Title: She's His ManPairing: Chloe/Duke OrsinoFandom: Smallville/She's the ManRating: T+-MDisclaimer: Don't ownSummary: When Chloe is sent to Illyria as a boy for her own safety while Lex tries to find the traitor in his camp, she quickly makes friends with her roommate, Duke Orsino. Bored, she decides to become Illyria's official matchmaker, and has no idea that she's making Duke doubt his sexuality considering he thinks she's a boy and he's growing more and more attracted to her.
To the Guest
who asked: "Seriously, WHEN are you going to get back to the STORY that ACTUALLY count and MATTER to your readers? 'The New Circle'?"
My response: Thank you for your enquiry. TNC was put on hiatus because every single chapter had someone anonymously complaining, insulting me personally as a person, (multiple times) and tearing into everything I wrote. Every chapter. It got to the point where I didn't want to read the reviews anymore. Dreaded it, actually. So I'm taking a break from that story because I lost enjoyment of writing it due to this. I will get back to it in time, as I had had much planned for it. Thank you for your interest in the continuation of that story and have a nice day. Kind regards. Shadowglove(88)
"Oh, she's good." Tess took a sip of her beer and looked around. "She's very good."
Chloe blinked and turned to look at her 'date'. "Olivia?"
"Yeah." The redhead turned to look at her. "She's totally trying to intimidate the competition." She took another gulp. "If I were actually into you, this tactic would so be working on me."
"How so?" The blonde gazed around her, intrigued.
"Well, she's showing just how uptown girl she is to my trailer trash." Tess raised an eyebrow. "Even if the message is intentional or not, it's definitely conveyed by having us in her house and showing us the differences in us. I mean, I grew up in an orphanage, I didn't have trophies for equestrian competitions and stuff like she does." Tess snorted. "Hell, I didn't even know what equestrian meant until two minutes ago. And that's only because I googled the word."
Chloe sidled Tess with a look. "If you're uncomfortable we can leave."
"And make her think she's scared me away? Oh hell no." Tess snorted before she smirked. "I'm going to show her how unaffected I am by her war tactics." With that she plastered on a fake smile and waved out. "Oh Livie! You look amazing!" And with that she disappeared into the crowd to play whatever game she and Olivia had going on.
Duke was cornered by three girls who were chatting him up, and he was stumbling through the conversation painfully.
Chloe looked at him and didn't understand it. How was it that he was so great at talking to her? He even knew that she was a girl now! So what was the excuse? If he could talk to her, and even flirt back during their training sessions, why couldn't he apply that to real life? She was really starting to fear that he had a terror of women who weren't her.
The blonde nibbled on her bottom lip and felt a little lonely.
Andrew and Malcolm had stayed at the dorms going over Malcolm's apparently extensive collection of Broadway soundtracks, while Toby was with Eunice planning his part in the festival/faire/whatever. That meant that she'd come with Tess and Duke, and since one was conning her way with the host, and the other was surrounded by girls, it meant Chloe had no one to talk to.
To keep herself busy she started to drink. She knew that it wasn't the smartest move, but she was bored, and lonely, and… well… now she wanted to dance! So she took to the dance floor and mingled with the crowd. It was jam-packed with people and the music was blaring, and while it'd annoyed her before somewhat, she was having the time of her life now. She danced with a couple of people, as a group and one and one, and then began to feel very unwell (to say the least). She might've drunk a little too much, might have.
Climbing up the stairs, Chloe shook her head at the mansion-sized house Olivia lived in and guessed that yeah, she could see how someone would be intimidated to have Olivia as competition. She seemed like a girl who had it all, was used to having it all, and expected to have it all. Chloe thought the girl was great and sweet, but there was definitely a little bit of a rich spoiled girl there.
Chloe wasn't judging though. She'd love to be rich and spoiled and to live in this house.
The girl might've gotten lost as she explored the rooms, many of them seeming to not have been used… ever. Her stomach finally gave out on her and she hurried to the toilet to vomit. She was terrible with alcohol. Why did she keep drinking again?
