Title: Number Nine
Sequel to: Numberless
Universe: Numbers Series
Characters/Pairings: Chloe/Lucas, Lois, Lucy
Disclaimer: Don't Own
Summary: When the girls reach Edge City they separate to try and find the hidden safe house located in one of the most dangerous cities in the country. No surprise Chloe finds trouble. What *is* surprising is she finds another Number.
Getting paid weekly was helpful, and while the salary itself wasn't the greatest there were the tips which made up for it. Chloe had had to use her talent at the pool table to hustle money from the drunk frat boys and men who didn't think that a 'pretty little thing' like her could ever beat them. Some men were bad losers, but she never hustled at the bar she worked at, so if the men ended up getting their egos hurt it wouldn't affect her job. Lois was a quick understudy, and between the two of them they were becoming a great team at the pool table. Lois' best strategy to win during a game was the 'position yourself provocatively and distract your opponents' one, and by god, it worked.
Lucy's mood was worsening by the day, as she was making no advances in her daily searches of the Edge City streets. The girl threatened to kill Aunt Moira and the General if they ever saw them again, and also threatened to kill the next graffiti artist she saw because she was blaming them for painting over the symbol and making her job more difficult.
Due to the need for more money, Chloe and Lois had also taken day jobs, this time separate ones. It was hard on them, and they hardly got any sleep, but they knew what they needed and what needed to be done to stay alive and fed, so they didn't complain.
Lois worked at a gym during the day, and she admitted that she believed it was her looks that'd gotten her the job because she knew nothing about the machines. Of course, she learnt quickly and admitted that she enjoyed the fact that the guys attending the gym had doubled ever since she'd started working there, which had the manager quite pleased with her and more lenient towards her than he was with the other workers.
Chloe's other job was actually as a waitress in another bar, allowing her to slowly perfect her trade. The bartender was a nice enough guy who offered to teach her to make some drinks, and Chloe had to admit that she liked the idea of actually being a bartender more than a waitress. Being behind the counter kept your ass safe from the drunk men who liked to give you slaps or little gropes while passing by.
The thing she also liked about her daytime job was that the place was smaller, cozy almost, and not many of the patrons were drunks...and actually were kinda nice. For a while she could relax, serve drinks, and forget that she was in the middle of some war. The patrons were regulars, who liked to talk a lot, and while she wasn't the most chatty of people she forced herself because it was what they expected. And in the end she found herself enjoying it, enjoying the way the people began to call her by name. The other waitress wasn't exactly the friendliest of people but Chloe didn't really mingle with her much anyway so she didn't care.
More than once she felt that sensation of being watched, but Chloe pushed it to the back of her head as her being paranoid.
Every time she'd gotten that feeling there was no one watching her...sometimes she'd be in places that it would be physically impossible for someone to see her...so she learnt to ignore it and continue on as if nothing.
She had enough on her mind now with working, hustling, and trying to keep Lucy from exploding due to her lack of progress.
At least it kept her from thinking about her father and Clark too much.
It was impossible to forget about them completely though, and during the day she'd clutch her pendants, press a kiss to them, and continue on.
Twirling around at that voice, clutching the empty tray to her heart, Chloe's eyes widened as her gaze fell upon none other than Lucas Dunleavy. "Hey!"
He smirked that self-assured smirk of his, eyeing her from where he was sprawled out on one of the seats of the corner table. "Long time no see."
"Yeah..." She nodded, still shocked to see him. "How...have you been?"
He nodded for his answer, his eyes, as always, intent and consuming.
She gulped, holding the tray tighter to her, almost as if for protection.
"Hey Chlo!" One of the regulars signaled for her.
"I'll be right there!" She looked up, almost relieved, before looking down at the now frowning Lucas. "Your waitress will be here in a second to tend to you."
If anything Monique had realized the hunk was in her section, and after fussing with her hair was now rushing towards them.
Chloe shook her head and started to leave.
"Wait. What?" Lucas frowned, reached out lightning fast and grabbing onto her arm, halting her. "Why can't you just take my order? You're here right now."
"A) I have to tend to Matthew over there." Chloe pointed to where the handsome college professor was still waiting for her. "And (B) this is Monique's section. She tends to the people who sit here."
"Exactly!" Monique arrived just then, ignoring Chloe and smiling flirtatiously at Lucas. "And I'm happy to serve you in any way possible."
