Title: Part of the Team
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Lana Lang, Lois Lane, Ava Wilson, & Jo Harvelle
Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville/Supernatural
Summary: Chloe & Lana founded Tara Paranormal Investigations, and they'd grown so famous Lois isn't enough help. Only problem is that all the applicants for the jobs available know nothing about the paranormal...and then Jo Harvelle and Ava Wilson apply...
Written for my Paranorma25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt of the day: #7: Haunting
“Okay, so far you two have passed all of your tests with flying colors.” Chloe announced with a pleased smile, eyeing Ava Wilson and Jo Harvelle as both woman stood a little nervously under her scrutiny as she walked up and down while talking to them.
“You know, I never understood that expression.” Lois whispered to Lana in the background. “How are flying colors good? You can’t even see flying colors well because they’re so blurred.”
Lana blinked, looking at the taller woman with wide eyes. “I’ve never thought of that before.”
Ava and Jo exchanged looks.
Chloe stopped a second, sighed as she looked up at the heavens and closed her eyes before opening them again and placing them back on the two potential new recruits. “So, since you’ve passed the other tests, I’ve designed a little test to see how you’d perform under a case.”
Ava tilted her head to the side, intrigued.
Jo perked up, looking excited at the prospect.
The phone rang.
Chloe motioned to the desk.
Ava’s eyes widened as she rushed towards the desk and sat down, taking a second to compose herself, clearing her throat, before picking up the receiver and bringing it to her ear. “Tara Investigations, how may we help?”
Jo leaned against the wall, arms folded over her chest, courteously silent while Ava worked.
Chloe gave Ava props for the ‘how may we help’ and the cheery yet not overly chirpy way in which she spoke.
“Ma’am, please calm down and tell me what’s wrong.” Ava cradled the receiver between her ear and shoulder as she frowned at the computer screen, beginning to type rapidly as she listened. “Uh-huh, and how long has this been happening?” More typing. “Has there been any reconstruction being done during the last couple of weeks? Remodeling? Maybe cutting down a new tree outside, or maybe digging up the backyard for a new Jacuzzi? Anything that might have disturbed the spirit you believe to be haunting your home?”
Lois’ eyes widened, impressed.
Lana grinned brightly, just visibly refraining herself from clapping in excitement.
“What sort of paranormal events have occurred that makes you so sure that it’s something supernatural in nature and not just faulty plumbing? We don’t want to waste your time or your money.” Ava continued to type rapidly as she listened to the voice on the other end of the phone. “Yes, Tara did come up with that policy.” She looked up at Chloe and sent a quick smile before speaking. “Hmmm, that does sound fairly paranormal in nature. I agree. Was anyone hurt? That’s good to hear.”
Chloe smirked as she watched Ava work. The woman was a pro at this, easily getting the information needed from the client and managing to also connect with her emotionally, getting the client to obviously like her and reveal things easily.
This was a good thing, especially since a lot of customers, for whatever reasons, sometimes withheld information that was vital to the investigation.
And also, now thinking about it, if they could help Ava cultivate her powers so that she could activate it at will for a specific thing and not just have the random flashes or crimes or whatnot she received, that could be an amazing asset to Tara.
“I have your contact information here and we will be sending some operatives who should be arriving there within the next 30 minutes. The happenings have been mostly harmless in nature, so you and your family should be fine. If anything happens while our operatives are on route, please call us immediately.” Ava smiled and nodded. “You too ma’am.”
Lana couldn’t refrain herself any longer, and as soon as Ava hung up she gave a little clap.
Chloe sent her a look before turning to Ava expectantly.
Ava motioned with her finger for Chloe to come closer as she finished typing something up and the printer began to print out some sheets. “Okay, so the name of our client is Marcy Lafayette, and she lives at this address. Her, her husband, and son moved into the house three years ago and everything was fine, but two weeks ago they started some remodeling on it and ever since there’s been weird activity going on. At first it was just harmless things like hearing noises and seeing shadows, then the family dog refused to enter the part of the house being remodeled, the tools began disappearing, and now one of the men doing the remodeling had an accident while trying to knock down a wall.”
