Title: LIttle Red & The Big Bad Number
Sequel to: Number Nine
Universe: Numbers Series
Characters: Chloe/Lucas, Lois, Lucy
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Like the old fairy tale the four each had a character, a part to play...and Granny, Woodsman, Wolf and Red played their parts to perfection, whether they realized it or not.
"You can't stop me."
"You wanna bet?"
"How much you willing to lose?"
"Oh baby, I don't bet unless I know I'm going to win. And believe me, you're not winning this argument."
"Neither are you!"
"I beg to differ."
"You can beg as much as you want. It'd not going to change anything!"
"You're just asking to be thrown over my knees and spanked."
"Please, spanking is not considered a punishment for me."
There was silence as the two arguing teens went silent, the short blonde huffing and blushing at what she'd just said, and the taller brunet male eyeing her with unholy interest at the surprising declaration.
Lucas Dunleavy suddenly gave Chloe Sullivan the filthiest smile Lois Lane had ever seen in her life.
And while Lois was admittedly sheltered most of her life in the mountains training for the future war, she had been in Edge CIty long enough to see the filthiest, scummiest men give her the filthiest, scummiest smiles ever.
Lucas' grin was filthy, yes, but she really didn't consider it scummy.
The brunette raised her eyebrow as she watched what she was sure was the oddest flirtation ever. A week had passed since they'd come to live with Lucas in his surprisingly well hidden, posh home, and Lois knew she wasn't the only one who'd noticed the sexual tension that just steamed up from those two's pores. Lucy had noticed it as well, and while Lois was quite amused and admittedly a bit enthralled watching Chloe and Lucas' incessant banter...Lucy wasn't so thrilled. The youngest Lane obviously didn't trust Lucas and didn't like him all that much, which amused Lois because once upon a long time ago under Aunt Moira's training Lucy had worshipped the Supreme, Superior Garde.
But now the girl was exhibiting a very classic spoiled younger sister syndrome in which she did not want to share her bigger sister with any love interests...be they a Number or not.
Chloe mightn't have realized just how deep beneath the Lane sister's skin she'd gotten, but she had definitely become their first real friend, the first person who treated them with love and not as if they were just 'super soldiers'...as she often referred to Aunt Moira's treatment. Lois had immediately come to appreciate and care for her cousin because of this, and while it'd taken Lucy longer to accept and embrace it...the youngest Lane had done so and was now possessive and obviously not willing to just hand her cousin over to the Number whom the Lane sisters were more than sure would eat her up.
"You know, Little Red," Lucas leaned forwards, a hand against the wall next to Chloe's head. "You shouldn't say things like that to the Big Bad if you don't want to find yourself over his knee, his hand smacking your ass red like your pouting little lips."
Chloe was blushing darkly, eyes widening slightly, her lips parting in obvious reaction to his words. "You remember that the Big Bad Wolf ends up chopped liver for trying to touch Red Riding Hood, right?" Her words might be threatening, but the way she was gazing at him proved that she was fighting herself more than him. "And I have a Woodswoman close by who would gladly jump in and kick your ass."
"As if she could." Lucas scoffed, more amused than insulted as he reached out and curled a blonde strand of hair around his finger. "And if the Woodswoman dares raise her ax, I'll just have Granny subdue her." He leaned in closer, eyes darkening in lust. "Granny's on my side."
"Don't be ridiculous." Chloe was obviously trying for disinterest...but her blush-covered chest heaved with her breaths. "You eat Granny. She has no reason to be on your side."
That devilish expression took over his face as he released her hair and caught her chin, raising her face up towards him. "Believe me, Little Red, you're the only one this wolf has any plans on eating."
The blonde was utterly scarlet now, her hands clenched at her sides, obviously fighting the desire to do something with them...whether push him away or pull him closer Lois wasn't sure.
This intriguing courtship had never really made any sense to Lois since it really didn't follow any conventional pattern.
