Pairing: Chloe/Olivia Lennox
Fandoms: Smallville/She's The Man
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: When Chloe's crazy family force her to undergo the family tradition and go to Illyria as a boy, she's sure she's going to be found out, labeled a pervert and expelled. She never expected to make friends, enjoy the fashion, and start fitting it. She also never expected to try her hand at matchmaking...and fail so spectacularly.
Written for my Chloe Femslash Table, Prompt #10: Backfire
A/N: Was long so had to be cut into two parts.
If Chloe hadn't hated her mother before for abandoning her as a child, she hated her now...
...with the intensity of a thousand burning suns.
When her father died in the safe-house explosion, and Chloe had finally been able to testify and send Lionel Luthor to jail for life, she'd expected to be shipped off to her uncle's. It'd been a given considering Uncle Sam was the only family she had left. She hadn't expected for her mother to be waiting for her, seated calmly on her brother's sofa, with a serene smile upon her face as if this wasn't the weirdest shit ever. Moira had informed Chloe that she was going to have to be enrolled in a boarding school...as a guy. Apparently this wasn't the first time their family had shown their insanity, as Lucy and Lois both had gone through the same treatment...or Luke and Luis...as their alternate identities were called.
Chloe had ranted and raved about psychosis and such, trying to appeal to everyone's common sense, but the Lanes didn't seem to see her side of the story, and Moira was adamant that this was something her daughter needed to do. There was something fishy about how persistent she was about this, about sending Chloe far away and disguised as a boy for crying out loud, and Chloe wondered if her mother hadn't abandoned them all those years ago because she'd gotten caught up in something shady. Or maybe, just maybe, her mother was completely, 100 per cent bonkers, and this was all karmic punishment for the blonde.
She'd gotten herself into so much trouble, had gotten her father killed, had done so much...it was only right that she be punished. And yet, somehow, cross-dressing had never crossed her mind as a suitable punishment for her crimes. There were so many more humane ways to break a human being, and yet forcing her to be a guy? Chloe had nothing against gays or transvestites or transgenders or anyone like that. If they wanted to be that way, live that way, then hooray! She applauded them! She supported them! But the fact of the matter was that she didn't want to be a boy! She liked being a girl! She liked it a lot! And this whole "Cody Andrew Lane" business was just wrong! And stupid! No way was she going to remember that "Cody" was supposed to be her name! She wasn't going to be about to pull this off! She'd be caught the first day, labeled a pervert, and then kicked out!
And yet here she was, in Illyria, wearing the boy's uniform and pulling a strand of hair behind her studded ears.
There'd been a couple of glances at her, people mumbling. Despite wearing the boy's uniforms some students loudly whispered to each other wondering if she was a tomboyish girl or if she was a girly boy.
She winced, realizing that she was going to be bullied and preyed upon as the 'girly boy' once everyone was sure they had figured out her gender.
She couldn't do this.
There was no way.
And what was up with Principal Gold? Was there anyone weirder than that dude? Seriously? He was eager and grinning and Chloe felt the need to keep an alert eye on his hands and nose at all times. Whyshe felt the urge to monitor his nose she had no idea...but the instinct was there.
She was still wary as she left the Principal's office, so preoccupied with not vomiting with nerves that she ran into someone, books flying everywhere.
"I am so sorry!" She exclaimed, going to her knees and grabbing for the books, not even really looking at who she'd run into.
"It's half my fault." A female voice declared, bending down next to her to pick up the other books.
"I've actually been spazzing...first day jitters." Chloe handed the girl the books and paused for a second, shocked at the girl bending in front of her.
She was gorgeous.
She was so beautiful she would have made Lana feel insecure.
Chloe admitted to just staring at the girl, unable to believe there was someone in this world prettier than Lana Lang. And then Chloe remembered that she was supposed to be a guy, and probably looked weird and obsessive or something, just watching this girl. She'd cleared her throat, passed the smiling stranger the rest of her books, and then stood up, ready to make a hasty retreat. "Sorry about that again."
"Hey!" The other girl stood rapidly, calling her back when she would have rushed away. "I'm Olivia Lennox."
Chloe hesitated, taking in a deep breath, before turning to the longer haired blonde. "Cody Lane, but everyone calls me C." She might remember it better if it was just the letter and not some new strange name.
"C." Olivia smiled, pulling a strand of hair behind her ear. "Where are you from?"
"Kansas." Chloe shucked her hands in her pockets, feeling awkward and confused, a strand of her hair falling into her face. She was glad that she'd already cut her hair before this all happened, and while the short in the back, chin-length in the front haircut could be considered somewhat feminine Lois had taken a scissors to the front and clipped it more jagged in what she assured was a hairstyle she'd seen emo boys wear all the time, saving Chloe from having to have a more 'masculine' haircut like Lois and Lucy had had to while during their time posed as boys. "You?"
"California." Olivia replied, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.
Uncomfortable, Chloe sent the girl an awkward smile. "Well...sorry once again...but I have to find my dorm."