Once the toilet was flushed and her mouth washed, the girl dragged herself to the room and collapsed on the bed. She stared up at the ceiling in an almost trance. She must've fallen asleep, because that could be the only explanation she had for the fact that one minute she was staring up at the ceiling, and the next she was cradled in someone's arms. She opened her eyes groggily to see Duke's leather jacket. She recognized his scent and relaxed immediately, nestling closer.
"Should you really carry her like that?" Tess' voice was near and lowered. "What if someone sees you? That's very unmanly, you know."
"Everyone's wasted." Duke's voice was low as well. "They won't notice a thing." He cleared his throat. "Anyway, she's so tiny it's easy to carry her around like this, and easier than waking her up and dealing with her stumbling around."
Tess chuckled softly. "You take good care of her, huh?"
"She's my best friend." The answer was swift and truthful.
"I'm sure you take care of all your friends the same way, big boy." Tess sounded teasing.
"Of course not. If the boys were wasted I'd leave them wherever they dropped." He gave a scoff. "But I'm not going to do that to her. What if someone stumbled upon her secret?" He tightened his grip on her as they continued to move. "No. The only place she's safe to sleep in is home."
"Home." Tess sounded wistful.
"Yeah, our home." Duke cleared his throat. "The dorms."
"I figured where you were talking about, Pointdexter."
Duke and Tess had good chemistry. Maybe he should forget about Olivia and instead try to get with the pretty redhead. Plus, he seemed able to talk normally around her, which was always a plus.
Once Chloe wasn't so spectacularly drunk she'd suggest that.
Duke had been glad for an excuse to leave the party. Tess wasn't half-bad now that he knew the truth, in fact, he liked the snarky redhead and felt like she was his and Chloe's conspirator. Plus, he knew that Tess, being the only other person around (because Dinah was off on some secretive job) who knew the truth about Chloe, they could talk. It was funny, actually, how he wasn't nervous to talk to Tess at all. At times he was still nervous (or very nervous) around Chloe, but with Tess he realized he'd relaxed completely. It could be that despite the fact that he thought she was extremely hot, he'd never actually been attracted to her himself. He didn't get nervous around her because he didn't care how she saw him, sexually.
And then he paused and realized that that meant he did care about how Chloe saw him. And while it wasn't a huge shock to him (hell, he'd been worried he was gay because of her for crying out loud!) it made him pause and look over at the girl sleeping facing him on her bed. He held onto the soccer ball tightly and tried to understand his conflicting emotions.
He'd had feelings for Olivia for years, and yet what he'd felt for her was nothing like what he felt for his roommate. Then again, maybe this was just what one felt for a girl who was ones friend. Duke wouldn't know. He'd never had a female friend before. Maybe this feeling was entirely platonic. Or maybe it was only sexual curiosity that made it harder and harder not to kiss her every time they had 'training' sessions.
Or maybe he had developed a crush.
Which-now that he thought about it-wouldn't be that surprising. She was his friend, she was gorgeous, and she was loyal. She was funny and sweet and mischievous and had very pretty eyes. Also, she smelt nice. And he liked her hair. And her skin was flawless. And... and... oh dear god he did have a crush on her.
Chloe whimpered and opened her eyes to find him staring at her. She didn't seem surprised or disturbed though, not by him at least, as she sat up on the bed and pushed the sheets off of her. She grabbed her pillow and walked the four steps between their beds and stared down at him. She put down her pillow next to his and surprised the boy stiff by slipping into his bed and pulling the covers over her as she turned her back towards him.
Duke gulped as he stared down at her. "Are you okay?"
She shook her head. "I dreamt Lionel killed my dad and then killed me."
He didn't need her to go into more detail, was shocked that she'd said this much given how closed-mouth she usually was about why she was in the witness protection program. "I'm sorry."
"It was just a bad dream." But it'd obviously disturbed her enough to jump into bed with him like this. She hesitated before she turned to face him, her pretty eyes clouded with emotion. "Thank you."
His eyes widened as he stared down at her. "For what?"
"For being here for me, for letting me bully my way into your bed like this." She gave him a small smile. "For helping me like you did at the party. For everything."
He gulped. "You don't have to thank me for that. It's what friends do."
She smiled larger, had the nerve to push the soccer ball out of his hands, and then curled close to him, her arm rested curved around his stomach.