There were no sweet-nothings and whispers of love and tokens of adoration.
Instead of the traditional way of wooing and courtship, these two were instead very much involved in roleplay.
At first Lois had had no idea why Lucas called Chloe Little Red considering Chloe was a blonde...and the whole Wolf or Big Bad references had made no sense whatsoever since although Lucas hadn't told them of all of his Legacies...Lois was almost sure lupine shapeshifting wasn't one of his abilities...
And then, quite by chance, Lois had crossed the display window of a bookstore and had happened to glance at a book entitled LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND THE BIG BAD WOLF.
Needless to say Lois had ventured into the bookstore and browsed through the book, finally finding the inspiration for their very odd relationship...in a children's book.
The brunette had felt once more the alienation and disassociation she'd grown up with, realizing that she hadn't ever heard of what was considered an extremely well known story every child seemed to have been told.
Fairy Tales wouldn't help in the upcoming war, so they were yet another thing Moira had never taught them or let them know of.
Lois had never complained growing up, had never known how short a stick she and her sister had been given until Chloe came into their lives. They hadn't known how much they'd missed out on, how much they should have known yet didn't, how many things they should have experienced...things that were natural and helped one's growth...especially psychologically. Lois had never resented Aunt Moira and her own father...not until now.
Now, Lois hated them somewhat.
Hated them quite a bit, actually.
Slowly she was beginning to understand why Chloe got so upset for them.
Lois had slipped the book out of the store and when everyone was asleep at night and she couldn't sleep herself, she'd retrieve it from its hiding place and read it over and over again.
The more she read the story, the more the characters and character choices Chloe and Lucas had given everyone made sense.
Little Red was the beloved relation of the Grandmother who lived deep in the woods, far from the village, and didn't seem to have a relationship or much contact at all with anyone else in the village despite her son and his family obviously living there. Little Red was the only one who'd go to visit her grandmother, despite how dangerous it was to travel through the woods by herself, and her grandmother obviously adored her. She was probably old, sickly, and arthritis most obviously had crippled her hands painfully...and yet to show her granddaughter how much she loved her she crafted the most beautiful red, hooded cloak. And Little Red loved her grandmother enough to never take that cloak off, which caused the villagers and even her own family to start calling her Little Red in the first place.
Lois could see the symbolism in this part of the story.
The red symbolized menstruation, Little Red's inching towards womanhood, leaving childhood behind. The warnings of the grandmother and villagers alike to not stray from the path were those warnings of loved ones and friends not ready for the young girl to venture off into the dangers of the dark woods...of adulthood...wanting to protect and keep her with them...as a child who listened to them and was protected by them. They even went as far as to warn her not to speak to strangers, of the wolves that lived in the woods and would eat her up should she stray. They weren't ready to give her up to the man who might take her away from them should she decide to leave her protected childhood and become a woman.
Her grandmother was especially insistent on Little Red not straying.
Little Red was all Granny had left, and she didn't want to lose her to someone else.
Lois could understand that.
She might like Lucas, but she didn't want to lose Chloe to him either.
"Hey Chlo." Lucy cleared her throat, interrupting the moment between Little Red and the Big Bad Number. "Isn't Clark's last name Kent? There's something on the news with someone named Jonathan Kent."
"Jonathan Kent?" At that Chloe reacted, pushing Lucas away from her rapidly and rushing towards where Lucy was, the Wolf easily handled and forgotten.
Like the Woodsman of the tale, Lucy realized that the Wolf had Little Red cornered, and was making last ditch efforts to keep the creature from consuming the young woman.
"Oh my god." Chloe whispered, collapsing on the large, comfy sofa and looking up at the huge flat screen television. "Mister Kent!"
Lucas and Lucy exchanged barbed glares.
Lois sighed as she leaned against the wall and watched the players all play their parts to perfection.
