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.
Duke was acting odd around her.
Chloe didn't notice it at first, mostly because she'd suffered from the hangover the next couple of days, but slowly and surely she realized that there was something going on with her roomie. She wasn't sure what it was, but he almost seemed scared of her, or of being alone with her. And that was just weird. Why would he act that way?
The question plagued her and she spent the next couple of days wondering if she'd insulted him somehow, though she couldn't think of what she could've done to do so.
Another weird thing was that "Malcolm Festes, Dorm Director" had suddenly decided they were best friends and would pop out of no where, in quite a terrifying way, and Chloe was beginning to see why Olivia was so creeped out.
"And so I gave Malvolio a little back rub because I felt that he was too tense..." Malcolm had come to sit next to Chloe as she sat on the bleachers watching the guys practice (they insisted). He looked so happy as he spoke about his tarantula. It was both cute and creepy. "And he slept better. I wonder if it has to do with him having problems digesting his food, or..."
Duke looked up at the bleachers and tripped. He barely kept from falling on his face.
Chloe blinked as she leaned forwards and watched him.
What was going on with her roomie?
"...do you think?"
Chloe realized she was actually being asked something and turned to Malcolm. "Uh, well, I don't know. You know more about that stuff than me." She had no idea what he'd asked, but it seemed to have been the right answer because Malcolm nodded and gave a smile as if saying 'yeah, you're right'. "But we could always try to google for an answer if it gets worse, right?"
Malcolm grinned brightly. "You'd do that?"
"Course." Chloe felt that this guy, and Eunice, were creepy mainly because they'd never had friends before and just didn't know how to act around normal human beings.
"Thanks!" Malcolm hugged her tightly.
She laughed and patted his back. "No prob, dude. That's what bros are for."
Malcolm pulled away, eyes wide. "Bros?"
She bit back the desire to laugh. "Yeah, I suppose."
"I've got a bro." Malcolm then stood and air-punched. "I've got a bro!"
This time Chloe did laugh as she got up, yanked Malcolm back down, and shook her head at him. "Sit down!"
The blonde bit on the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing as she leaned over and knocked shoulders with those of the preppy boy.
On the field, Duke tripped once more and this time did fall.
Chloe sent her gaze towards the field once more and frowned.
What the hell?
Duke knew that Cody knew something was wrong, but he also knew that Cody didn't know what the reason behind it was. The soccer player was almost a hundred per cent sure that his roommate had no memory of what they'd done while drunk, which had been immoral as hell. It had been horrifying. Embarrassing. Disgusting. It had been... had been... Damn it, he wanted to do it again.
He couldn't even remember much about that night, he'd drunk alcohol at the party and then the three cans of beer in the room, and while he hadn't suffered a blackout like Cody had, he couldn't remember much more other than the fact that he'd felt incredible. He didn't know if anything more than dry humping had happened between them and while he was terrified at the thought that more had happened, a part of him wished he could remember because the parts he did remember were amazing.
If he'd thought that that time in the bathroom after seeing Cody's stomach had felt bone-numbingly good, actually having Cody's lips on his and hands in his hair as his body shifted had been... There wasn't a word Duke could think of that aptly described how wonderful it had felt.
But he wasn't gay! He wasn't! He'd once again looked at all the guys around him, took time to discreetly eye them while in the locker room, and nothing. Zero interest. And that was that these guys were admittedly buff and half naked during their time in the locker room. That alone proved to the hyperventilating jock that he was not, in any form or size, gay. And yet, the second he'd secure himself in his sexuality, Cody would come along and do something that blew that confidence to smithereens.
Especially since Cody wasn't doing it on purpose and didn't even seem to realize what he was doing!
There was another thing that had started to bother Duke, and that was the fact that he couldn't get rid of Malcolm Festes. Ever since Cody had "bitten the bullet", so to speak, the night of the part and talked to Malcolm about his freaky-ass spider (Duke would never admit out loud how much spiders terrified him) the guy had seemed to think that Cody was his new best friend. When he wasn't trailing behind Olivia he was next to Cody, and unlike Olivia Cody seemed to be encouraging him. He'd even asked Duke and the guys to cut Malcolm some slack.
What the hell?
Since when did Cody care about a little creeper like Malcolm?
It was seriously starting to annoy the soccer player.
And now this...
"You want to start teaching Malcolm how to talk to girls?" Duke hadn't meant for his tone to come out so disapproving, but it had.
"Yeah." Cody sent him a little look, obviously picking up on the tone. "Don't worry, man. I'm not about to help him get Olivia, she's all yours. But I think that a good way of getting him to leave Olivia alone is to help him get with some other girl. One that will enjoy his company and… uh… tolerate Malvolio."