She'd then turned and left as quickly as she could without it being obvious that she was running the hell away. It was harder to find the boys dorms than she'd thought, since she didn't want to ask the girls, and the boys were all useless. Finally, the Hall Monitor or whatever the hell his title was, puffed out his chest and led her right to her door. He'd then left to hurry and tell off some boys down the hall for some reason or the other. Chloe had stared at the door to her dorm room in dread, realizing that this was it. This made it official.
She was a boy.
Who was living in a boy's dorm.
With other boys.
She officially hated her mother.
How exactly was she going to pull this off?
She didn't know the first thing about being a boy!
Thankfully her new roommate, Andrew, was quiet and shy and not anything like the guys at her school. He reminded her of Clark in his mannerisms, and that was something Chloe could be comfortable with. She found out Andrew was first string in the Illyrian soccer team, and yet he really didn't act like a jock. She figured that if she was stuck having to room with a guy he was probably the best option she could have gotten. So with Andrew as her guide she was able to find her way through the different classes in the ridiculously huge school. She met Andrew's soccer buddies, Toby and Duke, and Duke's roommate Sebastian Hastings. Within the lunch period as she just sat at their table, Chloe had already pegged every single one of them. Andrew was the deep, sensitive one. Toby was the cute dark boy with dreads who, despite being somewhat popular, kept sending longing glances towards a creepy looking girl named Eunice who was seated off by herself. Sebastian was the typical indie-rock musician who totted around a book and pen to jot down lyrics whenever they came upon him, and he seemed to level out his roommate, Duke, who was the stereotypical jock. Duke was tall, muscular, and handsome.
Chloe was kinda shocked at how much guys talked about girls.
It was basically how girls talked about guys.
But more graphic.
"What about you, C?" Toby leaned over the table, addressing the quiet blonde. "Got any girl you left heartbroken back at home?"
Chloe wondered just how she was going to do this.
If she didn't strut and convince these people guys that she was...uh...she already looked like a girl...because she was a girl...but they didn't know that!
She hated her mother.
"There was someone, but it wasn't anything official." She shrugged, playing with the food on her plate.
There was a silence.
"So what was her name?" Duke finally asked, before clearing his throat. "It was a her right?"
Chloe looked up, eyes wide, realizing what this had all been about.
They were questioning her sexuality.
Andrew gulped, lowering his gaze.
Sebastian hit Duke over the head with his book. "Real subtle, Orsino."
"Ow!" Duke groaned, glaring at his roommate.
Sebastian ignored him, turning to Chloe. "You don't have to answer that, he was being stupid."
Duke glared at Sebastian.
"Uh, no, it doesn't, I don't mind." Chloe cleared her throat, taking in a deep breath. "Her name name was Lana Lang, and she was close to both me and my friend Clark. You could say that there was a love triangle between us."
A couple of the boys winced, obviously understanding that.
"He was interested in her, she never really knew if she was in love with anyone, and then I came here." Chloe shrugged, trying to keep it as truthful as possible so if she was asked about it later on she wouldn't have to scramble around in a panic trying to remember whatever lies she'd spouted out. "So I guess the next time I hear from them they'll be together."
"Tough, bro." Toby shook his head in sympathy.
"Good news is that Illyria has some of the best looking people in the country." Sebastian declared, motioning around him at the girls. "Never been more inspired than I have been here."
Duke nodded his agreement, shy and agreeing as his gaze spanned the girls.
Awwww. Here was a shy jock. How rare was that?
"Dude, the hottest girl in Illyria is totally eyeing you!" Toby suddenly announced, leaning forwards and whispering in excitement.
Like one, the boys at the table turned to look at a certain table.
Curious, Chloe followed their gazes and her eyes connected with blue eyes.
The girl she'd run into earlier that morning was the owner of those orbs, a soft blush tinting her cheeks as she ducked her gaze and pulled a strand of long, pale hair behind her ear. She then looked back up, eyes connecting with Chloe's once more, before smiling and giving a little wave.
Giving a little wave back, Chloe turned her attention back to her food, finishing chewing and swallowing before realizing that the boys' glances were all on her. "What?"
"How do you know Olivia Lennox?" Andrew wanted to know, blinking.
"I don't." Chloe shrugged, moving her food around her plate. "I bumped into her earlier when I left Principal Gold's office."
Duke and Sebastian exchanged intrigued looks.
"And she gave you the wave?" Toby gasped, mouth wide.
"The wave?" Chloe raised an eyebrow, confused.
"Yeah, you know, that tiny little coy wave that girls give you when they're interested." Toby mimicked 'the wave' batting his eyelashes as he did so.
"We don't do that!" Chloe gasped in horror, before her eyes widened and she cleared her throat. "We as in interested, hormonal teenage human species, of course."
Sebastian raised an eyebrow, eyeing her silently.
Duke snorted, obviously finding this funny.
"As I was saying..." the girl in boy's clothing stabbed at her food viciously. "We interested teenagers don't give each other coy waves when we're interested."
