Title: She's His ManPairing: Chloe/Duke OrsinoFandom: Smallville/She's the ManRating: T+-MDisclaimer: Don't ownSummary: When Chloe is sent to Illyria as a boy for her own safety while Lex tries to find the traitor in his camp, she quickly makes friends with her roommate, Duke Orsino. Bored, she decides to become Illyria's official matchmaker, and has no idea that she's making Duke doubt his sexuality considering he thinks she's a boy and he's growing more and more attracted to her.
Chloe had thought that maybe Duke and his friends had been exaggerating about how badly he interacted with girls, but when she'd tried to talk to a couple of girls and forced Duke to join in, well, he'd been a mess. It'd been horrifying. She'd realized then and there that she had to go to the drawing board with him, start from the very beginning. He was so worried that he'd make a fool of himself that that was exactly what he did. He needed to calm down and learn how to relax while around girls and just talk to them like he did while around the boys.
It was harder said than done though.
"I'm useless." Duke's head was between his hands as he groaned. "I'll die without ever having even talked to Olivia."
Usually Chloe would try to get him out of his funk, but her roommate had been spectacularly bad today, and she felt a little despair herself.
Duke threw himself back on his bed and kept his hands over his face. "I'm wasting your time."
"No. You're just being a challenge." Chloe let out a sigh as she stared at him. "What you need is someone to practice with before you try this on actual girls." She pursed her lips and then shook her head. "Nope. I'm not doing it."
He sat up immediately and looked at her expectantly. "What is it?"
"Nothing." She looked away.
"No, seriously. Whatever it is I'll do it." He looked desperate.
"Yeah, you wouldn't have a problem doing it but I would!" She was a little nervous and pissed with herself for having even contemplated it for a second.
Duke seemed about to cry. "C'mon Cody! I'll never have a relationship if I can't get over my stupidity around girls! Please! Whatever it is, please!"
Oh god, he looked close to getting on his knees and begging.
She licked her lips and stared at him, uncomfortable. "It's weird."
She took in a deep breath. "Fine, but you asked for it." She then looked around. "I need clean socks."
He raised an eyebrow. "Okay, I'm almost too scared to ask-but why do you need socks?"
"Because I need fake boobs." The irony of her having to bind her chest to play a boy only to use socks to play a boy pretending to be a girl was not lost on her.
"W-what?" Duke squeaked. "Why would you-?"
"This is a mental problem you have, Orsino." She grabbed some socks and stuffed them down her shirt and tried to mold them into shape. "As long as you can't get over whatever issue you have with the idea of talking to girls, you're going to have to pretend that I'm a girl and practice on me. That way you can make as many mistakes as you need to."
He looked about to laugh. "There's no way I could imagine you as a girl."
Okay, that stung. "Stretch your imagination."
Duke bit his bottom lip and was obviously trying to keep from laughing. "Okay. Uh, go ahead."
"Tell anyone about this and I'll have your balls!" Sure that this was a horrible idea, Chloe messed her hair slightly and then bit down on her lips to bring more color to them. She then leaned forwards and positioned herself in the flirty position she saw Lois in whenever she was interested in someone. "So, Duke, how's the soccer practice going?"
Duke went still. "Uh, dude, you're uh, your voice, uh..."
She blinked her eyes in pretend innocence and shifted so as to gaze up at him coyly from beneath her eyelashes. "What about my voice?"
Duke opened his mouth and then closed before he cleared his throat and licked his lips. "I, uh, nothing. It's nothing. There's definitely nothing." His voice squeaked as he grabbed the front of his shirt and began to move it. "What could possibly be wrong? I mean, nothing, right?"
She wanted to despair at just how bad Duke was at this. He thought she was a guy pretending to be a girl and yet he was still messing up. The girl in boy's clothing squared her shoulders and slipped a little closer. "Are you guys ready for your match with Cornwall?" She tried to get him thinking about things that he liked, that he could get into. "I hear they're Illyria's biggest competition."
"Uh, well, you see..." Duke sent her a sidelong gaze and just stared at her for a second before he cleared his throat and shook his head almost desperately. "What were we talking about again?"
She told herself to cool down. Not to blow a gasket. That he couldn't be hopeless.
The girl decided to bring out the big guns and moved from her bed to sit next to Duke on his. She ignored his wide-eyed, almost scared reaction to that as she leaned in close to him and smiled flirtily, her voice lowering. "I think you look so cool out there on the field."
