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.
"So, on average, how many people get murdered viciously in this building a day?" Lucy asked conversationally as they made their way up the stairway in the old, dark, apartment building Lucas had taken them to. The lower levels were filled with druggies and thugs and pimps, and Chloe had felt scared and uncomfortable. Lucy and Lois themselves only seemed vaguely wary, with Lucas not seeming to even notice any of it, walking on and minding his business as they continued upwards.
A couple of minutes after Lucy had joined them Chloe had let the others know she was awake, and after assuring her cousins that yes, she was okay and able to walk on her own, they made their way to the girls motel room, packed up everything they had, and then walked the rest of the way to the rundown, graffiti covered building Lucas lived in.
"Probably more than get reported." Lucas replied coolly, bag of valuables they'd taken from the robbers before making their escape flung casually over his shoulder as if it weighed nothing.
Reaching the top level of the stairway, Lucas pushed the sign warning not to smoke to the side, revealing a hidden panel behind it which he pressed his palm against. A blue light scanned his whole palm before the strip on the door which declared what floor it would open to slid away, an Iris Recognition Device extending outwards. He leaned forwards, resting his chin on the rest strap and stared ahead as the device scanned his eyes before a soft chiming sound could be heard and the device pulled back into the door, hidden once more.
The screen which had scanned his hand went fuzzy before numbers and alphabets covered the screen.
Lucas reached out and tapped out a quick code, selecting 'enter'.
The DO NOT SMOKE sign slowly went back to cover the screen, and the sounds of multiple locks sliding open proceeded the door creaking open.
The sole male turned to the girls, motioning with his chin as he pushed the door open. "Ladies first."
Lucy managed to hide her shock quicker than the other two as she cleared her throat and scoffed as she pushed passed him, entering, dragging the two suitcases they had with them.
Lois adjusted the strap of the guitar bag she was carrying, and smirked. "Must be hell when you're in a hurry."
He surprisingly enough smirked and admitted to that with a nod.
Grinning, Lois pushed inside, following after her sister.
Chloe hesitated outside, shoulder the duffle bag with the rest of their belongings. She gazed inside, not able to see much except for a pristine white hallway, but made no move to enter.
Lucas eyed her before turning and leaning back against the wall next to the open doorway, knee bent back, foot pressed against the wall.
She sent a sideways glance in his direction. "You not going in?"
"Shouldn't that be my line?" He countered, eyebrow raised.
She frowned slightly, looking away, tightening her grip on the duffle bag's strap. "I saw the Numbers."
He turned his head towards her, expression neutral. "Did you."
She nodded. "It was only a couple of seconds, but I saw them all, and I saw the crests of One, Two and Three."
Lucas' eyes narrowed. "It has to be you."
She took in a deep breath. "You know, you should have just told us about what you thought I might be. It would have saved everyone a big headache, and we wouldn't have had all those arguments if I'd known that you thought I knew I had some connection to the crests or something like that."
He paused, before looking away from her, expression slightly pinched. "Where's the fun in that?"
Once again though, he seemed annoyed with her.
She sighed and looked away, not sure why she felt extremely annoyed at the realization that he'd only been around her because he thought she was the person his Cepan had been talking about. Maybe, maybe deep down inside, she'd wondered if he might be her Number like Lois had questioned before, but obviously he wasn't. Clark had said that from the first moment he'd laid eyes on Lana he'd been mesmerized with her, had thought she was an angel, and that had been it. There was no one else for him. So while Lucas had admitted to Lois about being attracted to Chloe, he'd only come around her because he realized she could be useful in the future.
Attraction had nothing to do with anything.
She'd been attracted to Clark, and her friend had admitted to being attracted to her, but that hadn't meant that they were Equally Numbered.
So this little flirtation she'd had with Lucas had only been that.
She grit her teeth, annoyed with herself for the disappointment she felt churning inside of her.
So Lucas wasn't her Number.
Seven has really handsome.
And...and...maybe One, Two, or Three had been her Number. Maybe he'd been killed before she ever met him. That-that-that...
It didn't matter.
Hadn't she wished weeks back that she was Numberless like Lois and Lucy?
This was good.
She cleared her throat and walked passed Lucas, fighting to keep her face emotionless as she sauntered down the pristine white corridor before it opened into an open plan greeting room which was dedicated to different activities and such, divided only by Japanese divider screens. She could feel Lucas as he entered behind her, hearing the locks and security mechanisms activating all around them, especially behind them around the door and hallway.
Chloe's eyes widened at the huge apartment that took up the whole top floor of the building...and the roof too considering that there wasn't any other access to it. She couldn't believe this posh, mansion-like place had been inside of one of the seediest, most run down buildings she'd ever seen in her life.
It was brilliant.
