Title: Just ChloePairing: Chloe/PriestlyFandoms: Smallville/Ten Inch HeroRating: TDisclaimer: Don't ownSummary: When she realizes that Lex can't keep her safe, Chloe fakes her own death and goes on the run from Lionel's assassins. This lands her penniless and dying for a good night's sleep three months later at Beach City Grill. She's scarred, always looking over her shoulder, and is pretending to be someone she's not, but somehow Priestly makes her feel like it'll be okay.
"Thank you for bringing my sandwich over for me." Zo smiled, sitting behind her counter as she ate. "I usually close shop for an hour to enjoy food, but today has been so busy that I decided to work through my lunch hour."
"No prob." Chloe took the opportunity to glance around the things in the wiccan store considering that things were hella slow in the sandwich shop today. Her fingers trailed down the shelves, softly caressing the different idols and tarot packs and crystals, before finally making her way back to where the crystal ball awaited her. As she bent down to stare at her own reflection in the crystal ball, she didn't understand why she was so fascinated by it. "Do these things really work?"
"Crystal balls in particular or divination tools in general?"
"Both, I guess." The girl shrugged.
"What do you see when you look into the crystal ball?" Zo swallowed a bite of her sub.
Chloe raised an eyebrow. "Myself."
Sending Zo a look over her shoulder, Chloe pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes as she tried to do just that, feeling silly. She continued staring at her reflection, and yet there was nothing else other than herself making a face.
Sighing, Chloe stood and turned her back on the crystal ball. "I obviously haven't got an inkling of psychic powers."
"It's a natural ability we all have," Zo informed her. "But it takes practice."
Chloe nodded slowly, not sure what to say to that.
"So how has your first week at City Beach Grill been?" Zo asked curiously.
"Great!" Chloe grinned brightly, hands in her pockets. "I remember the regulars' names and Priestly says I'm almost ready to start helping him with the more basic sandwiches whenever things get too hectic for him to do them alone. Also? We're going to go out to the movies with Jen and Fuzzy tonight." She was still amused at everyone calling Jen's cute boyfriend that, although she knew it was a reference to his screenname Fuzzy22. "Priestly's paying for me, and while I feel like a mooch he swears it's selfishly done on his part because there's no way he could manage being around those two and their "lovey-dovey-ness" on his lonesome."
Zo's smile grew soft. "I am glad that both you and Priestly have grown so close in so short of a time. He has been in desperate need of someone good in his life who is able to look past his unconventional appearance and see the goodness in his heart."
"He is a sweetheart, isn't he?" Chloe pulled a black strand behind her ear, which she was thinking of adding some more piercings to to add to the realism of the persona she was trying to portray. "Plus, I don't get the stereotype against people with dyed hair and facial piercings. Personally, I'm fond of his labret."
"Me too," Zo agreed full-heartedly. "I must admit that while I was supportive of his decision to change, I was relieved when he returned to being who he truly was inside. The 'frat boy' look did not reflect the Priestly within whom we all adore."
Chloe couldn't imagine Priestly as a smooth frat boy.
It seemed sacrilegious.
"Oh, I almost forgot." Zo smiled. "Trucker and I are having our monthly family dinner and you're expected to be there."
Chloe's eyes widened, shocked. "But I'm not-."
"Our family consist of Jen, Fuzzy, Priestly, Piper and her family, as well as Tish, although Tish hasn't been able to make it much since she became a regular on her show." Zo seemed sad at that, before smiling once more. "Priestly said he'll bring you, so you don't have to worry about finding our house."
Still shocked that these people had adopted her so quickly and fully, Chloe was only able to nod and give the woman a smile as she swallowed back the lump in her throat.
The bell over the door jingled and Priestly stuck his head in, today his mohawk was styled in such a way that it appeared he had horns. "Oy! Just Chloe! I sent you over to deliver the sub! Not to leave me alone in the mad house!"
"Mad house." Chloe turned around to face him, eyebrow raised. "Lucille's the only one there. I've been keeping an eye on the door."
He raised a pierced eyebrow. "Obviously you're forgetting Benton and his ravenous appetite."
Smirking, Chloe rolled her eyes and turned to Zo. "How did he survive before I arrived?"
"A very good question," Zo agreed.
"This is sexism." Priestly pointed between them. "I'm being victimized and ganged up on just because I have different equipment."
"You're such a cry-baby!" Chloe groaned, rolling her eyes as she stalked towards the door and slipped passed him, grabbing Priestly's skull-covered necktie and using it to drag him behind her across the road and back into Beach City Grill.