Duke felt his body burst in flames at the contact, and he wondered if she could hear his heart about to burst out of his chest. She didn't seem to, though, because in a few minutes her breathing had changed and she obviously slipped into sleep. The soccer player stared down at her and felt an overwhelming desire to protect fill him. Curled around him and snoring slightly she looked much smaller than usual, and she was usually tiny. She was also usually loud and brimming with confidence, but right now he realized it was an act, and that she was much more fragile than she wanted them all to know.
A sigh escaped his lips as he leaned over her and turned off the remaining light. He settled into bed more comfortably and a rueful smile curved his lips when she complained in her sleep and then pasted herself closer to him.
He realized, as his eyes closed and sleep began to descend, that he really liked this.
"You don't say." Chloe grinned up at Toby as they left the classroom together.
"I do say!" Toby laughed and flung an arm around her shoulder. "You, my man, are going to have to come to the debutant festival to see me and Eunice. We both insist."
"So you scored a gig as her assistant. That is awesome." Chloe gave him a thumbs up. "I'm proud of you, Toby. You're really making an effort and that means a lot to girls."
"Good." He grinned.
The two of them smiled at each other.
Toby suddenly frowned. "I've never seen that look before."
Chloe turned her gaze over to see Duke walking towards them, a strange expression on his face as he eyed her and Toby. "Me neither."
"Maybe something bad happened with Olivia?" Toby guessed.
Duke finally reached them, his eyes narrowed and his expression tense. "What's up?"
Toby and Chloe exchanged looks before the girl in boy's clothing turned back to Duke. "Nothing. Why?"
"I don't know." Duke looked between them. "You guys looked like something was going on."
Toby raised an eyebrow. "You okay, bro?"
"Yeah, I'm okay, bro." Duke's voice was hard.
Toby and Chloe exchanged another look before Toby pulled away and held his hands up in submission. "Don't know what's pissed you off, but I'm going to leave Cody to figure it out. I have stuff to do." With an apologetic look to Cody, Toby walked off.
Chloe watched him before she turned on Duke. "What was that about?"
"What was what about?" He wanted to know.
"That attitude you took with Toby!" She glared at him.
"Toby can defend himself, don't you think?" Duke glared right back at her.
She was shocked and looked up at him. "Did you and Toby get in a fight? Because he didn't seem to think you two were fighting." She moved closer. "Why are you annoyed with Toby?"
"I'm not annoyed with him." A muscle that ticked in his cheek said otherwise. "Soccer practice was cancelled."
She raised an eyebrow. "Is that what's twisting your boxers?"
He took in a deep breath. "I am not annoyed."
There was no way she was going to believe that. The girl grabbed his arm and yanked him behind her as she moved towards their dorm room.
"W-we have another class to get to!" Duke staggered behind her.
Chloe didn't answer until they'd made it to their dorm room and she flung him inside before she closed the door. "Get on the bed and take off your shirt."
Duke's eyes went wide and he covered his chest with his hands as if he had boobs.
Even though he looked utterly terrified right now Duke yanked off his shirt and then sat down on his bed.
"Lay on your stomach."
He shot her an even more terrified look but did as told.
The girl moved towards his bed and then straddled his hips, ignoring his squeak into the pillow. She took a second to admire his shoulders and back, before she brought her hands to his shoulder and began to knead.
Duke's whole body went tense, and then he groaned as his body relaxed.
A smile tilted her lips. "I thought so... you're incredibly tense." She shook her head as she began to slowly work on the knots she could feel. "You should really think about getting massages more often. It does athletes good." Considering all that Duke was doing for her, this was the least she could do for him. "Tell me if I'm going too hard on you. I've been told I have a strong grip."
"Nooo..." his voice was melted pleasure. "It feels so good."
Pride flared up in her and she chuckled happily as she put some more pressure into her ministrations. "This is better with lotion or some sort of powder, but we'll get some for next time."
Duke made some happy sound that didn't sound like he'd actually heard her and was too lost in the sensation.
"Have you ever been massaged before?"
Okay, so he was listening to her.
She shifted her body slightly and ignored him whimper as she leaned harder into him, her legs on either side of his body, her knees digging into the bed as she leaned forwards to put more pressure on a specific knot.
He let out a choked cry.
"Did that hurt?" Her eyes widened.