"Then what do we do?" Toby challenged.
"Well, guys revert to the cavemanish tendencies of showing off to prove the females that they are worthy to be chosen and should the situation arise that they are fully capable of providing and protecting said mate." Chloe declared, stabbing at some lettuce. "And the females huddle in groups all vying for that Alpha, like in a wolf pack, discussing the different males' potentials and once a suitable mate is found they find ways of subtly drawing the attention of the desired Mate. Most often the supposed 'inferior' males are left ignored in favor of those of supposed higher social standards and such for very obvious reasons. Whoever is mated to the Alpha Male is the Alpha Female, the most desirable of the desirables, and everyone wants that position. It's why relationships are often defined by statuses. Quid Pro Quo. The best female and male get together, and their being together just proves in a sense the other's worth in everyone's eyes because only Aphas mate."
Andrew tilted his head to the side, obviously confused.
"Very rarely will a pack member so high as to be in the rank of 'the most beautiful girl'," she motioned vaguely in Olivia's direction, ignoring the wide-eyed, embarrassed looks from the boys as they quickly turned to see if Olivia was looking and noticed that she was being pointed at. "Send out signs of interest in pairing up with those more amongst the Omegas of the pack, like moi. The guy five people have stopped in the span of two hours, to clarify if he was a guy or a girl."
The guys flinched at that, looking understanding.
"If it helps any, you'd make a cute girl." Duke tried.
Chloe fought the blush, glaring at her lettuce.
Of course a hot guy had to tell her that when she's supposed to be another boy!
Sebastian slapped Duke up the back of his head. "Dude, that would not help him any."
"Jesus, Sebastian!" Duke snapped, rubbing the back of his head, glaring at the musician with surprisingly little to no heat. "Enough with the slapping!"
"For a jock, you're a baby, Orsino." Sebastian snickered.
Chloe looked up, seeing Olivia standing behind Sebastian's chair, smiling at him.
"Liv." Sebastian smiled.
Duke nearly fell out of his chair, eyes widening, unable to look at the blonde, finding his spoon incredibly fascinating all of a sudden.
"You've met C, right?" Sebastian suddenly grinned, pointing to Chloe as he pulled out the seat next to him for Olivia to sit down on. "He's new, freshly shipped from Kansas, and trying to get his bearings around here."
Olivia sent Chloe a small smile. "The place can be a bit daunting, can't it? It's so large with so many classrooms and buildings and levels! Everyone is intimidated by it at first, but we all find our way around the place quick enough."
"Well, that's reassuring." Chloe sent her another awkward smile, not knowing why she felt more comfortable with the boys while in drag, than with another girl. "Though I've always been bad with directions, so I'll have to pay extra attention to the map they gave me of the school." She snickered, shaking her head. "I never thought I'd need a map to go to school."
Olivia giggled, ducking her gaze. "So what class do you have next?"
Chloe reached into her pocket and pulled out her schedule. "Chemistry with Mrs. Marple."
"No way! So do I!" Olivia grinned brightly as the bell rung. "We can walk together. That way you won't get lost."
Chloe paused, seeing the look Duke was sending her.
It was jealousy.
Oh dear god.
This was the last thing she needed, for the big manly guy who lived right next door to her to suddenly hate her guts over a girl.
"That's so nice of you Liv." Sebastian smiled, turning his grin on Chloe as the bell rung. "Go on then, we'll see you later."
"Uh, okay." Chloe stood, gathering her stuff, making sure not to look at Duke, though she could feel his gaze jealously watching her as she walked away with a bubbly Olivia.
It was then and there that she decided to avoid this girl as much as humanly possible.
"Cody. Yo Cody!"
Chloe gazed down at her laptop, finishing what had been surprisingly easy homework at Cesario's as she waited for her order to arrive. She'd expected that since Illyria was such an expensive boarding school that the education level would be much higher, and yet this was easier than her work in Smallville.
"C." Someone nudged her shoulder.
Looking up in shock, Chloe's eyes widened when she noticed Duke Orsino standing in front of her. "Uh, hey Duke."
"I heard you not only have Chemistry with Olivia, but you're her partner too." Duke went straight to the point, sitting down on the seat opposite hers. "I'm going to be honest with you, man, and lay it out. I really like this girl, I have for three years and I've never been even close."
Pushing down the lid of her laptop, Chloe gave the sandy-blonde her full attention.
"Thing is I've never had an in with her until now." Duke rubbed her hands together nervously. "I mean, Sebastian knows her, but it's only because his girlfriend and her are in the same debutant thing, and he doesn't really support my…uh…well…" he cleared his throat. "What I'm trying to say is-."
Chloe's eyes narrowed as she leaned over the table. "Are you trying to ask me to help hook you up with her? Because I really don't know her that well to do that."
"No, but you will, and she seems to think you're okay so you could get some sway." Duke pressed, before pausing. "Unless you…"
For a moment she didn't get what he was insinuating, and then she did, and she couldn't help the snort and bark of incredulous laughter. "No. No!"