Interestingly enough, according to the book Lois kept hidden, there were many different versions of Little Red Riding Hood, and in the original story the Woodsman never appeared on scene. In the original stories either Little Red realized the wolf was masquerading as the Granny (after having burnt her hood, taken off her clothes, and gone to bed with the wolf on its request, still believing it to be the grandmother). In those versions she planned her own escape, pretending to need to use the bushes outside. The wolf, not wanting her to escape, tied a string or something like that around her foot or something similar, and Little Red tricked it by going outside and tying the rope to a tree or a log. She then would race back to the safety of her village, the wolf waiting for her to return before realizing something was up and discovering the deceiver had been deceived.
Lois could get that as the girl losing her innocence to the wrong sort of man, one who refused to let her go, going as far as tying her to him in any way possible. The girl severed her connection to him and would return to the comfort of her family, or try to return to the safety of her childhood bliss, want to once more recuperate the innocence she'd lost...yet couldn't.
In other versions though, the wolf wins, the tale ending with Little Red being devoured by the Big Bad Wolf.
In those versions, Lois suspects Little Red had wanted to be devoured. She'd purposely strayed from the path, purposely told the wolf where her grandmother lived, purposely tarried picking flowers giving him the time he'd need to do what he must, and had gone to meet him. She must have been able to tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother, and yet she hadn't put up a fight, had taken off her clothes and hood, had burned them, and then played along with the wolf, wishing desperately for what she knew was about to happen.
That Little Red reminded Lois of Chloe, except despite wanting what Lucas was obviously offering, the blonde was forcing herself not to accept anything, not to take him seriously.
The only reason why Lois believed Lucas wasn't being more forceful was because he was under the assumption that Clark Kent was Chloe's Number. That was probably why he'd snatched Chloe's necklace while kissing her that first night. Lois was almost sure that Lucas was Chloe's Number, and she knew that Lucy had her own suspicions as well although neither Lane sister dared speak of it.
Lois had tried once, and Chloe was sure Lucas wasn't...but Lois was almost sure that Lucas truly was the blonde's Number.
No matter how poorly raised, a Number would respect someone else's Number. It was ingrained in their subconscious. The fact that Lucas thought Clark was Chloe's Number...and yet he was obviously trying to seduce her away from Five...it was all Lois needed to know to be sure of his having Numbered her.
But she didn't mention it to Chloe again, tried to avoid the topic of her Number nearly desperately...the same way Lucy was...for the same reason the Lane sisters refused to tell Lucas the truth about Chloe's relationship with Clark.
Like the Granny and Woodsman, they just weren't ready to let go, weren't willing to let some shady wolf take Little Red away from them.
It was wrong...but it was true.
"I can't believe it." Chloe whispered, hand to her mouth. "Those humans must have been working for Mogadorians...the only way...the only reason he'd...would be to protect Clark."
Lucy sent her cousin a worried look. "At least he's being kept in solitary confinement until trial."
Chloe closed her eyes and reached for her chest, flinching when she remembered her crest and father's wedding band were gone. Pain was obvious on her face as she stood and raced away, a sob escaping her lips as she rushed to her room, slamming the door shut.
Lucy looked after her, worry growing, before racing after her cousin.
Lucas gazed in the direction of Chloe's room, guilt and determination warring on his face. He obviously hated seeing Chloe break down in sobs, but he hated seeing her wearing another Number's crest even more, and refuse to 'find' the crest and give it back to her.
This Big Bad Wolf was still an immature pup, the Granny and Woodswoman still had time.
Lois sighed as she stood. "Come on, I need some fresh air."
Lucas sent a look in her direction before sighing and nodding.
Maybe...maybe Granny could train the wolf pup...maybe, if she fed him scraps he'd become tame enough that once he had Little Red he wouldn't take her with him into the forest never to be seen again. Instead of taking her away, he could just become another of the family, and become the guardian the little cottage in the woods would need when the other monsters in the forest finally stumbled upon it.
Sending Lucas a sideways glance, Lois could only hope.