Jen passed the customer his change and looked up in time to see Priestly sticking his tongue out at Chloe. The short-haired blonde shook her head, smiling, enjoying seeing Priestly so playful again. Ever since the break up with Tish, Priestly had been subdued. No. That wasn't true. Ever since halfway into the relationship with Tish Priestly had lost most of his shine. It was the "Banana Republic" way in which he dressed. He'd taken out of his piercings, the color in his hair, had covered up most of his tats. He'd become someone else, Tish's "perfect" man. He'd forsaken himself, and it'd begun to show. He wasn't the laughing, joking weirdo they all adored and were grateful to have in their lives. Honestly, Jen had been relieved when Priestly and Tish had broken up because while those two obviously cared about the other, they weren't good for each other and they didn't mesh well at all. Not romantically. It was a relief that they were able to somehow stay friends with each other after the break-up.
The day after the breakup Priestly had appeared at work looking like himself, but it'd taken a long time for him to truly start returning to his old self.
And now, as she watched Priestly and Chloe arguing playfully with each other over something or the other, Jen's smile grew tender.
She knew that Chloe had baggage, and considering that Priestly had quietly asked them all to be on the lookout for some "Alex" guy Jen could read between the lines… Well... Despite all of Chloe's problems she was a sweet girl who was just what they'd needed since Piper's and Tish's departure. Chloe was sweet, smart, funny, and she made Priestly light up in a way he hadn't for a very long time.
Jen loved her for that alone.
She doubted either Chloe or Priestly realized they were attracted to each other though.
It was why Jen had roped Fuzzy into her matchmaking plans, which were being kicked off by tonight's movie. Hopefully, spending time in a date-like atmosphere would jumpstart something between these two.
Proud of herself, Jen began to hum happily.
Chloe stared at herself, wearing the last combination of her little amount of clothes. She had the pleated catholic school girl skirt, with ripped stalkings, and a red shirt. The look was finished with fingerless black gloves with slash marks all over them. She'd put up her hair and brushed out her wig before securing it to her head, playing with the fringe front. She already was wearing her normal mask of black kohl around her eyes, dark lipstick, and as she finished fixing her hair the girl smiled at her reflection. Slowly she was beginning to get used to this other persona, "Just Chloe" as Pirestly had named her. It kinda fit. She kinda liked it.
It wasn't her, but if she had to be someone else, "Just Chloe" wasn't a hardship to be.
Especially not when she had the people of City Beach Grill around.
She smiled at herself, grabbing her jacket (tazer already in the inner pocket) and pulled it on, yanking her hair free and around her as she grabbed her bag and headed towards the door, opening it.
Priestly sat on one of the chairs, tapping his purple fingernails against the table. He wore torn jeans pants, a shirt that read "YOU'RE THE SPERM THAT WON?", leather cuff bracelets and his mohawk was green tonight. Nothing matched in the least bit. Still, somehow, he made it work.
He looked up and blinked, standing immediately. "You look very pretty."
"As opposed to how I usually look?" Chloe barked out a little laugh, not insulted as she rolled her eyes and moved passed him towards the door. "Come on. I know the cinema is in walking distance, but I don't wanna be late. I want all the food and drinks and to find a seat before the first commercial starts."
"Do you now?" He snorted and followed her as she slipped out of the shop.
Even though she now had a set of keys of her own, whenever she went out with Priestly at night (which was more often the case than not) he was usually the one who opened and locked up the shop. Tonight was no different.
"So, now that Fuzzy's moved here to be closer to Jen, what are the chances of them moving in together?" Chloe wanted to know, looping her arm around Priestly's as he stuffed his hands into his jeans' pockets.
"Pretty good." Priestly, who'd played a vital part in Jen and Fuzzy getting together, was a close friend of both of them and thus very much in the know when it came to their relationship. "Fuzzy's thinking about asking her at their anniversary dinner."
"That's nice." Chloe smiled. "Though he better think well how he's going to do that because she could mistake it for a proposal and that could make things awkward."
"Hadn't thought about that." Priestly pursed his lips. "Will have to warn him about that. Thank you."
"You're very welcome." She gave his arm a squeeze as she grinned up into his face.
He smiled back down at her.
Priestly's phone rang and he frowned as he reached into his pocket and pulled it out. He stared at the caller I.D. for a moment before he turned to her, expression apologetic. "I've got to take this."
"Go ahead." Chloe slipped away from him and moved towards the shop to their right. It sold televisions and had a couple of them in the window, all on different channels.
"This will only take a moment," Priestly promised before he stepped away and answered the cellphone that had stickers of skulls and kittens on it.
Chloe waved him off, greens searching the different screens before freezing in horror when she saw her own picture staring back at her.
"-was the star witness in the Lionel Luthor murder case, which goes to trial in a couple of months," the news anchor announced. "With Sullivan presumed dead in the fire that consumed the safe house she was being kept in pending trial, it begs the question on how the defense will be able to proceed without her."
Chloe gulped as she placed her hand on the glass and stared at the screen as it turned to a previously recorded footage of Lex in the middle of a conference that'd been held after her funeral. In the footage he declared how he'd continue on in her name and that he'd make sure that justice was served not only in his grandparents' murder, but hers as well.
This was it.
They believed she was dead.
They really did.