He raised an eyebrow. "That was…uh…what's so wrong with her that you'd say it like that? She's gorgeous and sweet and…has pretty eyes."
He was being defensive on Olivia's behalf, which was utterly adorable.
"No, I'm not-there's nothing wrong with her." Chloe tried for a careless chuckle. "I just, well, she's not my type."
"Really?" Duke asked in surprise. "She's everyone's type."
"Well, she's not mine. I mean, she's gorgeous, yes, and she's really sweet, and you're right that she's got pretty eyes…" Chloe paused, wondering how in the world she could finish this and yet seem like a heterosexual male...because she suddenly realized that Olivia was really eye-catching and...well... "I like dark hair better. Like Maria."
"Olivia's best friend?" Duke asked in surprise, eyes widening. "Really?"
"What's wrong with her?" Now Chloe felt defensive on another girl's behalf.
"Nothing." Duke shrugged. "Just that not many guys notice her."
And that was probably why Chloe had noticed the redhead. She'd been able to sympathize about being a pretty girl who was best friends with the school beauty, and thus was used to being constantly overlooked by the male species.
Chloe's eyes froze in horror as she recognized that voice. "Oh dear god."
Duke looked up and his eyes widened. "Oh, wow."
"This isn't happening." Chloe groaned, turning in time to be yanked out of the seat and up into Lucy's arms. "What are you doing here?" She didn't even try to hug the slightly taller girl back, too confused and shocked. "I"m confused."
Duke watched, mouth open. "You, uh, wouldn't be Lana would you?"
Chloe sent him a glare.
"Oh Cody, don't tell me you're still thinking about Lana." Lucy sighed, shaking her head as she pulled away, turning to give Duke a mischievous little smile. "I'm Lucy Lane, Cody's sister." She motioned to the front of the restaurant, where Lois could be seen flirting shamelessly with a fascinated Sebastian. "That's our older sister, Lois."
Duke was apparently speechless, opening his mouth and closing it before managing some awkward little movement that could be construed as a wave hello.
Lucy obviously found it adorable.
"Uh, sis," Chloe removed herself from Lucy's grip. "What are you two doing here?"
"Why, we had to come and see our beloved brother of course!" Lucy grinned, obviously enjoying this far too much as she grabbed hold on Chloe's chin, giving it a playful little shake before turning to Duke. "We're always so protective of him, Cody is just so cute he gets bullied a lot." Her gaze was near hungry as she gazed up and down a gulping Duke. "But I'm glad and relieved to see he has such big and manlyfriends to help defend him."
"Y-yeah." Duke grinned.
Chloe looked between them and rolled her eyes, groaning as she sat down.
Lucy leaned her hip against the table and began to flirt outrageously with Duke, who appeared to have forgotten how to vocalize words and merely gave little puppyish sounds as indicators that a functioning human being was in there somewhere deep inside.
Rolling her eyes, Chloe stood. "I'm going to ask for more menus." Because obviously she wasn't going to have a peaceful meal by herself.
It was only because she was expecting it given that Lois and Lucy were around, that Chloe was alert and turned when she heard the name, eyes widening when they fell upon Olivia, who was sitting by herself and giving a little wave.
Sending a look towards her table, where Lois and Sebastian had arrived-the four sitting down and chatting (or, three chatting and Duke doing the overly awkward yet eager thing), and she turned her attention to Olivia with a forced smile. "Hey."
"So, are they your friends from your old high school?" Olivia asked oddly, seeming somewhat muted.
"Them? No, they're my…sisters." Yet another lie she was going to have to wrap her head around. "They've come to check up on me. And obviously embarrass me. And flirt with my friends."
"Your sisters?" Olivia's smile returned full-force. "That's great. I'm an only child, so you're lucky you have two sisters who obviously worry about you."
"Yeah." Chloe found herself collapsing into the seat opposite Olivia's. "Save me."
The pretty, long-haired blonde laughed, shaking her head. "I'd invite you to eat with me since Maria just bailed on me, but considering that your sisters have come to see you it would be rude."
Chloe sent a glance towards the table once more. "You want to join us?"
Olivia looked up at that, lips slowly forming a smile as her eyes registered surprise. "You wouldn't mind? I mean, your friends and your sisters-."
"Are obviously hitting it off and I'll either end up the one who has all of their embarrassing stories dredged up…or be the fifth wheel." Chloe shrugged. "Wanna give me someone to talk to while Lois and Lucy are working their dubious charms on the easily enthralled?"
Olivia's gaze lowered and she smiled softly, nodding. "I'd like that."
Chloe smiled at the blonde, and was grateful for Lois and Lucy when the two girls accepted the newcomer with open friendliness, embracing her immediately. Duke, of course, was so overwhelmed he was even more mute than usual, while Sebastian basked in being around so many pretty girls. They ordered their food, which somehow came around the same time Chloe's did despite her having ordered long before, and the conversation moved right along with Lois and Lucy dominating it.