Duke frowned as he tossed his soccer ball in the air and caught it. "So you're going for an alien."
Cody rolled his eyes at him and opened his mouth to probably scold Duke when the door flew open and Toby rushed in.
"Cody, man, we gotta talk." Toby came to stand in front of Cody's bed and totally ignored Duke. "I tried to talk to her, man, but I wussed out! I totally couldn't do it!"
"Okay, okay, clam down and tell me what happened." Cody turned his back on Duke and looked up at Toby.
"She was there, and she was so pretty, and I wanted to tell her that, and I even walked up to her… but then she turned towards me and I walked passed her, bro!" Toby groaned and ran his hands over his face. "I'm never going to be able to talk to her!"
"Yes you will." Cody leapt from the bed. "Even if I have to do something very underhanded you will talk to Eunice and you will win her heart!"
"You sure?" Toby looked a bit more hopeful.
Cody slammed his fist into his palm. "Leave it to me, I'll sort it out somehow."
"You're the man, Cody!" Toby grinned before he rushed back out with as much hurry as he'd entered.
Duke raised an eyebrow. "What are you: Illyria's official matchmaker?"
"Hush you, if you're using my services you can't mock me." Cody threw himself on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. "I'm going to have to get close to Eunice."
Duke frowned as he eyed his roommate and wondered why the hell Cody needed to get close to all of these people. Sure, he'd gotten close to Olivia to try and help Duke, and the soccer player knew deep down inside that he was being a total hypocrite, but he just didn't like the thought of Cody branching out like this. The more time he spent with others the less time he'd have for Duke. "Why are you encouraging Toby to go after her? I mean, man, she's freaky! He could do better than that!"
Cody sat up and turned towards Duke, glaring at him. "That's the first time you've seriously pissed me off, Orsino."
Duke's eyes widened and he sat up straighter. "I didn't mean to-."
"Exactly." Cody glared darker. "Even if she isn't the prettiest girl in school like Olivia, Eunice deserves someone to love her, she deserves happiness. And if she makes Toby happy then you need to get over your shallow attitude towards her and be a friend to him. He's in love with her. He's suffering because of it. So butch up and grow up."
"Jesus, don't take it so personally Co!" Duke felt very uneasy with his roommate angry at him. "I didn't mean to insult her, I just think they don't match… that's all."
"It's attitudes like that that keep people miserable because they're too scared of being different." Cody was apparently on a rant now as he stood on his bed. "People need to mind their own business and concentrate on their own relationships." With that, Cody stormed out of the room with a slam of the door.
Duke, feeling properly chastised, sighed as he looked up at the ceiling.
Chloe watched as Toby, a handsome jock who probably had his pick of the litter, watched "Creepy Eunice Bates" as she sat alone in the corner of the cafeteria, like she always did. Eunice stared out of the window at something or the other and munched on her sandwich, apparently completely oblivious to the lovesick glance stuck to her. It made Chloe adore Toby because he obviously wasn't a superficial asshole and could see passed Eunice's uniqueness to the inner beauty deep down inside. A romantic part of Chloe sighed and clutched her hands to her heart. The part of her pretending to be a boy wouldn't allow her to actually do that, and instead she tried to form a battle plan.
Duke's comment from before came back to haunt her: was she Illyria's new matchmaker? Because she already had two couples on her "Get together" list, and she was looking for a girl for Malcolm so that would be her third couple.
She definitely wouldn't have time to be bored!
Toby pushed his food back and forth wistlessly on his plate as he watched Eunice.
Eunice sighed as she stared out of the window.
Chloe stared between them and then squared her shoulders as she walked towards the girl and sat down next to her. "Hey Eunice."
The girl's eyes widened as she turned to look at Chloe in shock. "Hey Cody." Her voice was breathy.
"So, I was thinking..." Chloe cleared her throat. "Some of my friends are getting together to have dinner at Cesarios and I wondered if you'd like to come as well. It'll just be a small group of people, and-."
"I'm so there it's insane." Eunice's eyes were wide and she delivered that with trembling excitement that was slightly creepy.
Then again, Malcolm was creepy as hell sometimes and Chloe still hung out with him.
The blonde smiled at Eunice. "Great. How about tonight at eight?"
"I'll be the best dinner guest ever!" Eunice promised her in that creepy, whispered tone.
"Great." Chloe nodded and stood. "See you there." As she walked away she caught Toby's wide-eyed and excited look, and the girl gave a discreet thumbs up.
"That's what I'm talking about!" Toby rapidly got to his feet and hollered as he punched his fist into the air, before he cleared his throat when he realized that everyone was eyeing him as if he were crazy.