The news then showed footage of her father crying over her grave.
Tears stung Chloe's eyes. She was relieved to see him alive and unhurt, but guilt ate her alive to see the suffering she'd put him through, was putting him through. She hadn't stopped to think about him during this whole time, only of her own safety. What sort of person was she? What a horrible daughter! So selfish! So self-centered! And the person who'dalways thought about her, who'd sided with her against his own boss… She'd hurt him without even a second thought.
A hand came down on her shoulder.
Chloe jerked and turned her head to see Priestly standing above her, eyes narrowed.
"What's wrong?" His gaze went to the television, but thankfully the news had changed.
"Nothing." She found her voice thick and so she cleared it, giving him a smile.
"I doubt a shortage of bacon has you like this," Priestly muttered to himself as he lifted his hands to her face with a sigh. His thumbs brushed away the tears she hadn't realized she'd shed. "But I guess it's none of my business."
She could only give him a sad smile.
Sighing, Priestly groaned as he reached out and flung an arm around her shoulders, pulling her into him.
Chloe was shocked at the comfort, and at the fact that he didn't press for information. His intense kindness shattered her and she wrapped her arms around him tightly, holding onto him as if to life itself as she cried into his shirt, completely destroying it with her runny makeup. Priestly, a lover of makeup himself, knew that this would happen, but he didn't seem to care, only tightening his grip on her and resting his chin on the crown of her head.
Finally she pulled away and gave him a small smile. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it," he mumbled as he stared down into her face. "You look like a half-drowned raccoon," the guy pointed out helpfully. "Your makeup's a mess."
"And here I thought you were great at making a girl feel better," Chloe grumbled.
He chuckled. "You brought your makeup with you?"
She raised an eyebrow. "Uh, no."
"What sort of girl are you?" He reached into his jacket's pocket and surprised the hell out of her when he pulled out an eyeliner, slipping it between his lips.
"What are you-?" Chloe's eyes widened when Priestly reached out and tilted her head up towards him, his thumbs brushing against her cheeks and under her eyes, obviously ridding her skin of the runny makeup. He then pulled the eyeliner from his lips. "Stay still and keep your eyes open." The oddest guy she'd ever known then went to work reapplying her eyeliner with careful handstrokes. "You need to invest in waterproof stuff."
"I, uh," she only had what she'd managed to nick from stores.
"No talking," he scolded softly as he turned the stick around and begun to smudge the kohl. "When you get paid I'll take you with me to where I get my stuff. It's affordable but a hundred times better than whatever cheap shit you're using."
Chloe just stared up at him, finding this so weird, and yet awesome.
"There you go." He finally let go of her and stepped back to admire his work. "You got lipgloss?"
"No. Do you?"
"Cheeky." He snickered as he put away his eyeliner/kohl. "You'll do."
"Well, I'm glad you approve," the girl chuckled, turning to stare at her reflection in the store's window, blinking in shock. "You do this better than I do!"
"Innate talent," he assured her. "Don't feel bad. Some people are born with it while others struggle with what they have."
Barking out laughter, Chloe twirled around and slapped his chest. "Mean!"
"You know what's mean? Destroying this shirt." He pouted, eyeing it before zipping up his jacket. "I bought it especially for tonight even."
Chloe sent him a sideways glance before making a face. "Sorry about that. I'll buy you another."
"Do that and I'll give you all the shitty jobs at work," he warned her as he shucked his hands back into his jeans pants and shook his elbow at her.
Lips tilting to a smile, Chloe reached out and looped her arms around his, leaning into him as they continued walking towards the cinema. "We are so missing the first part of the movie."
"We'll make it there in time." Priestly rolled his eyes. "And that's only because you take a miraculously short time to get ready. We had a really early head start thanks to that."
Chloe beamed up at him. "That's my innate natural talent."
"If you say so," he patronized before laughing when she pinched his hip. "Don't be jealous and petty because you haven't discovered your awesome talent yet!"
Chloe snorted her laughter, biting his arm through his jacket.
"Abuse!" Priestly mock-cried, reaching out to pinch her nose and force her to stop biting his arm.
"Cry baby. It didn't even hurt." She gave the bitten area a little rub before her gaze went ahead of her.
"I can't believe you bit me!" Priestly chuckled to himself as he shook his head. "And to think you were so nice and polite when I first met you."
Chloe rolled her eyes. "You didn't like me polite."
"I did too," Priestly countered with a gasp.
"You told me not to be polite." She pointed her finger at him accusingly.
"I told you to laugh and smile." Priestly grabbed her finger and gave it a little wag. "And I was right to do so. You've got a beautiful smile."
Chloe's eyes widened, never having been told that before.
Priestly cleared his throat and turned his gaze ahead of them. "Look! See? We've got five whole minutes to spare!"
Chloe's gaze went to the cinema they approached, and nodded as she pulled a black strand of hair behind her ear and scolded herself for having reacted so ridiculously to a friendly comment.