Title: Glowing Hope
Sequel to: Exit Speed
Universe: OFFICIAL Cave Series
Characters: Chloe/Lex, Lois, Annabel
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: When someone from Chloe's past asks for her help, she is conflicted, not only about the job but about her relationship with Lex. With time running out does she really want to waste the precious time they have together?
Warning: Spoilers for The New Daughter. Takes place right after the movie.
Written for My paranormal25
150 Prompt Table. Prompt Used #87
. Famous Paranormal Case.
Seeing her mother was always going to be a bittersweet experience, Chloe knew that now. And yet as she watched Moira hugging her son tightly, both crying, Chloe could smile. She hadn't been able to do anything about Louisa-the girl's fate sealed from the first moment she'd stepped onto that land-but at least she'd been able to bring back Sam safe and sound. That would have to be enough.
Mother and son pulled away, Moira wiping her eyes before turning to Chloe. "Thank you." She moved to hug Chloe.
On instinct Chloe moved back and away from her, seeing the hurt that flashed through her mother's eyes and yet sadly didn't feel anything herself.
There'd been a time, once upon a time, when the little girl had begged her mother not to go, had prayed for her to come back-and that girl had grown up now.
There was no way she was letting Moira anywhere close to her again.
Moira looked away and cleared her throat, turning to Sam. "Honey, I-I want you to know something."
Chloe's eyes narrowed, wondering what the woman was up to.
Sam looked up at his mother expectantly.
"Chloe is your sister." Moira surprised both of them by saying. Chloe hadn't thought Moira would actually tell Sam the truth. "Before mommy married your daddy, she was married to Chloe's daddy."
Sam's eyes were wide as he looked away from his mother to look at Chloe. "You're my sister?"
Feeling a little awkward, Chloe shucked her hands into her jeans pockets and nodded. "Yeah."
He eyed her before turning to his mother. "Why didn't you tell us we had a sister?"
Moira flinched, looking away. "When mommy left Chloe and her daddy she was sad, and just wanted to forget everything and start over."
That was like a slap to Chloe, and she looked away, jaw clenched, pissed off at herself that this woman could still hurt her.
"Is that what you did when you left daddy, Louisa and I? Is that why you didn't come to visit or call anymore?" Sam's voice was odd. "You wanted to forget us too?"
"Honey! No!" Moira's voice broke. "I-I-I love you."
Sam's eyes were still narrowed on her.
Chloe desperately wanted to leave, and she started to do so when she felt a hand on hers.
Turning, the blonde was shocked to find that Sam had moved quickly and quietly to her side, and was holding her hand silently, shyly.
"Hey." She smiled down awkwardly at him, not sure what to do or what to say. "Everything okay Little Guy?"
"Louisa and I fought a lot...but I loved her." Sam whispered, gaze lowering before raising. "I never told her."
Chloe smiled sadly, bending to her knees so she could look him face to face. "Some brothers and sisters fight, Sam, especially when they're your ages. But just like you loved Louisa despite it, she loved you too."
"You really think so?" He whispered, looking up at her once more.
Chloe smiled, nodding. "No matter how much they fight, big sisters will always love their little brothers."
Tears filled his eyes and Sam threw himself at her, arms going around her neck.
Shocked, Chloe just stayed there for a second before putting her arms around him and hugging him tightly, finding herself oddly choked.
"I just wish I'd told her that I loved her before she...was killed." Sam whispered.
"She knows." Chloe promised him. "She's looking down at you from heaven and she knows."
The blonde didn't know if heaven or hell existed, so she didn't know if she was telling the truth...but it was what the little boy needed to hear, and Chloe wasn't above lying if need be to help him get over this.
So she held him, and purred only soft enough for him to hear, and like a cub he calmed.
Annabel Drake watched the brother and sister hugging down in the garden from the living room window. She smiled, closing the curtains and turned to where Lois was running a cloth over her Predator Combo Spear, the brunette always taking care of her prized possession with near reverence. Annabel went next to the other woman and collapsed on the seat next to her, leaning over and running her finger carefully over the tip of the weapon.
Lois raised an eyebrow. "Are you trying to get yourself cut?"
"Are you trying to wear that thing down?" Annabel shot back. "You've been rubbing it down for the last half hour."
"That's because she has been here and I need something to do to keep from going out there and telling her a couple of things she needs to hear!" Lois snapped, before taking in a deep breath and going back to polishing the spear. "My mother died when I was a kid, my father sent my little sister off to boarding school and she's a stranger to me now. Chloe's been the only constant thing in my life, and it pisses me off to know that Aunt Moira could just throw her away like that and only remember her when she needed her help."