After a while Chloe found herself turning her back on the others, facing Olivia in the seat as they started a conversation of their own. She got to know the girl Duke had expressed an interest in, listening in fascination as the school beauty proved to have more than just looks going for her, proving she had intelligence and depth as well. Olivia spoke about her childhood growing up with with stepfather being her true parental figure, her mother still enjoying pretending she was too young to have a daughter Olivia's age, and of how it was because of this also that she was never able to have the brother or sister she'd always wanted. She spoke about dance competitions, equestrian competitions, ballet and drama summer camps.
Chloe couldn't help but feel somewhat hick compared to this girl.
"They are not scary!" Olivia laughed pleasantly, her back to the wall, facing Chloe, their knees softly touching.
"They are." Chloe grinned, shaking her head as she pulled a strand of hair out of her face and behind her ear. "Lana and Clark tried to teach me how to ride, and it didn't end well. It was traumatizing."
"Then they were good teachers." Olivia insisted. "If I was your teacher, I'd make sure you had a gentle older horse and you'd grow to love it."
"I'll believe that when I see it." Chloe snorted, reaching for her plate and biting into a fry.
"Our school's summer program includes riding lessons, in case you're interested." Olivia reached for her glass of coke, taking a sip, eyes dancing with mischief. "I'm one of the best students so Mrs. Jones wouldn't have any problems with me giving you private lessons."
The idea was intriguing.
She'd love to be able to surprise Lana and Clark with suddenly returning as some expert rider.
"I'll think about it."
Olivia grinned. "Good."
Sensing a glance on them, Chloe turned to see Duke watching them, and she suddenly remembered Duke's conversation with her earlier. While he was obviously flattered by Lucy's attention and such, he still was very much interested in Olivia.
Sighing, Chloe sent Duke a little smile and nod before turning to Olivia. "Duke, Sebastian and the guys were planning on doing this thing tomorrow night and I was wondering if you and your friend Maria want to come along too."
"Sure." Olivia sat up straight, smile growing, blush causing her skin to go rosy as she pulled a golden strand of hair behind her ear. "What kind of thing?"
She had no idea, she'd just made this all up.
Chloe sent Duke a look.
He looked all sorts of excited, scared, and tongue-tied.
Obviously he was going to be no help whatsoever.
"We were thinking about going to see a movie, and then maybe getting something to eat afterwards." Chloe decided, knowing that Duke would go along with it if only so he could be around Olivia more, and the others would come too if only to watch Duke stumbling and awkwardness and laugh at him.
"That would be awesome." Olivia grinned brightly, biting down on her bottom lip.
"Good." Chloe smiled brightly, pleased with herself, sending Duke a discreet wink.
Duke was grinning brightly.
He even managed to spout out a couple of words during the rest of the dinner.
"Dude, you're my hero!" Duke was still praising Chloe the next night, an arm around her shoulder, giving her an excited squeeze. "Me and Olivia are going to be on a group date. I-I can't believe this!"
Monique, Sebastian's girlfriend, rolled her eyes in annoyance, checking her nails. "It's like you've never gone on a date. And it doesn't even count because it's not like you even invited her."
"Be nice Mon." Sebastian placed an arm around her shoulders.
"You wouldn't like me if I was." Monique smirked at him.
"Did we have to go to a horror movie?" Andrew made a face. He was probably one of the only guys Chloe had ever met who didn't seem to love blood and guts being splattered on the big screen.
"C'mon Andrew, we're trying to help Duke here." Toby declared. "You know girls can't handle horror movies and need to have a strong brother there to hold their hands!"
Monique sneered, rolling her eyes.
Chloe had to admit she was right there with her.
"What do I say to her?" Duke was apparently ignoring the conversation, already beginning to freak. "I've never spoken to her before. I-I don't know what she likes or-."
"Calm down dude." Chloe made a face at the much taller guy. "That's why this is a group event that isn't clearly defined as a group date since everyone wont be obviously paired off. You can talk to her and find your flow without any awkwardness or feelings of obligation."
"My advice it to shut up and flex your muscles." Monique declared. "That's your strong point."
Sebastian kissed her to shut her up.
"Oh god, I can't do this." Duke was definitely freaking out. "I'm going to make a fool of myself. She's going to hate me!"
"Calm down!" Chloe slugged his chest, worried he'd have a full-blown panic attack. "I'm going to be with Maria and we'll stick by to make sure that things don't get awkward and try to keep the conversation flowing, okay?"
"Okay, good, thanks." Duke took in a deep breath, finally letting go of her, returning to excited again. "Not messing with you or anything, but you're like my fairy godmother."
Andrew folded his arms over his chest.
Monique pulled away from Sebastian, apparently ready to spew out something else, when Sebastian pulled her back in for another kiss and thankfully stopped her.
"Dude, dude! There they are!" Toby elbowed Duke, who straightened nearly militarily.