“What part of this made you sure it was supernatural?” Jo wanted to know, making a face. “They sound paranormal, yeah, but there’s no cincher there.”
Ava raised a challenging eyebrow at the blonde. “The man was injured when an apparition of a man appeared in front of them all and hit him in the head with a hammer.”
Jo blinked. “Cincher.”
“Yeah.” Ava replied with some attitude before turning to Chloe and passing her the printed papers after stapling them together.
Chloe looked over the basic information on the paper and did her best not to smile as she looked up at Ava. “We’re on it.” She turned to Lois and Jo. “Let’s go.” And yet she seemed to be waiting for something.
Ava cleared her throat. “I’ve already begun a search for any information on the Lafayette’s home, and about its former owners. I’ll check for any deaths, suicides, and/or disappearances and try to find out who this sucker is and where his bones are---or any other thing that might be tying him to the home and keeping our clients from having the recreational room they want so badly.”
Chloe slowly allowed herself to finally grin at the brunette for the first time since this had all begun.
Obviously encouraged by this, Ava perked up, straightening in the seat. “I have your number on speed dial and when I find something I’ll call you immediately.”
Chloe leaned over the woman and ruffled her hair.
Ava gave a squeal of horror and confusion as her hair was messed up.
Chloe grinned. “Welcome to the team, suffer the initiation rite.” She turned to Lana. “Draw up the contract while we’re out.”
Lana was grinning brightly, her small body so filled with excited energy she was nearly trembling. “Yeah!” She turned and hurried away to her office.
Ava watched her go with a slight uneasy look, obviously not trusting someone so chirpy.
Chloe turned and motioned for the others to follow her as they left Tara and went to the underground parking lot. While everyone would have their own vehicles for use whenever the cases were many, they all piled into her Yaris, Lois in the front passenger’s seat, as they headed towards the Lafayette’s residence.
“A Yaris, huh?” Jo asked with a raised eyebrow as she sat in the backseat.
“Hey, no dissing the Yaris.” Chloe replied, letting Lois fiddle with the radio before finding a station they could both agree with, listening to the sound of Klaxon’s version of My Love.
When they finally drove up the driveway of the large home in a elite Metropolis neighborhood, Chloe got out and walked to the back of her car, opening the trunk and pressing a button. The false button slid out of the way, revealing the various weapons, holy water, spell books and other things she’d found necessary while doing this work.
“Wow.” Jo announced once she reached her side. “I will never diss the Yaris again.”
“Thank you.” Chloe grinned, reaching it and grabbing her personalized pistol and back of rocksalt bullets and, salt, and accelerant. Lois grabbed some other things, and when Chloe motioned for Jo to reach in and grab what she needed, the blonde dove in like a child at Christmas.
When they were discreetly packing, Chloe closed the lid of the trunk and they went to meet the client, who was a normal upper-class dyed blonde with a bad smoking problem and trembling hands.
“Are you Tara?” The woman asked, turning to Chloe, when the three women arrived by her.
Chloe nodded with a practiced smile and started talking to the woman, getting more details out of her of what had happened.
“So I’m not the only one who made that mistake.” Jo whispered to Lois.
The brunette nodded, leaning Chloe to be able to whisper. “Between you and me, it’s gotten to the point where Chloe automatically looks up if we’re in a crowd and someone calls out ‘Tara’!”
Jo was surprised. “Really?”
Lois nodded. “To be fair, though, its usually one of our old clients, so it’s good she’s gotten used to it. Lana actually picked the name because it’s the name of the Goddess of Peace and Protection, and she had this big desire to bring that to the people, you know? It’s a little too Hallmark card-ish for me, but hey, I’m getting a paycheck so who am I to question? Anyway, she wanted to name it Isis but Chloe refused to work for a company, and co own it, if it was named after the creator of the first golden dildo, so Lana went for her second option.”