Annabel was silent, pulling a bright blue streaked strand of hair behind her ear. "My parents died in a car accident when I was eleven, my only other relative was my grandmother and she was in hospice care. Until I came here I really didn't know what a family was anymore." She folded her legs under her. "We're all orphans of fate brought together in a completely dysfunctional family that somehow works."
Lois raised an eyebrow, lips quirking in amusement. "You hide a book of poetry under your mattress, don't you?"
"Oh shut up." Annabel bumped shoulders with the older woman, embarrassed smile on her face. "I'm just saying that you shouldn't feel too bad for Chloe because she's got us."
Lois thought that over and smiled. "We are kinda awesome."
"Exactly." Annabel nodded, leaning back on the sofa before her gaze landed on a picture of Chloe and Lex. The girl reached over and picked it up, looking at it with a sigh. "They really care about each other."
Lois smiled at the picture. "They have for a long time."
Annabel worried her bottom lip. "You know, when we were in Texas I was really banking on her and Sam getting together. They had this connection and they worked so well together, and it was obvious that they were attracted." She tilted her head, a purple streak falling into her face. "But when I see her with Lex...they just seem...like two halves of the same being."
Lois finally put the Predator Combo Spear on the side table and sidled closer, gazing at the picture. "If it wasn't for the fact that Lex was...sick...they would have been together a long time ago."
"Why wouldn't he let Chloe use her power to heal him while she could still use it?" Annabel frowned. "If she didn't mind losing it why couldn't he just accept it? Doesn't he realize that losing him will hurt her more than losing her ability?"
"You see, Lex is a guy, he doesn't see things the way we do." Lois replied seriously. "Since she was in high school Lex has always put Chloe and her needs before everything else, and for him her power to heal herself is what's kept her alive long enough to even graduate-and he's kinda right. Lex has told me himself that he prefers to die a millions times and know she's fine, then to be completely healed and have to bury her one day."
Annabel sighed, resting her head against Lois' shoulder. "That's so stupid." She smiled. "And romantic."
Lois chuckled, agreeing. "I don't think Chloe's realized it, I don't even know if Lex realizes it, but I think he's the reason why she can't heal other anymore."
"Huh?" Annabel pushed away, looking at Lois in shock. "What do you mean?"
"Well, Lex's meteor power, or at least part of it, it the ability to somewhat control meteor abilities used against him. But I think he actually has managed to shut off her ability to heal anyone and not just himself. I don't think he realizes he did that. He just didn't want her healing him. He wanted her to have her powers so she could heal herself. I think his power saw that as his not wanting her to heal others and only heal herself." Lois admitted, sitting up straighter. "I think, when Lex dies, Chloe's going to find she can heal others again."
Annabel sighed, looking depressed. "It just isn't fair."
"Love never is." Lois' gaze went to another frame that had a picture of Chloe, Lex, Lois, and a handsome dark haired guy Annabel had never seen before. "Have I ever told you about the last man I ever fell in love with?"
"Him?" Annabel asked, picking up that frame as well and passing it to Lois.
"Yep." Lois nodded, trailing his face with her fingertip. "Clark Kent. Smallville. Boy Scout. Farm Boy." She smiled somewhat sadly. "He was Chloe's best friend since childhood, and while at first he and I couldn't stand each other...I fell in love with him, and he loved me too, although we never told each other until it was too late."
"Did he die?" Annabel asked, frowning.
"No." Lois shook her head. "He-Clark is an alien, he thought he was the last of his kind, and when he found out there might be more of his kind on a planet somewhere deep in space, he left to find them."
"Alien." Annabel blinked. "Wow."
Lois smiled crookedly, passing the picture frame back to her so she could put it back on the side table. "I didn't tell him I loved him until the night he left, and I selfishly asked him to not go, to stay with me. He couldn't, and I couldn't understand him, I said such selfish things...and I wish that I could have told him I loved him long before that night. I wish that I'd told him so much sooner than that, so we could have had more time together...and that I would have been able to let him go more gracefully than I did."
Annabel placed her hand on Lois' shoulder.
Neither of the women noticed Chloe standing in the front door, listening to them, before closing it and going back outside, heading towards her car, expression determined.
She knew it was getting late, but she couldn't put it off, she couldn't. Not anymore. She'd put it off for years, and she refused to do it for a minute longer. Even if it blew up in her face and was a complete disaster, Chloe needed to do this.
Entering Lex's home with the key she always had on her, Chloe pulled off her leather jacket and followed the sounds of blows hitting their mark to the gym.
