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.
"So, how are the preparations of Piper's Baby Shower going?" Chloe asked curiously as she sat next to Priestly, visibly comfortable with his arm slung around her shoulders. She leaned in against him, a glass of wine in her hand. She looked a far cry from the terrified little sprite Zo had brought into the shop. It was amazing what love and a sense of security could do for a person.
Already this girl had become a part of their family, and as Trucker watched her interact with everyone during their dinner, he couldn't help but feel fatherly.
"Wonderful." Zo's smile was bright. "It should be a blessed day filled with love and beauty."
"And gifts," Jen grinned. "Lots of gifts."
Chloe smiled. "I'm going with Priestly to help him pick out his gift because he wanted to buy the baby fake tatoos."
Everyone burst out laughing at that.
Priestly pouted. "The kid could grow into it!"
Chloe reached out and brushed her thumb over his labret in a playful manner. She'd been doing that quite a lot lately. It seemed that she had a thing for that particular piercing.
Despite the fact that he pouted darkly at her, Priestly visibly enjoyed all this attention she showered on him.
Trucker sighed as he looked at the two of them. They seemed quite perfect for each other, but he was very worried about those two dating. He knew that Chloe had been through some horrible things, he knew it better than anyone else, and he was worried that she wouldn't be able to commit to Priestly like the boy needed. He knew that Priestly had figured out somewhat what was going on, that Chloe was running from someone, but he knew the boy and knew that this half-knowledge wouldn't be enough for him. He'd push for more, and Trucker was worried that if sufficiently pushed, the girl would disappear on them one day.
He just didn't know exactly how to relay that to the obviously smitten boy.
When Trucker had seen the news broadcast about Lionel Luthor's impending court hearing, he'd seen the segment on the death of the key witness, Chloe Sullivan, and while the girl looked so different he could recognize those eyes anywhere. Suddenly it had all made sense to him, and his worry had grown. Her birthday had been the other day and but no one had known because she'd treated the day as if it were any normal day. The only reason he'd known it was her birthday was because his research on her and her involvement with Lionel Luthor's case had brought up her birth date along with other relevant information. Trucker had been sorely tempted to do something special for her birthday, but knew that if he acted out of the ordinary she would begin to suspect he knew, and if she did suspect that, she could very well run.
And that was something that he needed to have her avoid doing. She was relatively safe with them, especially now that Trucker knew what he had to look out for.
"Awww, poor Priestly," Chloe sniggered. "Everyone's ganging up on you!"
"You're the ringleader." Priestly pursed his lips. "You're evil."
"It's what you like about me." She gave him an open, genuine smile as she finished her glass of wine.
"So not true," Priestly denied it vehemently, and yet his grin was wide.
Trucker sighed as he continued to watch them, a really bad feeling at the pit of his stomach.
Chloe awoke to the feeling of warmth and security. Both were feelings she hadn't been used to for far too long, and both were now present thanks to the arm wrapped around her stomach and the body pressed against her from behind. Priestly had started spending the nights over with her, and while they slept in the same bed it was only sleeping. She kept waiting for him to try his luck with her (and she knew she'd crumbled like a paper castle when he did) but instead Priestly spent the nights talking to her. He knew better than to ask her about herself and her past, so he instead told her about himself and his life.
He had yet to figure out she wore a wig because she made sure to fall asleep last and wake up first. That way she was always bathed and her wig was in place whenever he awoke. It was uncomfortable to sleep with the wig on but she managed to do so out of the necessaity to make sure her identity wasn't compromised. He also seemed to have realized that touching her hair while they were kissing made her tense up, so he'd started clenching her shirt or arms instead.
It was little things like that that made her fall in love with him, and yet made her feel guilty as hell because she knew she was keeping so many things from him. He didn't know her real name, age, or hair color. Just what exactly could he get out of this relationship? She had so little to offer him! He'd be much better if he just got with someone who didn't have all the complications she did... but Chloe couldn't stand the thought of him doing so.
As she slipped out from under his arms, Chloe headed towards the bathroom and bathed. She fixed her wig, her makeup, and pulled on a new black dress she'd gone out and bought from a second hand store with her first paycheck. Her greens went to the items littering the bathroom counter and a part of her was scared at just how much she was beginning to accumulate while here.
