Title: Secrets Of The Soul
Pairing: Slight Chloe/Jeremy
Fandoms: Smallville/The Vampire Diaires
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: When Chloe's dad dies in the safehouse explosion, Chloe is sent to Mystic Falls to hide. But then ghosts, a secret connection, and a troubled Jeremy Gilbert appear in her life...and once Chloe has the answer to her question, she's left with so many more.
Written for my Paranormal25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt used #33
: Gray Lady.
Chloe was supposed to be fitting in.
She was supposed to mingle with the student body, keep up her false identity, and survive any other assassination attempts by not calling any attention to herself or her new hiding place.
Then again, Mystic Falls sounded like a place Chloe would have gone to live if only because of its awesome name.
Lex should know his father was smart like that.
Anyway, "Chloe Alexander" was (for once) doing as told, keeping her head down amongst her peers in the Mystic Falls high school and staying home most of the time as well. She lived in a house by herself, and while she knew that Lex had bodyguards planted all around her they were blending in so well she didn't exactly know who they were or where they were.
Lex said it would be better this way, and she had to trust him.
He was the only person she had.
Especially after the explosion had killed her father.
After that she'd learnt her lesson.
All she did was hurt those around her.
So she kept her head down and didn't make friends or enemies or call any attention to herself.
She ignored everything.
...Until she found herself walking towards her home one night and came upon Jeremy Gilbert being pinned to the wall by a glowing, transparent woman in grey.
He was struggling to breathe, unable to even call out for help as he struggled against her hold.
And Chloe almost turned away and continued walking.
Something inside of her screamed at her for that, for having become a person who could see something like that and turn away without helping, and Chloe found herself hurrying into the alley. "Hey! Leave him alone!"
The woman and Jeremy turned to look at her.
And then the woman disappeared.
Jeremy fell to the ground, gasping for air.
He was going to be alright.
Chloe looked around her, not sure where the ghost was but not wanting to stick around either.
She turned and headed back out of the alley.
"Hey." A hoarse voice called after her, and there were hurried footsteps until suddenly Jeremy Gilbert was by her side, strides matching hers.
"Keep walking, you don't know where she is." Chloe replied, continuing to look around her nervously.
"What was she?" He asked.
It annoyed her that despite the fact that he was fifteen and younger than her, he was still taller than her.
What was he?
Six feet tall?
Of course, he had nothing on Clark, but he was still a lot taller than her.
A pang of sadness and nostalgia raced through her body at the thought of Clark, but Chloe pushed it back as she hurried her footsteps.
"Ghosts-ghosts don't exist." Jeremy continued to mutter, seeming to be in some sort of shock.
Or he might just be high.
Chloe sent him a look.
She'd only really noticed Jeremy because he and his sister were probably the only people in Mystic Falls who looked as sad as Chloe felt. Elena (his sister) was trying to hide and deny it, but Jeremy was just plain sad. He was dealing with the loss of his parents (the town gossiped about this all the time) by becoming problematic. His grades had lowered, his attitude was worse than that of a pissed off skunk, he was trailing along after Vicki Donovan (who had a reputation of her own) like some pathetic puppy, and he was apparently always high on some sort of medication or the other.
He was on a destructive, downward spiral.
Chloe envied him sometimes.
She couldn't act out on her own feelings of pain and self hatred.
She didn't have the right.
Her father had been killed and it had been all her fault.
"Say something dammit!" Jeremy snapped, his fear turning into annoyance.
"What do you want me to say?" She asked curtly, pulling a strand of blonde hair out of her face and behind her ear. "You said it yourself, ghosts aren't real."
"Then why are you so scared?" Jeremy countered, angry.
"You know what? I don't need to deal with this. Do whatever you want." She increased her speed, trying to put some distance between them, but his damned legs were easily keeping up with hers. "Go away."
"Go away." She glared at him, hoping it looked vicious.
"You're Chloe Alexander." He was apparently ignoring her bad mood and terrible attitude. "You're in my sister's grade."
"This is my house. Go away." She opened the little gate in front of the house and left it open, hurrying up the steps and reached her door in time to hear him curse.
"Oh fucking god."
Chloe turned at that and saw the ghost flickering behind Jeremy.
The blonde turned back to her door and fumbled with the keys, unlocking her door in time for him to race into her house.
Growling at him, she could do nothing more than race inside as well and lock the door behind her.
Much good that would do considering that this was a ghost they were dealing with.
Jeremy was at her window, peering out through the curtains. "What does she want?"
"You, obviously." Chloe joined him in the dark, peeking out. "What did you do to piss her off?"
"Me?" Jeremy squeaked, glaring at Chloe. "Nothing!"
"Doesn't look like 'nothing' to me." Chloe mumbled, keeping her gaze on the ghost, who was just standing in front of her open gate, not appearing to have any interest in coming closer.
"Look, I just got a beer and was leaving to go home when she grabbed me and pulled me into the alleyway. She flung the beer away from me and it was like she was trying to enter me but couldn't, and then two seconds later you walked by."
"Maybe she was trying to possess you but couldn't because your had alcohol in your system and she was so against drinking while alive she couldn't get herself to actually enter your contaminated body."
Jeremy glared at her.
"What?" Chloe glared right back at him. "Have you even paid attention to your lessons about the Temperance movement? The women back in those days were really hardcore."
"Temperance movement?" Jeremy frowned, confused.