Chloe turned towards where Toby was looking and froze. She'd always admitted that Olivia Lennox was one of the most beautiful girls she'd ever seen, but tonight Olivia looked even more beautiful, which should be impossible. Her hair seemed like silk, her dress extremely cute and girly with a jeans jacket to keep it from being sickingly cutesy. Boots, glossed lips and a pretty blush finished off the stunning picture.
The girl in boy's clothing gulped.
Olivia met her gaze and smiled brightly, waving.
Chloe gave a little half-wave, still in a little shock at just how beautiful the other girl was.
Seriously…how was this fair?
Chloe would never look like that!
Olivia and Maria finally arrived, and considering the movie should be starting any minute now, the group hurried into the cinema, finding it crowded and thus made it hard for them to find seats all together. In the end Monique, Sebastian, Toby and Andrew sat in the last row, and Chloe, Maria, Olivia and Duke sat closer to the front. It'd been a little awkward managing to manipulate things so that Olivia and Duke ended up sitting next to each other, but Chloe somehow got it her way, and sat on the end of the row next to Maria. She concentrated on the movie, admittedly enjoying the horror immensely, grinning at certain parts which had some of the guys around her whimpering.
Then again, it'd been a castrating scene…they had an excuse for being more affected than her.
Halfway throughout the movie Maria and Olivia excused themselves to go to the bathroom, Chloe taking the opportunity to send Duke a curious look.
The jock was flinching, looking somewhat green as up on the screen the madman rammed a machete up some bent over dude's ass.
All in all, whoever had written this had obviously been pissed off at men in general.
Chuckling, Chloe leaned harder against the chair and grinned up at the screen. She didn't even look away from the screen when Maria and Olivia returned and reseated themselves. She was way too fascinated by some guy being feed his own toes, which had been deep fried and seasoned like chicken.
What had men ever done to the writer of this story?
There was a gasp as one of the chopsticks holding a toe slammed into the man's stomach, and Maria leaned against Chloe, wrapping her arms around her arm and hiding her face in said arm.
Chloe jerked a little at the movement, confused, and then she remembered that she was supposed to be a guy and thus she should be comforting Maria over the outrageous gore going on on the screen.
It was then that she turned towards the girl next to her and froze, eyes widening when instead of reddish brown hair there was blonde.
She and Maria must have switched seats when they'd returned from the bathroom.
Confused as to why they'd done that, Chloe gazed down at Olivia, realizing the blonde was seriously trembling. "Hey, are you okay?"
"I'm feeling a little sick." Olivia whispered.
Okay, this was a great moment for Duke to rush in and be a savior!
"Duke." Chloe tried to hiss and catch his attention. "Duke!"
Duke was staring up at the screen, eyes wide in terror, completely blind and deaf to everything that wasn't fried toes dipped in blood.
Sighing, Chloe turned to Olivia. "Want to go outside for a little? Get some fresh air?"
Olivia nodded wordlessly.
Growing worried, Chloe stood and didn't think much of it when Olivia's hand found hers. It was dark in the theatre and the girl obviously wasn't feeling her best, it made absolute sense. So she led the girl out of the room and out of the cinema to some benches outside.
Olivia sat bent over, hands covering her face.
"Are you okay?" Chloe sat on the bench next to her, rubbing her back, growing more and more worried. "Maybe we should take you to the hospital."
"I'm fine." Olivia groaned, shivering. "I just-I'm not good with horror. I-I always get so-it's so embarrassing!"
"Hey, come on, don't feel bad." Chloe gave a little chuckle, feeling relieved now that she realized this was more psychological and not that the girl was actually ill. "A couple of people actually vomited watching this movie in Denver, and from what I've been told, one might have even had a heart attack. It's brutal."She laughed. "That was some serious therapy someone went through writing that."
Olivia laughed softly, finally removing her hands from her face and turning to look at Chloe. "I thought so too."
"You feeling better?" The girl in boy's clothing asked, eyes tracing Olivia's every feature questioningly.
Olivia smiled a little more genuinely, seeming less pale as she did so, nodding. "Sorry about making you miss the movie."
"Please," rolling her eyes, Chloe leaned back on the bench, resting her arms on the top. "It's just a movie."
Olivia continued to look at her before leaning back against the bench as well, Chloe's fingertips ending up brushing against the girl's silky hair.
Chloe brushed her fingers through the pale locks once more, this time on purpose, tilting her head curiously, never having felt anything that soft. "Do you use any special sort of cream or shampoo in your hair? Because it's really soft."
Olivia's color was quickly returning. "Moroccan oil."
"That really works?" Chloe asked in surprise.
"Excuse me." Someone cleared her throat, causing Chloe and Olivia to turn to see one of the girls from the cinema standing there. "We saw you two come out here and she looked a little ill so we wondered if you were okay." She made a face. "We've seen a couple of people leave that movie and throw up. Our manager is thinking about giving out customary barf bags to the people as they buy tickets."
"See Liv?" Chloe grinned, rubbing her shoulder. "You're not the only one. And you didn't even barf."
Olivia blushed slightly, obviously embarrassed.