Chuckling at her friend, Chloe shook her head and then stopped and turned around when she noticed Olivia and her friend Maria watching them. These were other people that needed to be at the dinner. Olivia for Duke, and maybe Maria for Malcolm-once she'd gotten rid of his stalkery tendencies. She grinned as she reached the table. "Hey ladies, you two look beautiful as ever."
Olivia grinned up brightly at her. "Thanks. You're handsome as well."
Chloe just couldn't get used to the masculine terms, but tried not to show it. Her gaze went to Maria, who she noticed people usually ignored in favor of Olivia. Because of this she gave Maria special attention, if only because after living with Lana Chloe could understand what Maria was going through. "That color really suits you, Maria, it brings out your eyes."
Maria's eyes widened and she looked down at her dress before she looked up at Chloe. "T-thanks!"
"You should wear it more often." Chloe gave her a wink before she turned to Olivia, whose smile had muted slightly. "So, I know this is very last minute, but I was wondering if the both of you would like to come to dinner with us at Cesario's. It's a just going to be some of my friends." She thought of something and frowned. "Malcolm's going to be there so I'd get it if you don't want to go." But she could maybe use Olivia's absence to her advantage, and her greens trained on Maria, whose eyes widened slightly as she pulled a dark brown strand behind her ear. "But even if you don't come because of him, which we'd all understand, I'd like it if Maria could make it."
Maria blushed slightly. "I-uh-."
"I'll come." A muscle jumped in Olivia's cheek. "I'll be there."
Chloe shifted her gaze from Maria to Olivia. "You sure?"
"Oh, I'm sure." Olivia's smile was forced.
"Great!" Chloe grinned, pleased that she could work on all these couples evenly. "I'll run interference with Malcolm and keep him in check." She stepped away from the table and shucked her hands in her jeans pockets. "See you ladies there at eight!"
"See you..." Olivia smiled after her.
Maria nibbled her bottom lip and merely watched Chloe go.
Chloe ran her fingers through her hair and headed towards the door to find Duke and let him know that he was going to have a chance to put to good use what he'd learnt from Chloe so far.
"Hey bro!" Malcolm popped out of nowhere.
Chloe jumped, hand to her heart as she turned to face him, sure that one day she'd die of a Malcolm Festes' induced heart attack. "Dude! I'm going to have to put a bell around your neck!"
Malcolm looked confused as to what she could mean by that.
"Nevermind." She took in a deep breath. "You free tonight? A group of us are getting together at eight at Cesario's."
His eyes widened before he cleared his throat and tried for casual interest. "I'm down with that."
She smirked at him before she nodded. "Good. I gotta go. See you at eight."
"Word!" Malcolm Festes trying to be 'hip' was hysterical.
Eunice and Toby, check. Duke and Olivia, check. Malcolm and Maria, check. Now she had to figure out something so that she and Andrew weren't the awkward ones that were unmatched.
Pulling out her phone, she looked up the number and called. She moved over to a private corner as it rung, and when the other person picked up she cleared her throat. "Hey babe, sorry for the short notice but you free tonight?"
Dinah Lance, her false girlfriend, sounded amused. "Why not? This is the most interesting job I've ever gotten. What do you have planned?"
"A group of us are going to this restaurant called Cesario's at eight. Since we, uh, haven't been able to see each other for a while I thought you should come." Chloe ran her fingers through her hair. "We're also one girl short and I was wondering if you could bring one of your friends."
"That's gonna cost extra."
Chloe noticed Duke closing in on her and cleared her throat. "Love you too, babe. See you two tonight." She hung up and grinned at Duke, grabbing the guy's arm and yanking him with her. "Good news, bro. Time to celebrate!"
Duke sent her a raised eyebrow. "What exactly are we celebrating?"
"I just hooked everyone up! I'm a matchmaking god!" Chloe figured that she'd just jinxed herself, but she decided not to think about it for now. "Tonight at Cesario's you, Olivia, Maria, Malcolm, Toby, Andrew, me, Dinah and a friend of hers are gonna chill. There'll be no pressure, other than me and Di you'll all be single and ready to mingle and the magic will happen." She danced slightly in victory. "Who is awesome? I am awesome. So awesome!"
Duke cleared his throat. "Sounds great, man."
Chloe sent him a little frown. "What's with the tone, Orsino?"
Duke licked his lips. "I'm not ready. You know that."