She was only supposed to have stayed here for a couple of weeks, and yet she'd already overstayed the limited she'd promised herself she'd stay in one spot. At the thought of leaving she felt ill and teary-eyed. She didn't want to leave.
And anyway, who knew that she was here?
If Lionel's people had found out they would've come for her already, wouldn't they?
Was it so bad to stay in one place?
These were good people and they'd adopted her into their family.
Maybe... maybe she could stay until the trial and try to explain the situation to them afterwards. Maybe they would understand and forgive her.
She gulped and licked her lips as she stared at her scared reflection and realized just how much these people's respect and love meant to her.
Hearing Priestly groan and sit up in bed, Chloe trained her features to a smile as she left the bathroom and entered the room. "Hey sleepyhead."
"Hey." He smiled as he stood and stretched. "What do you want for breakfast?"
"Go bathe first, I'll get you breakfast for once." She grinned. "By the time you're done I'll be back and we can eat before heading out to shop." Today the Grill was closed so Chloe and Priestly were going to use the day to find something for Piper's Baby Shower. "Now go bathe. You stink."
"I do not." He snorted and flexed his muscles in mock outrage. "This is the smell of a real man."
"Well, real men stink," she teased.
He reached out, grabbed her hand and pulled her to him. "Take in a deep whiff. Learn to appreciate this."
"You're so weird," she laughed and instead of doing as told, flicked his labret. "And cute."
Priestly accomodated his arms around her as a half smile tilted his lips. "I like where this is going, you may continue."
"You're very warm and cuddly and funny and... have I mentioned cute?" She ran her hands over the wrinkles on his shirt.
"Yes, you have, but I don't mind you repeating it." He tightened his grip on her and pulled her in closer. "What else?"
"This is all going to your head!" Chloe pressed up on her tiptoes to kiss his labret, this time on purpose. "You should know, though, that I'm only with you because I have a kink for your labret."
"Ah!" He gave a mock-cry as he lifted her up by her hips so that she stood on the bed and was at a better height for him. "The truth comes out!"
"It always does," she agreed with a nod, laughter in her voice.
"So, basically, if I took out the labret you'd dump me," Priestly surmised as he moved his hands from her hips to cup her face.
Chloe pretended to think about it for a moment before she nodded. "Basically."
"You little-!" He laughed as he brought her to him and kissed her.
Chloe wrapped her arms around his neck and groaned into the kiss as he shifted his hold from her face to her waist, pulling her closer to him as the kiss grew slow and deep.
"What about this?" Chloe held up a stuffed bear that had "When I grow up I'm going to be a Pirate" written on its shirt. "It wears clothes similar to yours."
Priestly eyed the bear in question. "Does it have to be a stuffed toy?"
"Well, whatever you buy is going to be given to a baby who could get hurt by sharp edges and such, so our options are limited." Chloe put the bear away and continued further into the baby store Priestly felt horribly uncomfortable in. "Maybe we shouldn't be looking for a toy. Maybe we can find a cool night light or something that plays soothing sounds so the baby can sleep, or-."
"But all those things are boring!" Priestly followed after her. "A kid wants a toy. Not a fancy light."
She ignored his complaint and lifted a box with a lamp that apparently played lullabies and changed colors. "I don't know. When I was a kid my dad bought me these stars that you stick on your walls and they glow in the dark... I loved them so much. While I outgrew toys and such I never outgrew them."
She didn't seem to realize that she was actually talking about herself, about her past, and Priestly didn't want to comment on it, didn't want to bring her attention to what she was doing. He had a feeling that if she realized what she was saying, that she was opening up somewhat to him, that she'd clamp down harder.
"Look at that!" Chloe put down the box and hurried towards something. She swung around and showed him whatever had her so excited.
Priestly blinked, not sure what was so great about this. "It's a book."
She glared at him. "It's not just any book. It's Grimms' complete Fairy Tales for children!" She turned the large book to face her and flipped through the pages, smile large as she stared at the beautiful drawings. "Of course, these are very watered down versions of the true fairy tales-but the kid doesn't have to know that until he or she is older and morbidly inclined." She snapped the book shut. "This is going to be my present. It's a great way for mommy and daddy to bond with the kid, by reading to him or her."