Chloe's eyes widened at just how direct that girl was. "Ohkay. Moving on." She made to leave, but Lucas' grip on her tightened. The blonde narrowed her eyes on him. "I kinda need that arm, you know."
He just glared at her as if she was doing something to purposely annoy him.
She really hoped he didn't start with that whole 'you're pissing me off' thing again. She didn't really need that sort of thing happening to her in her job of all places. Also, here she'd have to be courteous to him because he was a customer and if he was going to get odd and annoying again she wasn't going to be able to handle it.
"Chloe." Matthew waved once more.
"Coming!" She yanked her arm out of Lucas' grip and hurried towards Matthew, an apologetic smile on her face. "Sorry about that. What else can I get you?"
"Another Gin and Tonic please." Matthew smiled at her.
She scribbled his order and smiled. "Coming right up." The blonde looked up when another hand signaled for her and she headed over towards Paul the electrician, smirking at him. "Shouldn't you be at work?" A blonde eyebrow raised. "Alcohol and live wires isn't the smartest choices combination, don't you think?"
The balding and pudgy man grinned sheepishly at her. "I took the day off, called in sick."
"Ah...I see." Chloe smiled in amusement. "Isn't this place close to your office?"
He chuckled, nodding. "Yeah...I'm hoping no one comes in for Happy Hour."
"If I see anyone I'll try give you the heads up." She promised.
"You're a doll." He gushed, obviously fighting the urge to reach out towards her.
She gave him points for that. "So what does the sick boy want to start off with?"
"Coors." He replied. "As cold as you got."
"No prob." She replied, scribbling that down.
"Hey beautiful!" Another voice called from her section.
The blonde turned towards Jack the art major and shook her head in amusement, heading towards him. "Let me guess...starting off with two vodka shots followed by a Black Sunday, and then a Manhattan...and then a random drink I'll have to ask the bartender about because I'll never have heard of it before in my life."
Jack grinned up at her. "You know me so well baby."
"Not really, you're just very predictable." She replied easily, a teasing smile on her face. "You order the same thing every time you come in here."
"You wound me you foul hearted siren, drawing me near only to dash me on the rocks." He declared in mock agony.
"You know, you should totally do that for your next art assignment." She replied, completely unmoved by said agony.
"I very well just might." He threatened playfully.
"You'll have to bring it over when its done...or take a picture of it." She pointed her pen at him threateningly before jotting down his order despite already having memorized it.
Jack just smiled at her.
Turning her back on him, Chloe froze, blinking in surprise as she realized that Lucas had changed tables, now very much in her section. He leaned back in his seat, acting as if he hadn't just done a very odd and intriguing thing indeed, instead his expression was slightly bored. Yet she could tell from his eyes that he was alert, taking everything and everybody in, calculating, before his gaze returned to her.
Curiosity and intrigue now high, she hesitated a second before walking towards him. "And what can I get you?"
"Why isn't Five here?" Lucas asked her instead, leaning over the table to watch her intently. "You obviously know about the war we're all in." His eyes narrowed. "If you have Mogs on your back...why isn't Five here protecting you?"
Chloe was taken back by the question. "I don't think this is the time or place to-."
Lucas' sharp gaze went to her pendants. "He should be protecting you."
"I really don't see how this is any of your business." She glared at him, annoyed.
"It's not, I'm just...curious." He replied in a laid-back manner, reaching for the menu on the table and eyeing one of the TVs in the sports bar. "You're the first person I've met who knows...the truth about the Mogs...since Alfred died. It intrigues me that you knew a Number already, both knew the dangers and the Mogadorians, and yet split up. It doesn't make any sense to me, and you seem intelligent enough to know why I say this, especially since you apparently have no Legacy and have to use your mind or the tools at hand to get out of any troublesome situation you get yourself into."
She frowned, a little confused as to what he was saying, before her eyes widened. "Do you have something to do with the fact that I used to get trapped in those old buildings and such when I was still out looking for the lair?"
"Yes." He nodded, not looking the least bit apologetic. "You're incredibly oblivious to your surroundings, not noting the many times you were being followed or lured, and then you were easily trapped and held captive. You have no self-preserving instinct, and only stop to think things through once you're stuck and have no other option."
She tightened her grip on her tray, fighting the urge to slam it down on her head. "Forgive me for not suspecting that you were chasing after me, trapping me every chance you got!"