"You do?" That was squeaked.
"Yeah." She shifted a little closer and played with a lock of her hair. "If I asked you to, would you score a goal for me?"
His eyes widened and he opened his mouth, closed it, opened it, closed it, and let out a sound that might have been a 'yes' but could also have been the sound a dying fish made.
She tried to count that as progress considering he'd actually given her an answer to a question. "I'll be watching then." She licked her lips and stared up at him through her eyelashes. "I'll be in the stands cheering for you."
His adams apple bobbed as he swallowed, loudly. "Uh-uh-th-tha-!" He jumped to his feet and moved a couple of steps away from the bed. "I need to go and do something right now."
Chloe watched him race out of the room in utter confusion.
What the hell had just happened?
What the hell had just happened?!
Duke had run around the field three times before he collapsed on the grass and stared up at the sky. He still couldn't understand what had happened to him during that whole practice. Was he that hopeless that even by trying to pretend that Cody was a girl...
He covered his face in shame and groaned.
He'd seriously gotten lost in a fantasy there. Cody must be furious with him. The guy had gone out of his way to try and help Duke, and what had Duke done as a thank you? He'd messed up and raced away.
But it wasn't his fault that Cody was so damned tiny and soft-looking and... and... He didn't want to think about the other things that Cody was because it confused Duke and made everything so much worse.
These two weeks since Cody had become his roomate had been great and horrible at the same time. The boy was easy to get along with and was doing his best to help Duke, but Duke knew that he was messing it all up. Not only couldn't he get comfortable enough to talk to girls he wasn't even attracted to in the least bit, but he found himself beginning to notice things about his roomate. Things he hadn't ever noticed about any of his other roomates before. Things he shouldn't be noticing.
Like the fact that Cody was tiny. Or the fact that he chose to bathe really early every single morning, so early everyone else who was sane was still asleep. Or the fact that Cody smelt really good. Or that his wrists were delicate, just like the rest of his slender body. Or the fact that he really did have pretty eyes.
Duke really shouldn't think his roomate's eyes were pretty!
"Here you are," Cody's voice announced before he threw himself on the grass next to Duke. "We're really going to have to work on you."
"Sorry." He turned to look at the tiny guy and felt a wave of relief that the fake boobs were gone and that the messed hair was fixed. This Cody looked more like the guy who was quickly becomming a close friend.
"I kinda pushed it too hard the first time. I just didn't think you'd be so nervous even while pretending I was a girl." He gazed up at the sky. "Would you prefer it if Toby or Andrew-?"
"No." He sat up immediately, not sure why he felt so strongly about this. "Uh, it would be embarrassing... I would prefer if this remained between you and me." He took in a deep breath. "I'll do better next time, I swear."
Cody tilted his head towards him, visibly amused with him, before he nodded and sat back up as well. "Well, only if you swear."
He could tell the smaller boy was teasing him, and he gave him a sheepish grin. "I do. I really do."
Cody brushed a golden lock of hair out of his face. "Why can't you just talk like this with girls normally?" He let out a sigh as he leaned forwards. "You're such a catch that it's such a waste."
Duke blinked and fought a blush. "I, uh, I don't think I'm a catch..."
Cody looked up immediately, almost offended. "You are a total catch. You should be surrounded by girls and have them flinging themselves at you. You shouldn't have trouble talking to the girl you like." He shook his head.
"I've always had a problem talking to girls." Duke gave a sigh before he sent the boy a sideways glance. "I don't expect you to understand, though, you of the magic when it comes to women."
A snort escaped those lips. "Right."
"Oh, come on! Your girlfriend is hot and girls at school love you!"
"Have you seen my 'girlfriend' lately? No." Cody raised an eyebrow. "And those girls from here see me as a toy."
"At least they see you."
A sigh escaped Cody's lips as he turned to eye Duke.
Duke eyed him. "So, uh, how did you get that girl to go out with you?"
Cody blinked and then looked away immediately. "No special way."
Intrigued, Duke snickered as he reached out and messed up that golden hair. "You're holding out on me!"
"I am not holding out on you!" Cody jumped to his feet. "I have things to do. See you later." With that he stormed away.
Duke watched him go before his gaze lowered to the hand he'd used to mess up those golden locks. He then cleared his throat as he clenched his hand tightly and looked away.