She leaned her hip against the doorway, just watching him as he punched and kicked the sandbag hanging from the ceiling.
It was really amazing, what he was able to do.
According to doctors he should have died months ago, and yet here he was, still fighting, still in very good shape for someone who should be dead.
She could tell he was deteriorating though.
He was paler.
But still, he was in so much better condition than so many men she knew.
"Shouldn't you be resting?" She asked, finally announcing her presence.
Lex stopped and turned towards her, running the back of his leather glove covered hand across his forehead, wiping the perspiration, a smile on his face. "I have adrenaline pumping in my veins. I couldn't keep still. It was driving me insane."
"You need to keep your strength up, Lex." Chloe chided, though there was a tender smile on her face as she entered the room, heading slowly towards him.
"If it was up to you I'd be in bed rest." Lex complained, taking off his gloves and letting them fall to the ground.
"No," she stopped when she was right in front of him, head tilted slightly so she could look up into his face. "If it was up to me I would have healed you, Lex."
He looked away. "Let's not fight about this again. Please."
"I"m not doing this anymore." Chloe whispered.
Lex turned to look at her, eyes narrowed slightly in worry. "Not doing what anymore?"
"Lex, you've been there for me since I was in high school. You've always been there for me. You were there when I had that disastrous crush on Clark, encouraged me, and then you nursed me through my broken heart when I realized he was in love with Lois instead. You were there for me when I came back from Romania mutated, and with Jack-helping him because you knew that he meant a lot to me." She took another step closer. "And then when the caltrop thing happened you supported me even more. When I met Sam you tried to push me to keep into contact with him and pursue a relationship with him."
"Clark, Jack and Sam are all good men." Lex replied, unable to look at her. "I would be happy to see you with a man like them."
"Bullshit." Chloe nearly snapped, eyes filling with her tears. "You love me, Lex Luthor, but you've always kept this line between us and always made me know in your own way that nothing was going to happen between us. I just didn't find out until later that it was because you knew you were sick and that you were going to die."
Lex continued to look away from her, jaw tense.
"You keep trying to push me in the direction of someone else, and I've let you, hell, I fell in love with Jack!" Chloe threw her hands in the air, before looking away. "But today I've heard two separate people lamenting not telling the people they love the truth before losing them, and I refuse to do the same." She looked at him, chin raised, eyes determined even as they filled with tears. "I am sick of pretending that I'm not desperately in love with you...and have been for a very long time."
Lex turned towards her at that, eyes widening. "Chloe..."
"No, don't interrupt me." Chloe shook her head. "I'm in love with you, I adore you, and I want to be with you. And I'm not taking no for an answer. I don't care that you're trying to find me some guy to take care of me when you're gone-don't think I don't know that that is what this is all about! I want you. You."
Lex just looked down at her.
She reached out and threaded her fingers through his. "I love you, Lex." She swallowed. "And I know you love me too. You love me more than anyone has ever loved me. You loved me enough to not only let me go, but try to find someone for me, to make me happy and protect me. No one else would do that for me, Lex. No one. Not Jack. No one. You might think I don't know but I do, and I'm sick of it." She brought his hand to her lips and kissed it. "I've said it a millions times tonight after not saying it for so many years...but I love you...and you're stuck with me from now on."
Tears were beginning to fill Lex's eyes. "Chloe, I-I'm dying."
"I know that." She whispered, voice choked.
"I don't know how much longer I have left." Lex's voice choked. "I've already lived longer than I should."
"Then why are we still wasting time?" Tears began to fall down her cheeks.
His gaze was intense on her face as he cupped her cheek, stepping closer, only a breath away. "If I-if I finally have you I-I don't know if I'll ever be able to let you go, Chloe."
She rested her hand over his, trembling. "Who says I want you to?"
Lex made an agonized sound before leaning down and kissing her tears, before pulling away to look down at her. "I love you."
Her heart overfilled and she really started crying, smiling. "I know."
And then she pressed up on her tiptoes and brought her hand behind his head, bringing his lips down to meet hers.
Lex's arms wrapped around her, drawing her to him tightly.
Arching into his body, Chloe couldn't keep from crying, her tears mixing with their kiss, and yet neither pulled away.
And in the brightly lit room, with their eyes closed, neither noticed the way those tears glowed either, entering Lex through their kiss, through his pores from where they clung to his skin as he lifted her and began to stumble towards the guest bedroom next to his gym.
Nope, as Lex lowered Chloe to the bed and tore off his own shirt, working on his belt, neither paid any attention to teardrops.