"You don't have to buy something, you don't even know Piper." Plus, Priestly knew that Chloe really wasn't earning much and didn't want her to spend her money on something that cost that much for someone she didn't even know.
"It would be so rude not to have a gift." She rolled her eyes at him. "Plus, I want to do this."
He smiled at her and wrapped an arm around her shoulder, bringing her in close so he could press a kiss against her forehead.
She reached out and grabbed hold of his shirt. "You can't have this as a gift idea. It's mine. Don't try buying me with sweet, butterfly kisses, it isn't going to work."
He chuckled as he pulled away. "Yes ma'am."
"Good, you know your manners." Chloe looked up at him and smiled so brightly it made his heart skip a beat.
Priestly licked his lips and gulped back emotion. He hadn't felt like this in a very long time, and to be honest it scared him a lot. This girl, this secretive, gorgeous girl, had him by the heart and he had a feeling she didn't realize the hold she had over him, which made it even more terrifying. He hardly knew anything about her except that she'd been hurt and was running from a guy named Alex whom Priestly wanted to kill. The punk wasn't violent, he wasn't that great at fights either, he was a pacifist... but he'd seen the scars and the terrified look in her eyes and he wanted to destroy the person who'd done that to her.
Chloe suddenly froze, her eyes wide as fear entered them.
Priestly frowned and looked up, following her gaze to see that someone was filming something, and he and she were very much in the background of it.
His girlfriend turned her back to the camera and hurried to a different aisle, leaving Priestly on his own as he frowned and watched her quick retreat. He didn't have to ask her what was wrong. She might be happy with him, might be smiling again, but he realized that her fear was very much still there. She just didn't show it as easily as she did before, but the wariness, the feeling of not being safe, still haunted her.
Why wouldn't she confide in him? Hadn't he shown her that she could trust him? Didn't she know that he'd protect her?
He clenched his fists before he stalked after her.
No one would recognize her.
No one would recognize her.
No one would recognize her.
That mantra played in Chloe's head as she half-heartedly looked through the baby toys section. When Priestly suggested they go to a different baby store she'd jumped at the idea and had even left the book she'd wanted to buy just so that they could get out of there quicker. She was terrified and hoped it didn't show. She didn't want to ruin their one day out together, but in the back of her mind the fear that someone would see that commerical (or whatever was being filmed) and would see and recognize her was real.
She tried to remind herself that she didn't exatly look the same and that she was supposed to be dead. It gave her a little comfort but not much.
"What about this?" Priestly held up something.
Chloe put down the fluffy pomeranian stuffed toy she'd been eyeing and turned to face him. She blinked and then blinked again, and a small smile curved her lips. "I like it."
"Do you?" Priestly grinned brightly, obviously pleased with her approval.
"Yes." Chloe couldn't keep a giggle from her lips as she reached for the group of three baby onesies. One read: 'I Only Cry When Ugly People Hold Me'. The other looked like a prison jumpsuit and declared: 'I Just Did 9 Months On The Inside'. The last onesie of the group merely said: 'I'm cute. Mom's hot. Dad's lucky.' Chloe brought a hand to her lips to smother her snicker. "These are perfect. They are just like you. And yet are translatable to a baby. Good job."
Priestly looked ridiculously proud at her praise.
"God, I love these. When I have kids I'm getting them clothes like this. Every single one with some ridiculous little catchphrase on it." Chloe put Priestly's gift in the basket looped over her arm as something caught her attention and she turned away from him to check it out. "Aw! Priestly! Look at this!" She turned to him and then paused when she noticed the odd way he looked at her. "What is it?"
He cleared his throat and shook his head. "Nothing. Uh. What's caught your eye?"
He'd obviously been deep in thought about something that terrified yet excited him (she could read that much from his face) but she didn't pry, just like he didn't when she kept things from him. "Look at this. Isn't it cute?"
He loomed over her and wrapped his arms around her from behind before he rested his chin on the top of her shoulder. "S'very nice."
She smiled and leaned back against him, one hand on the ones wrapped around her. "Think they'll like it?"
Priestly nodded, silent.
She found his contemplative silence a little unnerving, but refused to question whatever had gotten him in such an odd and pensive mood. She merely enjoyed his soft caresses to her flat stomach and put the family of Peter Rabbit bunnies in the cart next to the baby clothes.