"That is so harsh." Toby brought his hand to his chest in mock sorrow. "You got me right in the feels."
"You don't have 'feels'." Chloe rolled her eyes and kicked the guy off of her bed. "Aren't you jocks supposed to live out on the field? Go away and leave me alone."
"He loves me," Toby declared to Andrew from his place on the floor.
"Sure." Andrew let out a snort.
"It's all subtext," Toby informed him before he got up and sat on Duke's bed, overcrowding it. "Duke, move man."
"This is my bed you know." And yet Duke gave a squeak when he ended up pushed off of his own bed. He stood and glared at them as both Toby and Andrew got comfortable and left him no room whatsoever. "Why am I friends with you guys?"
"I'm hot," Toby declared without skipping a beat. "You sponge off of my hotness."
Andrew snickered and then motioned with his thumb towards Toby. "What he said."
Duke rolled his eyes and folded his arms over his chest and he waited for them to vacate his bed.
Neither of them seemed to be about to do anything.
Chloe rolled her eyes and patted her bed next to her.
He hesitated for a second before he cleared his throat and threw himself on the bed next to her. "So, uh, Cody." Duke sent her a sidelong glance. "You're going to be cheering us on when we play Cornwall, right?"
The blonde tried not to wince. "Do I have to?"
A shower of pillows were thrown in her direction.
"Hey!" Her voice was pure laughter as she somehow managed to crawl out from underneath them.
"You're going to be there," Toby announced with passion. "Girls like you and they'll come to cheer us if you're there!"
"You don't need my help to have girls-."
"Maybe you could get Olivia to come as well." Andrew stopped her dead. "You two have been talking during Chemistry, you look close enough. You could get her to come and unknowingly cheer Duke on."
Chloe sat up straighter and eyed Andrew appreciatively. "I like how you think. It's crafty and underhanded."
"…thanks?" Andrew looked like he didn't know whether to be insulted or not.
Chloe turned to Duke and smirked as she laid down. "So you realize you'll have to play your butt off, right? You're gonna have someone cheering you on from the stands. You'll have to show them you're worth the effort."
Andrew and Toby snickered loudly.
"Oh, I'm worth it." Duke smirked back at Chloe as he leaned closer.
For a moment her heart skipped a beat and she wondered if it was her imagination or if Duke's voice had lowered a decimal. "You better be. I wouldn't just do this for anyone. I don't know Olivia that well yet so I'll be putting real effort here for you." Some blonde strands fell into her face and she couldn't stop her smile from going twisted as she further teased him. "So I'm expecting a couple of goals and for you to name your firstborn after me."
Duke chuckled. "I can arrange the goals, but the firstborn issue will have to be pending negotiation."
"Why?" Chloe tried for insulted. "Cody Orsino doesn't sound bad!"
For some reason Duke paused and looked a little disturbed as he licked his lips. "Yeah… it doesn't…"
She grinned, always happy to win. "See?" She turned onto her stomach and stretched with a little groan as she winked at Duke. "You know you want to do it."
Suddenly Duke's eyes widened and he sat up ramrod straight. He grabbed her pillow and positioned in on his lap. He looked over at Toby and Andrew (who were still distracted by their own conversation) and then turned his wide-eyes on Cody. "No. I don't."
A little curious as to what exactly had just happened, Chloe snickered. "Yeah, you do. Stop fighting yourself, Orsino. Deep down inside, you know it's what you want."
Duke looked utterly terrified and his voice was very soft when he whispered: "I don't."
She blinked and stared at him in confusion as she slowly sat up once more. "You okay? You look a little ill."
Duke took in a deep breath and wouldn't look at her. "Yeah. I'm, uh, fine. I'm perfect. And normal. I'm very normal."
He didn't sound like he did when he was normal. She then realized that she must've teased him a little too much and he was defensive because of that. "Aw, come on bro." She slapped his shoulder. "I was just messing with you. You can name your firstborn whatever you want." She raised from the bed and stretched once more, the hem of her shirt raising to reveal her navel. "Just know that Cody is unisex so…" She'd turned to wink teasingly at him but found Duke utterly frozen as he stared at her.
Putting down her arms, Chloe frowned, worried. "Is everything okay, dude?"
"No." Duke shook his head and pressed the pillow harder against his lap. "It really isn't."