She sighed and reached for his hand. "You'll never be ready if you don't just take what you want, Duke." She moved closer and stared up into his wide eyes. "If there's someone you want, you desperately want, you'll work through any obstacle and you'll make that person yours." She gave him a small smile. "Don't wuss out on me, Orsino." With that she let his hand go and clasped her hands behind her back as she walked backwards for a couple of steps. A playful smile danced on her lips as she reached out to crook her finger towards him. "Come on, big guy, trust me. In the end you'll have what you want."
He stared at her before he looked away and cleared his throat. "I'll do my best with Olivia tonight."
Chloe grinned. "That's my boy."
Duke was going to go insane before this night was over, he could already see that.
Not only were Eunice and Malcolm with them, but there was Olivia to consider. But, of course, while the fact that Hottie Tess from the bookstore was Dinah's friend (whom she brought along to the dinner) left everyone in shock, that wasn't really what dominated his mind. What did so was the fact that he realized quite early into the dinner that Dinah (who was taller than Cody, Duke had only just realized that) was basically shoving the fact that she was his girlfriend in everyone's face. It was annoying as hell. Duke didn't like his roommate's girlfriend. He just couldn't. Not when she was so obnoxious. Cody seemed to like her well enough and they kept sending each other conspiratory grins whenever they'd share stories about how they'd gotten together or different fights they'd had and so forth.
"I never-!" Cody cried out while everyone else laughed, mouth wide as he stared at the girl next to time. "Lies! That's nothing but lies!"
"It is not a lie." Dinah grinned teasingly at him. "You don't have to be ashamed." She turned to the others, her gaze fixing on Olivia. "You should've seen it. He was so earnest when he read me the poem and told me that all the best of dark and bright met in my aspect and in my eyes."
"Lord Byron," Malcolm nodded in approval. "Good choice, bro."
"I didn't read her anything from Byron." Cody sent him a look before he turned to look at his girlfriend. "I recited the lyrics from No Sleep Tonight, by the Faders."
"I got you, I got you on my mind... And it's time to make you see (What I want)... So I'll just make this a little more obvious... 'Cos I get what I want... And I want you to get with me." Tess snickered as she sang part of the lyrics of that song as she leaned closer. "That's much more appealing than Byron, if you ask me."
Cody sent her a look. "Where have you been all my life, woman?" He laughed and reached out to knuckle-bump her.
"At the bookstore." Tess' lips twisted as she brought her knuckles and didn't leave Cody hanging.
Dinah raised an eye at her friend before she leaned her head against Cody's arm. "He did read Byron, even if he won't fess up to it. But, yeah, he also sung that to me as well but it was atotally different circumstance." She smirked. "Thing is, I knew right then and there that I was never going to let him go no matter what."
"That sounds a little obsessive if you ask me." Olivia stabbed her fries with her fork.
"Not when the guy likes the possessive types." Dinah turned to Cody and snuggled closer before she sent Olivia a smug little look.
Maria licked her lips and turned to Andrew, who was being completely ignored. "The weather's been nice lately."
It took him a second to tear his gaze from Cody and Dinah, before he nodded to her. "Definitely. It's been… weathery."
They fell into silence.
"I love tarantulas!" Eunice fluttered her eyes at Malcolm. "Is it a Brachypelma smithi, or a Brachypelma emilia or a Brachypelma boehmei or a…"
"You know your arachnids!" Malcolm was nearly jumping in excitement.
Eunice nodded her head vigorously. "I'm obsessed with them!"
Malcolm grinned brightly. "Would you like to meet Malvolio?"
Eunice's eyes went scarily wide and she leaned close to him as she stage whispered: "Could I?"
"Yes!" Malcolm puffed out his chest. "Malvolio is quite the ladies man. You'll love him!"
Toby glared at the two of them as he bit violently into a piece of bread.
Andrew turned towards Maria. "So, uh, Mr Matthews' wig, right? So fake."
"Definitely," Maria agreed. "He probably would look better if he just stayed bald."
"He would!" Andrew nodded.
They stared at each other, couldn't think of any other topic to converse about, and looked away once more.
Duke caught Cody's glare and the boy's discreet motions towards Olivia, who didn't look like she was quite enjoying herself. The soccer player tried to shake his head and mouth that this wasn't the best time but Cody looked like he would murder Duke so the guy cleared his throat and turned towards the girl and took in a deep breath. "So, uh, O-Olivia…"
She turned her blues on him expectantly.
"Uh, um," he cleared his throat. "Some weird weather we're having, right?"
Olivia eyed him before she nodded slowly. "It's weathery."
He crashed and burned as he realized this was basically the exact same conversation Maria and Andrew had had minutes ago.
Cody groaned and rested his forehead against the table top, obviously having witnessed their exchange.
Duke knew exactly how the other guy felt.