Jo continued to blink, mouth slightly open in shock. “Golden---?”
“Yep.” Lois nodded.
“Are you two done bonding?” Chloe asked, breaking into their conversation, looking mildly amused. She must have overheard the last few sentences.
“Hey, where’s the client?” Lois wanted to know.
Jo pointed to behind them. “She and her family left so we can examine the place in peace. Didn’t you see them passed by us while you were talking about the kinkiness of Egyptian gods?”
“Uhm, no?” Lois winced.
Chloe rolled her eyes at them. “Can we go find us a ghost?”
The two women nodded, going inside the insanely large house and following the small detailed map Mrs. Lafayette had left with Chloe before scurrying off. After taking a couple of wrong turns and having to back track, they finally found the part of the house being remodeled, Lois whistling at the blood splattered on the wall.
“Talk about extreme art.”
“So are we looking for a hammer-wielding ghost---or a ghost who just picks up any weapon and uses it?” Jo asked, twirling a small blade between her fingers as she looked around, aware of her surroundings.
“Good question.” Chloe announced, looking at Lois warily when the woman pulled out an EMF detector. “That isn’t what I think it is, is it?”
Lois looked at her in curiosity before suddenly realizing what she was asking and making up her nose. “Please. Like I would be stupid enough to pick up the wrong EMF meter. No, this is one of the other ones in storage.”
She handled the thing with a sneer, obvious not trusting it much due to its energy or whatever it was she said got disrupted when someone else did these machines.
Chloe shook her head at her cousin before turning her attention to Jo, who was feeling the wall with the blood on it. “Whatcha doing?”
She had a good idea of what the girl was doing, and if it was so she really liked this one.
“Well, I was thinking.” Jo looked up from where she was knocking. “The stuff only happened when they started remodeling right? But it didn’t get dangerous until that guy tried to knock off this wall. So I’m thinking there’s something about this wall in general that---.” The next knock sounded hollow, and Jo grinned brightly. “Bingo.”
“What do you say we help our clients with their remodeling?” Chloe asked as their gazes went to the sledgehammers resting amongst the tools.
Jo grinned. “Let’s.”
Lois was happy to leave them to put on the goggles and to each grab a sledgehammer, swinging them into the walls. The brunette was busy fingering the EMF meter, ready to pick up the presence of the ghost should it choose to appear to try and stop them.
At first the EMF reader didn’t seem to be working, none of the lights were on or anything, and Lois shook it.
The woman took in a deep breath and sighed, tapping it against her palm.
She banged it in annoyance against a toolbox.
“Piece of crap!” She snapped, throwing it down on the ground before twirling to face Chloe accusingly. “See? This is why we need our own techie!”
Chloe, busy pounding the sledgehammer into the wall, ignored Lois’ words, raising her hand to stop Jo when she noticed something inside.
“What is it?” Jo asked, pulling up her goggles and wiping at the sweat on her forehead with her sleeve.
Grabbing a flashlight Chloe shone it inside of the hole they’d made in the wall and peered inside carefully. “There’s a passage way in here. And some stairs. I think there’s a whole different secret level to this home.”
Lois heard a weird beeping sound and turned towards the EMF meter and blinking when she saw it lit up with all sorts of colors it shouldn’t be showing…unless…
Her eyes widened in horror.
“What?” Chloe asked, still peering into the darkness, leaning deeper inside of the large hole.
“Remember when I said I wouldn’t be stupid enough to pick up the wrong EMF?” Lois asked guiltily.
Jo wondered what they were talking about.
“Lois!” Chloe made to turn around but suddenly something in the darkness surged at her and she screamed, being pulled inside of the wall and disappearing within as it collapsed completely behind her.