"Lois! Look!" Lucy's voice was in awe, as excited as a child during christmas. "A customized mook jong!" She dropped the suitcases and rushed toward a large, open area, about to continue before stopping when she realized something. The girl quickly yanked off her shoes and then raced onto the padded floors of the training areas towards the wooden dummy, grin bright and eager. "I've missed ours so badly!" She turned and raced towards the sandbag hanging. "Oh boy." She looked around her at the many different weapons and martial arts equipment. "I think I died and went to heaven."
"Of course her heaven looks like an armory." Lois quipped, rolling her eyes in amusement.
Chloe smiled, shaking her head, but her amusement melted into awe as the saw the large area to the right designated for a bunch of hi-tech computers all connected to each other. "Oh my."
Lucas' raised an eyebrow as he noticed where he was watching. "My Cepan, Alfred, used to be able to use them to keep us hidden and had this whole block filled with hidden cameras. I have them updated, but other than play solitaire and check my emails I really don't have any use for computers."
Chloe wasn't listening, already hurrying forwards to them, eyes wide as she tried to soak in the magnificence of the technology before her.
The things she could do with the equipment at her disposal!
"Computers are kinda her thing." Lois commented to Lucas.
"Can I?" Chloe turned to Lucas, feeling her whole body vibrating with excitement.
He shrugged. "Knock yourself out."
She ran her fingers over the keyboard of the closest computer, hesitating a second before sitting down on the chair and moving the mouse, watching the monitors light up. The blonde was slightly scared to do anything, to ruin the magnificence in front of her, but as she began browsing the many different programs and software they had, her eyes widened, as did her smile. She recognized many of these programs as ones that Moira had had on her computer on the Mountain Hideaway, and the only difference was that they were in severe need of updating. They were years overdue.
The blonde leaned forwards and began working to update the many different programs immediately. She blocked out everyone and everything around her, completely enthused in her work as her fingers typed. While the many software and programs began updating she checked on the supposed links to the cameras Lucas had mentioned, and gave a little happy squeak when she found the transmissions still running. And not only were they running, but there were cameras not just on this block, but there were also cameras in the five blocks surrounding this building. There were facial recognitions and security triggers and night vision and ultra red and so many awesome things!
Getting up, Chloe rushed passed Lucas, who was leaning against the wall coolly, and knelt by one of the suitcases, opening it. She delved through some of the supplies and such and pulled out a small DVD case, rushing right passed Lucas once more as she sat down. Reaching into her pocket she pulled out her ipod, plopped her earphones into her ears, and stationed it to her favorite radio station as she began going through the many different updated programs, and new programs, that had been stashed in the getaway supplies they'd found by the canoe. She had a very long night ahead of her, and she'd have to get up and go to work early tomorrow, but Chloe couldn't go to sleep now even if she wanted to. The excitement bubbled in her like caffeine, washing away all sleepiness, as she got to work, using the many different discs to install and update.
Music blaring in her ears, she easily blocked out everything that wasn't the many different monitors surrounding her.
She wheeled her chair from one monitor and keyboard to the next, going back and forth, checking the different progresses and absorbing herself in this task. For once she was in her element, not feeling faulting like she always did when it came to fighting or such.
As soon as one program in particular finished uploading and upgrading, Chloe bit her bottom lip and keyed something, frowning darkly when pictures of Lucas began to appear all over the monitors.
Shaking her head, Chloe reached for her phone and stood, realizing that Lucy was using the wooden dummy to practice, an evilly gleeful expression on her face, while Lois and Lucas were having a polite conversation over by what appeared to be a seating area. Chloe couldn't hear what they were saying because of the earphones in her ear and the music blaring, but she hesitated at the intensity in which Lucas was listening to Lois. The blonde was surprised at the jolt of jealousy that spiked in her at that. It was ridiculous to feel jealous. Lucas wasn't her Number. Hadn't she already decided that? Given this, it was understandable that Lucas would like someone like Lois, given their personalities they actually quite suited each other. Also, with some time and training, she could see Lucas becoming that Competent Commander of Armies that Lois had admitted to always wanting.
Chloe fought the chill that raced up her spine at the imagery of Lois and Lucas caught in a passionate embrace.
Taking in a deep breath, she pushed those thoughts out of her mind and walked up to Lucas, aiming her phone at him.
He looked up once he noticed her approach, expression guarded, as if a little disturbed she'd appeared out of apparently nowhere.
He'd probably had wanted to spend more time alone with Lois without her butting in and listening to their conversation.
Chloe cleared her throat and took the picture, before turning and leaving them alone, walking back to the computers. Snarling at herself to stop feeling hurt and pissed, the blonde sat down and pulled out a cord, connecting it to her phone as she uploaded the picture she'd just taken of his face. The technogenius pulled up the program she'd just finished installing and upgrading and with Lucas' reference picture and his name keyed into another section she watched as the pictures of him on the internet, and the webpages that referenced to him in any way. Permanently erasing any proof that he was there, what he looked like, and what alias he was going by or his activities.