"Don't you pay attention to anything in school?" Chloe snipped.
He raised an eyebrow at her.
"Right." Chloe rolled her eyes. "Around the time of the American Revolution economic changes brought about more poverty than usual and alcohol related problems increased drastically. There was this belief that the excessive use of alcohol was injurious to physical and psychological health, so about two hundred farmers in a Connecticut community banned together and created a Temperance Association in 1789 to ban the making of whiskey. Similar associations were formed here in Virginia around the 1800."
"What are you?" Jeremy asked, blinking, expression weird. "A living textbook? How did you remember all of that?"
"History is interesting." She bristled.
"What part of it?" He countered.
"Everything. If we don't know our past how can we avoid from making the same mistakes in our future?" She wanted to know, hands on her hips.
He gazed down at her, silent, curious. "I'm Jeremy Gilbert."
"I know that." She replied, turning her attention back to the window.
The ghost was still there.
"Look, ghost girl over there isn't leaving, but she doesn't seem able or willing to come closer." Chloe sighed, pulling herself from the window and putting down her bad before turning on a light. "There's nothing we can do now except wait for her to leave so you can leave."
Jeremy continued looking out of the window.
Chloe collapsed onto her couch. "Staring at her isn't going to make her go away."
"And you would be the ghost expert because?" He countered, still gazing out of the window.
He had her there.
Gazing at his back, Chloe took in a deep breath, making up her face.
This wasn't how she'd envisioned her evening going.
Grabbing her phone from her bag she flipped it open and switched on her camera, joining Jeremy at the window once more and taking a picture.
The ghost was visible in the picture, though not very clear.
"What are you doing?" Jeremy asked, finally tearing his gaze from the window to look down at her.
"Nothing." She mumbled, gazing down at the picture and going to her computer, turning it on.
"No, seriously." Jeremy was behind her in seconds. "What are you doing?"
"Something about her looks familiar, okay? I think I might have seen her in the archives while doing some research on the town's history." Chloe sat down and waited for the computer to boot up before accessing the virtual Mystic Falls library files. She felt alive for probably the first time since the explosion at the safe house, as her fingers danced over the keyboard, typing in certain key words and browsing through files.
Finally, an old newspaper files dated around the time of the Civil War appeared.
And on the cover was their ghost girl.
"It's her." Jeremy whispered, entranced, leaning over Chloe to read the small print beneath the black and white picture. "Evelyn Gilbert."
Chloe's eyes widened. "She's your ancestor."
"But-I-." Jeremy stood up rapidly. "I can't believe this."
"According to this article, Evelyn Gilbert was Jonathan Gilbert's youngest daughter, and she was the local beauty of the town." Chloe skimmed over the article. "She died during the Civil War, while waiting for the return of her fiance..." Chloe's eyes widened in shock. "Thaddeus Sullivan."
"Sullivan?" Jeremy made a face. "I don't think there are any Sullivans in Mystic Falls. He must have moved here before the war and joined the Confederates."
Chloe tried to hide the shock she was feeling as she gazed as that name.
Was this some sort of coincidence?
The ghost that was chasing Jeremy wasn't only his ancestor...but had once been engaged to someone who just might have been Chloe's ancestor.
Of course, Chloe couldn't exactly say this out loud because she was supposed to be "Chloe Alexander" but this...this was so utterly trippy!
"Is she still there?"
Jeremy went to the window and gazed out. "Yeah."
Chloe sighed, running her hand through her hair. "We'll camp out here in the living room. It'll be safer for us that way. If she comes in here we'll be together and close to the front door to be able to make a run for it."
"Okay." Jeremy nodded, pulling off his jacket as he sat down on the couch, looking around her living room. "Where are your parents?"
"Dead." She replied, standing up and going to get the blankets and pillows they'd need to survive the night.
When she returned, Jeremy was back at the window, gazing out at the ghost.
"If I'm her descendant, why would she want to hurt me? Or possess me? Or rip out my organs or whatever the frick she was trying to do?"
Chloe looked up at that as she laid the things on the ground. "Maybe you look like Thaddeus and she's pissed thinking he stood her up or something."
"You think?" Jeremy turned towards her.
"Maybe, I don't know." She was curious though.
"Can you find a picture of him? On the net?" Jeremy wanted to know.
"Maybe." She sat down and pulled the blanket over her. "You'd probably have more luck going through your family things though. Founding Families usually keep historical records and things like that, don't they?"
"I could ask my aunt." He decided, looking conflicted about that as he went to Chloe and sat down next to her, grabbing the other blanket as he kicked off his shoes and pulled the blanket around him. "She isn't a Gilbert, but she might know something."
They lapsed into silence.
Neither had anything to say, and yet it wasn't completely uncomfortable.
"Did you call your family telling them you might be sleeping over?" She finally asked.
He made a noise that was neither a confirmation nor a denial.
Chloe sent him a sideways look and frowned when she noticed something. "Why are you smiling?"
"Ghosts exist." He finally answered, turning to smile at her. "It gives me the hope that one day...one day I might see my mom and dad again."
And that just broke Chloe's heart.
The blonde closed her eyes and leaned her head back, refusing to speak otherwise they'd both hear how choked up she was right now.
Somehow, Chloe fell asleep.
She dreamed of a young and lively Evelyn Gilbert smiling up at her, asking her to dance.