Chloe turned to the worker. "Thanks for coming out to check on her. That was really nice of you."
The girl smiled back at her. "You're not the first boyfriend who's had to bring his girlfriend out here, we get worried with every new showing."
Chloe's eyes widened and she could feel herself blushing. "I'm not her boyfriend. We're, uh, just friends."
Olivia bit her bottom lip.
"I see." The girl gave a little amused smile. "Well, if you guys need anything we're in the concession stand."
And with that she left, chuckling to herself.
They sat in silence after that, just breathing in the crisp night air.
If Chloe noticed Olivia leaning closer and closer towards her, she never mentioned it.
In the end they didn't go back into the theatre, they just sat there in silence until Olivia started talking about constellations and the inability to see a decent amount of stars in the city sky.
"You should see the stars from the Kent's farm." Chloe smiled, gazing up at the sky, reliving the memory of her many nights at her best friend's place. "The sky is lit up with a multitude of stars, the milky way this incredibly silky banner of white."
Olivia turned in the bench to face Chloe, silent, eyeing her intently.
"I never really noticed those things before, I guess I took them for granted." She sighed. "I took a lot of things for granted, and that's probably what got me into so much trouble." The girl in boy's clothing continued to gaze at the sky. "I used to be the Editor of my old school's newspaper, and I thought I was some hotshot future reporter for the Daily Planet. I got into so much trouble investigating the truth and sticking my nose where it didn't belong. And, of course, I got my friends in trouble with me too."
"What sorts of trouble?" Olivia asked curiously.
"You wouldn't believe me even if I told you." Chloe snickered, shaking her head, deciding she did not want to open a can of meteor-freak madness. "But lets just say that my old town was full of psychopaths, and my idea of fun was trying to uncover all of their deep, dark secrets."
"No wonder the movie didn't affect you." Olivia smirked, shaking her head. "You're fearless."
It shocked Chloe to hear herself being defined that way, and she turned to look at Olivia, eyes wide, knowing without a doubt that she was blushing.
Olivia smiled sweetly at her.
Unsure why all of a sudden she felt a little odd at the sight of that tender smile, Chloe cleared her throat and looked away, throwing herself into telling Olivia about the time she and Clark "borrowed" his father's truck when they were thirteen and got lost in the forest. It was an easy and funny story in which the two had ended up having to spend the night in the truck terrified by every sound outside the truck and how grateful they were for their fathers' scolding when they were finally found later the next morning.
It was around that time when Andrew and Toby raced outside and vomited.
Chloe and Olivia shared looks before laughing.
Considering that almost everyone had gotten sick from the movie, the dinner had had to be rescheduled for another night. It was probably for the best since the boys who'd stuck till the end (Sebastian and Duke) were visibly traumatized by the end of it. Monique refused to ever go to a movie someone else had chosen. Maria was silent yet slightly green. Toby and Andrew hadn't ever gotten the balls to go back into the cinema and had spent the rest of the movie outside hanging with Chloe and Olivia.
In the end things hadn't been so bad, Chloe had had a great time, and the next week things seemed to be going according to plan considering that Olivia and Maria ate lunch twice at their table, and hung out with them after the boys' soccer practice-which for some reason Chloe had been forced to go and watch from the stands. The girls had kept her company during those times, and afterwards, well, this was all a wonderful opportunity for Duke to get used enough to Olivia to actually say two words to the girl.
Seriously, how did he plan on wooing her if he couldn't talk to her?
"I can't talk to girls." Duke stated the obvious in a moan as they all congregated in his and Sebastian's room. "I mean, I just look at them and freeze up."
"You mean you spazz out." Toby snickered.
"Shut up dude!" Duke threw his soccer ball at his friend. "This is serious! How am I ever going to ask her out if I can't talk to her?"
This was obviously psychological since Duke had no idea Chloe herself was a girl…and could talk to her very easily.
"Have you ever thought about sign language?" Sebastian chuckled as he laid on his bed, thrumming on his guitar.
"Those with girlfriends have no right to laugh at my pain." Duke frowned at his roommate. "It's not my fault I'm not a musician and good with words. I'm a sports enthusiast. I'm good with doing. Not saying."
"What about doing a romantic gesture then?" Chloe offered from where she was sitting on the floor, dying to remove the bind she had on her chest since it was itching her, but forcing herself to leave it alone. It was one of the costs she had to pay to convincingly pull off a male figure. Already her hips were giving her a little problem, and it seemed like every day she had to bind up her chest tighter and tighter to keep it from betraying her sex to everyone. Even as it was she tried to always wear layers, with an open shirt or jacket on to try and hide it better.
"What, like flowers?" Duke latched onto the idea.
"You work up your way to flowers." Chloe made a face. "But you can start slow, like opening doors for her, pulling out a chair for her to seat…offering to pay for her bill if we're out. You know. Little things which will catch her attention."
"That's…brilliant." Duke whispered, grinning. "You're lucky you have two sisters who are so open with you, you seem to understand the female psyche so well."
