight she allowed this, allowed herself this, to accept the comfort.
"I know I have problems showing it," Chloe whispered, using her uninjured hand to awkwardly reciprocate the hug. "But I really did miss you guys."
"We know honey." Mary whispered back, voice trembling with emotion. "We know."
Chloe looked up from where she'd been washing her face to try and cool herself down, unnerved that twice already she'd been snuck up on tonight. "Excuse me?"
Lois leaned in the doorway, hand over her stomach, face drawn. "The Fever. You're close."
She could see her 'sister's' expression go hallow, and it hurt her, killed her to know that she didn't have that place of confidence in her life anymore. Lois sometimes hated Tess Mercer with the power of a million burning suns for occupying her place in her sister's life. For years they'd hoped and prayed that they'd find her, and yet now that they had Chloe back it was as if they hadn't found her at all. Part of her was still missing, still out there somewhere being tortured beyond repair.
"Cody helped you through your first one, huh?" Chloe wouldn't meet her gaze, hugging herself as if trying to protect herself.
Lois wanted to remind Chloe that she never had ever had to protect herself from her and Lana.
But Mercer had warned them that Chloe was skittish, that they needed to be patient.
Lois didn't want to be patient.
She wanted her sister back.
She wanted to hug the blonde tightly and cry and tell her she loved her and ask for forgiveness for not keeping Grandfather-Lionel-from taking her.
Lois wished she could do so many things, start making everything better, integrate Chloe back into their family.
It was why she and Lana did their best to have Chloe be around their friends, and tried to engage her in girl-talk, but their every effort either made Chloe react with terror or indifference.
"Yeah, Cody's helpful when my time comes around." Lois was desperately clinging onto the slightest opportunity to reconnect. "Have you ever-?"
"No." Chloe whispered, eyes haunted and sad as they finally met Lois'. "Lex was going to-but we never got around to it." She bit her bottom lip. "But I've found someone."
"Sam?" Lois wanted to retract the question immediately when she saw Chloe's reaction.
The blonde tensed, hugging herself tighter, shifting her body slightly away from Lois, gaze lowered.
She was closing herself off completely.
Lois fought against her hormones, which demanded she cry and demand Chloe return to the little girl she dreamt about every night.
"Not Sam." Chloe looked ready to dart out of the door. "I have someone much more preferable to do the job."
That shocked Lois. "Who?"
Chloe bit the inside of her cheek, obviously contemplating what to say, before finally answering. "Lana's breeding partner."
Lois' eyes widened. "What?"
"He knows what to do, can ease me through it, and I would like the same person to help me through the Fever." Chloe was shivering slightly, obviously not as brave and indifferent as she tried to portray. "He knows how to handle the Frenzy, and the chances of conception would be much less likely as he knows what not to do." She gulped. "I also won't be so worried about accidentally frying his brain."
The Jedi Mind Trick, as Dean had dubbed it.
Lois sighed, rubbing her stomach. "How about I talk you through it? I can help you prepare mentally for it."
There was silence.
Chloe gazed on the floor.
Lois begged the gods to give her something to work with.
Chloe finally looked back up at Lois and her lips twitched in an awkward, yet genuinely relieved smile. "I'd like that."
Lois smiled back brightly.
The girls had retired to bed, Lois and Lana with their customary kiss and Chloe with an awkward little smile.
John sighed as he lay in bed with his wife, listening to her telling him about the moment she'd had in the kitchen with the young blonde. She was both worried that she might have pushed a little too hard and elated at what she believed progress. She loved the young girl, and John knew that it'd been hard for his wife to have Chloe back and yet not living with them. He knew that if it were up to Mary, Chloe would have moved in with them immediately on her return to Lawrence and things would take up where they'd been before Lionel had stolen the girl.
Thing was that while John did love the girl, he knew that it was best she have her space.
He'd been a marine, he recognized the haunted look in her eyes.
How many soldiers returned from war, tormented by what they'd done, the lives they'd taken?
He knew that girl had taken lives. He didn't need to be told that. It was in her body language. In those eyes.
He could also tell that she'd been abused. Her body also gave it away, in the way she avoided people touching her, especially males.
Sam had told them that she hadn't been abused completely, that she'd used her cunning to avoid the threat, but that the threat had been there.
She was even more psychologically damaged than she'd been before.
His fatherly side wanted to hold her tight.
His inner soldier knew she needed to know they cared...but also needed to be given the space she craved.
He'd seen many of his comrades falling victim to PTSD, and considering that this girl not only hadn't been able to truly get over her previous traumas before being submitted to more...well...they had to tread lightly with her and give her all the time and space she needed.
"It's nice having all our girls under our roof again." Mary snuggled in bed, cheek resting over his heart. "Maybe Chloe will begin sleeping over more."
"We won't pressure her." John reminded his wife.
"Of course not." Mary whispered. "But maybe she'll want to."
John sighed, knowing he was going to have to work on his wife, daughters and sons harder to get them to be patient.
They didn't want to frighten the girl away.