Okay, now she was really starting to worry. "What is it?"
Shaking his head, Duke took in a deep breath. "I, uh, I need to go to the bathroom." He got up and stormed out of the room.
Chloe's eyes widened in shock. "Hey! Don't take my pillow to the bathroom!" She hurried out after him and realized that he must've started a dead run after exiting their room because he was no where in sight. The girl, horrified of the thought of her pillow in that place of germs, hurried right after him. She hesitated, just like she always did, when she saw the boys bathroom, but squared her shoulders and butched up. She was about to open the door when she realized her pillow was on a couple of chairs close by.
Her hand was still against the door though and she pushed open, that worry growing. She creaked open the door slightly, only just barely, and while at first she didn't hear anything, the sound of soft whimpers and groans floated towards her.
She closed the door and shook her head. His stomach must be seriously acting up!
Poor guy! No wonder he'd booked it out of there so quickly!
She shook her head and walked to where her pillow was before she turned and made her way back to their room.
Duke was horrified.
He couldn't believe that he'd gotten-that he'd had to-that in his mind while he was...
After he'd leaned against the shower stall, body lax in pleasure, the enormity of exactly what he'd done and who he'd been imaginging crashed on him like a tzunami. He'd felt sick at his stomach and terrified. He hadn't even done something like this while thinking of Olivia! So why in the hell had seeing Cody's body twist those ways on the bed, hearing those words, and then finally gazing upon the smooth skin of his stomach... his belly button for crying out loud... !
The guy had been in despair ever since.
He wasn't gay!
He tried to think of Toby and Andrew or any other guy around him and the thought made him very ill. He couldn't ever imagine himself with any of them.
He gulped and sent his oblivious roomate a look out of the corner of his eyes as they sat in their beds later that night.
He'd had no problem imagining Cody's hands, or his mouth, or his body beneath Duke's...
Stop thinking those things right now!
He was not going to get hard again! He wouldn't! Not because of his roomate god damnit!
He needed to apply himself more intensely to these "how to talk to girls" lessons that Cody was giving him. The only reason why his head was all mixed up was because he didn't have a girl around, and Cody was girly, and it was easy to sometimes imagine what Cody would look like with a skirt or makeup or breasts...
He gulped and cleared his throat as he looked away.
Cody lay on his stomach on the bed next to Duke's. He wore sports shorts and a large t-shirt that swallowed his figure completely. He always dressed like this, unless he had on the pajamas that were ridiculously child-like and yet fit him because he was so tiny and...
Duke snarled at himself and turned his gaze up at the ceiling. This was all Cody's fault for being petite and fragile and for smelling so good and having pretty eyes.
"So, is your stomach flu making you colder than usual or something?" Cody sent him a curious look over his book. "Because you're wearing a shirt tonight, and for as long as I've been your roommate you've never slept with your shirt on-no matter how many times I've told you your abs are ridiculous and I hate you for them."
Duke snorted in amusement at that. "You're just jealous."
"Hell yeah, I am!" Cody admitted freely.
He hugged a pillow to his chest. "I, uh, I might be a little cold."
"Poor you." Cody sat up and snapped his book shut. "So, uh, I've been thinking."
The soccer player turned his gaze on his roommate. "About what exactly?"
"Your little problem, what else?" Cody rolled his eyes. "I wondered if maybe we could experiment and see if you can talk to a girl if you imagine she's a guy."
Duke went still. "What?"
"Well, you have problems with me when you think I'm a girl, so I wanted to see if maybe the opposite would work, you know?" Cody skidded closer. "You're great with guys, but not so with girls-."
"I'm not gay."
Cody blinked. "I never-."
"I'm not." Duke glared at him, knowing he was being too defensive and couldn't stop himself. "The whole idea is to be with a girl while knowing she's a girl, not by pretending she's secretly a guy."
Cody eyed him curiously before he nodded. "True. You're right. Stupid idea." He bit down on his bottom lip. "So you would prefer to keep pretending I'm a girl during our sessions to try and get you more comfortable that way?"
Duke gulped and knew this was the best time to opt out, Cody was giving him the option to do just that, but while on the inside he was screaming to get out while he could, his mouth apparently had other ideas: "Yeah, that's what I want."
Cody nodded once more and snickered before he sighed. "My life's so weird."
The soccer player was too afraid to ask what exactly he meant by that.