Chloe chuckled at that. "Right."
"Makes me wonder why Little Yoda doesn't have a girlfriend already." Toby declared, reaching out to ruffle Chloe's hair. "From what I'm seeing, girls even like his emo haircut."
"Hands off the hair." Chloe grumbled, trying to fix her hair, ignoring their snickering.
"He's right, you know." Andrew announced, eyeing her curiously. "I mean, I've seen a couple of the girls giving you looks. Considering you seem to know exactly what to say and do to please them it's surprising you don't have a girlfriend too."
"Leave the kid alone." Sebastian didn't even look up from his guitar. "He's obviously still in love with Lana."
There was silence.
"Sorry bro." Toby appeared quite repentant. "I didn't think."
"Yeah." Andrew nodded. "Me neither."
"It's okay." Chloe was touched by their obvious concern. "I'm getting over her."
"Good for you." Duke declared. "She'd didn't deserve you if she couldn't see what a good guy you are."
This conversations was so surreal.
And yet she smiled genuinely at these guys, whom she was truly becoming so close to. "Thanks."
"So, Monique's throwing this party this weekend, and you're all invited." Sebastian surprised them by saying. "Olivia and Maria too."
"Monique's 'invitation' is more like her rolling her eyes and saying "whatever" when you asked, right?" Chloe guessed.
Sebastian smirked, not bothering to deny it.
"This is great!" Toby slapped Duke. "You, Olivia, drinks, bad decisions!"
"Hey!" Chloe glared at him.
"I didn't mean it like he should force or take advantage of her or anything." Toby pouted at the blonde. "I just meant it might loosen the both of them into finally doing something." He grinned, reaching over and playing with her hair once more. "Sometimes I forget you're the only one with sisters, and have that protective big/little brother thing going for you."
Chloe slapped at his hands. "Leave. The. Hair. Alone!"
Toby snickered evilly, messing with even more. "Mini Me!"
"Screw you!" She grumbled. "I'm going to go through a growth spurt any day now!"
The boys laughed, obviously enjoying her torment.
Secretly, so did she.
"A party at Monique's?" Olivia asked in surprise as they sat together in Chemistry.
Chloe nodded. "You and Maria should definitely come. It'll make it much more interesting."
Olivia smiled brightly. "Okay then."
"We'll commute together." Chloe couldn't have planned things better, envisioning everyone packed into Toby's car. "It'll be safer that way."
"Great." Olivia was beaming. "It'll be fun."
This was good. She seemed eager. Maybe Duke was making a better impression than Chloe had suspected.
It was time for some investigating.
"So…" Chloe cleared her throat. "What do you think about Duke?"
Olivia appeared a little confused, taking a second before answering. "He seems…nice."
Not exactly blushing and eager, was she?
Chloe pursed her lips in confusion. "He's a really nice and sincere guy once you get passed his shyness around girls."
"I'm sure he is." Olivia's gaze lowered to her book.
Oh, this wasn't good.
What had just happened?
"He's also the kind of guy who's type of girl isn't just beautiful, but-."
"What about you?" Olivia snapped her book shut, looking up. "What's your type of girl?"
Okay, obviously Chloe had pushed a little too hard and Olivia was deflecting by changing the subject. She could take a hint. "Me? Uh, um, I don't know."
"Oh c'mon, everyone has a type." Olivia seemed teasing now, which was good because seconds ago there'd been obvious discomfort. "What sort of girl gets Cody Lane going?"
Oh dear god.
How did she get herself into these situations?
"Uhm, well…" Chloe took in a deep breath, trying to figure out exactly how to word this. "My type of girl…" she ran her fingers through her hair, deciding to describe the sort of guy she was usually attracted to and convert it to female terms. "I really like dark hair."
Olivia's smile slipped. "Dark hair."
"Definitely." Chloe nodded, imagining Clark's hair. "Colored eyes-though that's not necessary-just a preference. The person has to be sweet. Unassuming. Someone who could be incredibly good looking but has no idea of it. I, this might sound weird, but I like people from the countryside better than city people, they just have something about them that's incredibly appealing." She smiled, warming up to how easy this was. "And I really don't believe in the whole dating your friends schtick."
Olivia frowned darkly, appearing very disturbed. "Why not?"
"Why ruin a good thing?" Chloe shrugged, remembering all the heartache the triangle she'd had with Lana and Clark had caused her.
"But if you're able to be good friends, it'll make you closer lovers." Olivia declared.
"But what if it doesn't work out?" Chloe asked seriously. "Then you'll lose someone who meant so much."
Olivia lowered her gaze. "Sometimes the person is worth the risk."
Chloe tilted her head to the side as she considered that. "Maybe."
Olivia gazed up and smiled, reaching out and place her hand on Chloe's squeezing it tightly.
Chloe smiled back, giving the hand a little squeeze.
If they kept their hands like that for a while longer than was necessary, Chloe didn't comment, didn't want to analyze why she was beginning to regret having declared dark hair as her 'type'.