She was shocked that he'd gotten away this long without the Mogadorians finding him.
He was just being so careless!
The Mogadorians probably hadn't found him because they'd been searching for the Numbers in sequence and since he was the last they wouldn't have had him on their radar as yet. But now that they could be killed in any order he couldn't allow himself to be so careless. It was ridiculous!
It actually annoyed her terribly how incredibly bad he was at keeping a low profile.
Her right earphone was pulled from her ear, causing the blonde to jump in surprise, turning to see Lucas there by her side.
"Explain." He motioned to his picture and name, and the different webpages and such he appeared in being erased from the internet.
"It's a basic measure to make it harder for the Mogadorians to find a track you." She replied a little testily, annoyed more by herself than him for her little jolt of jealousy. "I know your Cepan died when you were young, but I would have thought he'd have made it obvious that when you're hiding...you don't stand out."
"I haven't had a reason to complain so far." He muttered, folding his arms over his chest.
"I know. I'm surprised you're still alive." She snapped, returning her attention back to the computers at hand.
He raised an eyebrow, reaching out and grabbing the back of her seat as he smirked and leaned over her. "Remind me again. Who saved who tonight?"
She paused, memory flashing back to the way he'd used his psychokinesis to send the bullets away from her, and how it'd been him who'd saved her from the glass pressed against her throat. The blonde sighed, realizing just how childish she was acting. It was ridiculous. She hadn't even acted like this with Clark when she'd realized that despite all the feelings she had for him, there was no way she could compete with Lana Lang. If she hadn't reacted this way with Clark, she had no right to do so with Lucas, and she felt ashamed of herself for it.
Ducking her gaze, Chloe took in a deep breath and raised her gaze to smile softly at the Number before her. "Thank you."
Lucas waited for a moment before he scoffed. "I got a kiss on my cheek for getting rid of a pervert for you. I'd think saving your life would be more important than that."
Her eyes widened in surprise and she couldn't fight the blush that she knew was spreading across her cheeks as she looked at him in shock.
Was he...flirting...with her?
Even now that he didn't have to use it as an excuse to stay close to her?
She gulped, her gaze sliding slyly to look for Lois, finding the brunette with her sister, enjoying the training room and having seemed to have forgotten about Chloe and Lucas.
Chloe bit her lip, conflicted.
Lois had admitted to being envious of Chloe and Lucas' so called eye-sexing...did her cousin have a crush on Lucas?
If so, this would be Lois' first real crush, and as the good girl Chloe should step down and let her cousin have that first romance every girl deserved.
Fingers curled around the blonde's chin and softly yet firmly brought her gaze back to him, as Lucas smirked devilishly at her. "You really have no one else to blame but yourself. You started this. You have no right to complain."
The blonde opened her mouth to verbalize that question when her breath was stolen from her when he bent down and kissed her, shocking the hell out of her as her body shook at the tenderness in that kiss. It wasn't rushed and needy like the one they'd shared before. Instead it was slow and soothing and Chloe's toes curled in her shoes, finding herself leaning closer to him, eyelashes fluttering closed as her grip on the seat's hand rests tightened.
His other hand cupped the back of her head, long fingers diving into her hair, as he drew closer and invaded her mouth fully, tongue claiming every inch.
She gave a little gasp as this forced her back a little more and her chair tilted slightly.
Lucas took advantage of this and stole her breath, swallowing it inside of him, loosening his grip on her chin and lowering that hand to her neck, finger trailing the expanse of her skin, slipping under her chain and playing with it teasingly. His nails scraped playfully against her skin, and Chloe couldn't stop herself from reaching up and cupping the back of his neck.
He finally pulled away, panting softly, eyes darker than usual as his lips curved in a pleased, smug smile. "I have a philosophy that I live by near religiously."
Her head was hazy, hardly able to process anything, the echo of that kiss still disorienting her.
"I could be killed by Mogadorians any second, so in the very rare event that I actually find something I really like I'm going to indulge in it to the fullest, and I don't mind being the villain of the story if it gets me what I want."
She tried to break out of the trance she felt she was under, tried to make sense of what he was saying, but was failing terribly. "Huh?"
He smirked, the expression on his face near evil. "Just letting you know I'm not going to back off no matter who has already laid claim. I'm a professional cheat and thief, and I have no moral issue with using those abilities in this area of my life as well."
She brought a hand to her head, confused, dizzy, and still reeling from that kiss. "What are you talking about?"
"Nothing, just issuing a fair warning." He shrugged before winking and walking off, whistling what she was sure was some song by Reel Big Fish...but she couldn't remember what it was. She was almost sure it had something to do with another guy's girlfriend, but she couldn't be sure.
Mind still not working from that kiss, Chloe leaned her forehead against the table and groaned, knowing she was beet red.
Somehow, the Big Bad Wolf had gone from savior to predator once more.
And Little Red had yet to realize that the chain and pendants she so treasured were missing from her neck.