"But you yourself have insinuated that you have Mogadorians after you, so you have no excuse for your embarrassing cluelessness." Lucas pointed out harshly, eyebrow raised. "Had I been a Mogadorian I would have been able to kill you many times over."
She flinched because he made a very good point.
"How are you still alive?" He wanted to know point blank, leaning forwards on the table, hands clasped in front of him.
"You know, it's not too late to go back to Monique's side." She growled at him, unable to keep that lodged in her throat.
He just eyed her before shaking his head. "It pisses me off how careless you are."
"I seem to piss you off no matter what I do or don't do." She commented, tapping her foot a little impatiently against the tiled floor. "If I bother you that much you should go get your questions answered by Lois or Lucy. I'm sure I'm not the only one you were able to track down."
"How do they fit into this anyway?" Lucas completely ignored her advice, eyes intent on her. "They mentioned something about being related to you."
"That's because they are related to me." Chloe was growing more and more frustrated with him. "Our parents are...were...are...siblings."
Lucas' eyes narrowed. "Is that so."
"Yes, it is." She grumbled, hugging the tray to her chest. "I know that they and I look nothing alike, and that they're the ultra fighting soldiers while I'm a klutz who can't seem to realize when she's being trailed by some sociopath who finds some perverse pleasure in locking girls in basements just to see how they get themselves out of it! But even so...Lois and Lucy are my first cousins, and the only family I have left now that my mother and father are probably both captured by the Mogadorians and killed after being interrogated."
Lucas continued to look at her, no reaction to her words other than to keep his eyes narrowed on her. "So you mean to tell me that the three of you have Lorien blood in you because of your parents...who are siblings...and have Lorien blood in them."
"Yes." She nodded, not getting what was so hard to believe about that. "Our parents are not full Lorien, not even half...I think the Lorien bloodline was probably introduced into our family around either our great grandparents or a little further back. All I know is that it's strong enough to make Lucy and Lois stronger and faster than normal girls, and my mother has a Legacy." She shrugged. "My uncle and I are the only ones who didn't really get anything out of our Lorien blood." She sighed, head lowering. "I can't come close to what my cousins are in strength or speed or agility. I'm only moderately more knowledgeable about worldly things considering that I lived with my father most of my life and only went to live with my mother a little while ago. Its when she appeared in my life again some months ago that I found out about having some Lorien in my blood."
"So you were raised...human...without any knowledge of anything." Lucas whispered to himself, lowering his gaze, looking very disturbed for some reason.
"Well, the little bit of Lorien in me isn't enough to make me not human, only not entirely." She mumbled, finding herself sitting down across from him and forgetting for a second that she had orders to fill.
"How much do you know about our culture? Our heritage? Or customs?" He surprised her by asking.
Then again, he probably didn't know much himself since his Cepan had died when he was young.
"Not much." Chloe was reluctant to admit. "My mother never told me anything unless it was absolutely necessary, and she didn't find me knowing about the culture of a dead planet necessary...or useful."
Lucas' eyes narrowed, fury flashing through his orbs, before he looked away, face dark. "I'll have a Sidecar to start off while I'm looking through the menu."
"Right." She nodded, recognizing this for the dismissal that it was, as she stood. "Sidecar coming right up."
The blonde ignored the dirty looks Monique kept sending her and went about her job, tending to the customers and getting them their orders. She wasn't as carefree and easy-going as usual because like before she could feel an intense gaze on her the whole time only now she knew for certain that someone was watching her. Lucas might play indifferent whenever she brought him another drink or the food he'd ordered, but she could feel his gaze on her the moment she turned her back.
In a sense she understood his curiosity.
She was his link to another Number.
To his past.
She found herself lost in thought, sending him quick glances every couple of minutes, incredibly aware of him.
He didn't try to talk to her again, instead observing her before finishing his meal, paying the bill...
...and leaving a ridiculously large tip that caused her eyes to widen in shock.
She almost went after him to tell him that he must have put down the wrong bill because no one left a fifty dollar tip...but she was called away by another costumer and ended up sliding the fifty down into her bra and continuing on until her shift ended.
As she walked towards the motel, tied and anxious to flop onto the bed so she could rest for a couple of hours before having to go to her nighttime job, Chloe wondered why Lucas' face kept appearing in her mind.
She pushed the image away, clenched her pendants in her hand, and strolled away.