He shook his head viciously yet didn't speak. If anything, his eyes were closed tightly and he gripped his sheets with an iron grip.
"I'm surprised you haven't had a massage before, I thought that an illustrious place like Illyria would have a personal masseuse on call for its athletes." She continued to shift as she worked on different knots on his body. "Feel that? That's really tight. Really hard."
"Yeah." He sounded agonized.
She paused, a little worried. "Are you sure it's not too painful?"
"I can handle it," he voice was breathy and low.
"You're this bad because you haven't had a massage before and your body's not used to it." She frowned as she got back into what she was doing. "If you want, I'll do you more."
He gave a little whimper.
"Unless you don't like it!"
"I do." And he sounded tortured. "I really do."
She grinned brightly, pleased to hear that. "Great! I'll do you weekly if you want."
He merely groaned and pressed his face into his pillow.
Suddenly the door opened. "Dudes, you're not gonna-!"
Chloe turned to see Toby and Andrew standing there, their eyes wide and their mouths open. She then realized what this must look like, given the fact that she was supposed to be a guy, and it took all her cunning to bluff them out of it. "Hey! Come on in!"
Duke was stiff under her, tense, face still in his pillow.
Toby and Andrew shared uneasy looks yet entered and closed the door.
"I'm just finishing Duke's massage." Chloe flashed them grins. "Want one?"
Toby and Andrew blinked. Andrew got out a: "M-massage?"
Toby cleared his throat. "Isn't that weird, dude?"
Chloe raised an eyebrow. "You want to be athletes, don't you? Every pro has a masseuse to help them with their muscles, that's common knowledge." She went back to massaging Duke as if this wasn't weird. "It helps with their gameplay and injuries and-."
"Wait, is this why Duke's been doing better?" Andrew wanted to know. "He's been getting massages on the sly?"
Okay, they totally were buying it. "I wouldn't say on the sly, but these massages really make you realize how badly your body can react when it's not relaxed."
"So that's why he was so grumpy. He needed his next fix." Toby's eyes widened before he collapsed on her bed. "Do me next."
"And me!" Andrew held his hand up. "Do me after!"
Duke lifted his head to glare at them. "Cody isn't doing either of you."
She slapped the back of his head. "Don't be selfish. I don't mind."
"Yeah, Duke!" Toby grinned. "You can't keep Cody's apparently magical hands to yourself! We play the beautiful sport too you know!"
"And we do have that game coming up." Andrew worried.
"How did you learn to massage?" Toby aimed the question to Chloe.
"Well, my best friend, Clark, is a football genius, and I learnt to help him." She grinned at them. "I read up specific massage techniques that helped athletes."
"Best. Friend. Ever." Toby declared.
She grinned brightly at him, relieved that this potentially explosive situation had been resolved.
Duke Orsino was not happy.
Sure, his muscles and whole body was relaxed thanks to the heavenly massage, but watching Chloe stand over Toby and massage him left Duke feeling even more tense and frustrated than he had before she'd flung him into the room to start with. At least she wasn't sitting astride Toby's hips like she had been with Duke, and it was the only thing that made this whole thing somewhat bearable for the soccer player. Of course, the guys had been the perfect thing to help the agonizing hard-on he'd gotten from her touches, from the fact that he knew her body was pressed against his, go down. But still he wanted Toby and Andrew gone. He definitely didn't want them to have her hands on their naked skin, or to hear them groaning because of her touches either.
Damn it. Andrew and Toby were two of his closets friends, but if they thought that there was going to be a repeat performance concerning these massages they were going to be severely disappointed!
Toby let out a moan that had Duke's blood boiling. A part of him was shocked at just how possessive and protective he found himself of Chloe (who really wasn't making this situation any easier for him) but another part wasn't really that shocked. While Chloe had always been friendly with everyone, Duke and her had always been closer, everyone knew and respected that. But now it felt like Toby, Andrew, Malcolm, Eunice, Olivia-the world-were trying to butt in on their relationship.
Friendship. On their friendship.
Still, was it so bad to want somethings only for himself?
Conflicted, like always, Duke somehow managed to bite back his instinctive response when Andrew declared that Cody had "done" Toby enough and it was now "his" turn to "do him".