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 had known this night would be hell, but he hadn't realized just how terrible it would be. He wasn't having any sort of fun whatsoever, and even though they'd all decided to go to the nearby cinema to watch a movie (and thus he didn't have to speak) Duke was uncomfortable. Cody had arranged it so that he and Olivia once more sat together, and he knew that Cody was expecting him to come out of this with some sort of progress, but if anything he might've taken a couple of steps back. Olivia obliviously was not that happy tonight, and Duke really didn't want to find out why.
He wished that Cody would pay a bit more attention to what was going on in Duke's corner. The boy would be help. And yet the petite guy was busy with his clingy, slightly bitchy girlfriend, and with her extremely attractive and flirty friend. Duke knew that Cody had asked his girlfriend to bring over a friend for Andrew's sake, and yet the redhead had merely talked to Cody most of the night, and even though Cody's girlfriend seemed amused about it at first, by the end even she seemed a bit annoyed at the fact that Cody and the redhead were the ones talking the most and obviously clicking.
Just how did Cody do this? How was he so natural when it came to women?
Eunice and Malcolm sat next to each other and shared little looks while Toby (who sat on Eunice's other side) visibly stewed in his seat at the fact that they were obviously hitting it off.
Maria and Andrew both kept sighing.
Olivia wasn't even paying attention to the movie. She'd alternate from looking at her nails to looking passed Duke to where Cody and the others were.
Duke tried to pretend he didn't notice her disinterest and watched the movie as best as he could while also trying to catch Cody's attention.
Finally Cody glanced over at him and gave him an encouraging smile.
The soccer player motioned with his chin towards the back of the theatre.
Cody frowned but seemed to get it. He whispered something in his girlfriend's ear and she nodded and whispered something back. He turned to his other side and did the same to the redhead, who also nodded and whispered back. The boy then stood and motioned for Duke to follow as he made his way down the aisle.
Duke nearly tripped in his eagerness to follow. He excused himself as he got up and left and then he was down the aisle behind Cody. They remained silent as they left the room and made their way towards the concession stand.
"Does Olivia want anything?" Cody asked as he joined the line.
Duke blinked. "I didn't ask."
Cody shook his head and sighed. "This was the perfect moment for you to seem thoughtful."
Duke hung his head. "I'm blowing this big time Cody. So is Toby." He clenched his fists. "This whole plan is backfiring." Irritation filled him. "The only one getting any is you."
"Well excuse me for doing something silly like talking to the girls we're with." Cody threw his hands in the air, eyes dark in annoyance. "You and Toby have no excuse. Andrew and even Malcolm are putting up more of an effort than you are!"
His annoyance grew at the fact that Cody was obviously reproaching him in favor of Malcolm. "You're supposed to be helping me, not-."
"You're supposed to be making an effort, Orsino!" Cody let out a growl. "You'll never be with anyone if you never fight for them despite the obstacles you face! You need to treat this whole thing like you would a game against Cornwall! You need to treat it like it's a game that the whole championship depends upon!" Cody moved closed to him despite the fact that the small line in front of him had dispersed. "If you want someone you first admit it to yourself, then you pursue that person and you let them know how important they are to you. You go all in. You win that person over and you spend the rest of your life making that person fall in love with you more and more every single day!"
Behind them a romantic sigh could be heard, and they turned to see a cute girl behind the counter. She had obviously overheard Cody's speech and the twinkle in her eyes showed that she not only agreed with what he'd said, but she might've fallen a bit in love with him.
Duke clenched his fists at his side and wondered where the hell all these damned girls appeared from. He was having enough trouble with the ones already in Cody's life and he didn't want to add more.
"Hey!" Cody looked embarrassed as he turned towards the girl and made his way to the counter. "Can I have four of the biggest containers of popcorn, as well as some chocolate…" he gazed down at the options and picked out one for everyone. "Seven cokes and a bottle of water." He turned towards Duke. "The water's for Olivia. She's been trying to eliminate sodas from her diet."
"Most boyfriends don't remember things like that," the girl announced with forced innocence as she rung Cody's order in the machine.
"She's not my girlfriend." Cody snickered at that. "Just a friend." He licked his lips. "The Butterfinger is for my girlfriend."
"Oh." The girl's smile fell slightly.
Duke turned to look at Cody expectantly but the guy didn't seem to realize the girl was interested. The soccer player let out a deep groan and turned to lean back against the counter. "We should call the night quits after the movie."
Cody turned to him with a frown. "But we've all agreed to get coffee after to discuss the movie. It will be the only time you won't have to actually search for a topic to talk to Olivia about."
Duke shook his head. "I don't-."
Cody grabbed him by his leather jacket and turned to the girl, who eyed them with intrigue. "We'll be right back." With that Cody yanked a stumbling and confused Duke behind him before he forced them into the boy's bathroom and Cody pushed him against the wall. "What is wrong with you tonight?" Annoyance was plain on Cody's face as he pushed up on his tiptoes to glare at Duke as he clutched his jacket tighter in anger. "You're not even trying, dude!"
Duke looked away as a muscle jumped in his cheek. "I am."
"No, you're not! You've just glared at me the whole night!" Cody gave him a little shove. "If you spent half as much time focusing on Olivia as you do on me you wouldn't have any trouble!"
That was like a punch to the gut, and Duke had to admit that the petite boy was right. He had spent the whole time glaring at Cody and pissed off at him, and while Cody could have been more hands-on with his "help", Duke was forced to admit that he hadn't helped the situation at all either. Cody had left him alone to try and have a solo conversation with Olivia, and yet Duke had spent the time thinking that Dinah was a bitch and that Tess was obviously a slut who was after her friend's boyfriend. And that Malcolm wasn't Cody's "bro". And that Eunice was creepy as hell as she leaned over to stage whisper something to Cody. And that...
Damn it. He did not like this guy! He didn't!
Seriously pissed off, Duke pushed Cody off of him and grabbed the front of the short boy's shirt. He used the momentum to swing them around and throw the boy against the wall before he slammed his fists into the wall on each side of the wide-eyed boy's head. Duke leaned in and glared down at the guy who was at fault for messing him up like this. Duke had been a normal teenaged boy in love with Olivia before this guy had had to come and ruin it by being so... so... appealing.
Damn it! He found him appealing! Damn it!
Duke was friggin pissed off at this guy!
Cody's eyes were wide and his head tilted up towards Duke as the other guy trapped him against the wall with his body. "W-what a-are y-you-?"
Duke pushed away from the other guy and ran his hand over his face in an effort to calm himself. "I shouldn't have done that."
Cody gulped, visibly shaken by what had just happened. "I should probably apologize too."
"Nah, you're right." Duke let out a staggered breath. "I've got some things to accept before I can go after I want, though."
Pushing away from the wall, Cody rested his hand on Duke's shoulder. "I'm here for you, bro."
Duke nodded wordlessly and fought the desire to push the boy back up against the wall and kiss him.
They'd taken everything to those waiting on them inside, had watched the rest of the movie without incident, and despite Duke's earlier words they all went for coffee afterwards. That didn't mean that Chloe wasn't worried about what had gone on in the bathroom though. Duke wasn't a violent guy and that just went to show that he was really emotional right now and she needed to help him more than she had. She'd wanted to give him and Olivia time together to just click on their own, sure that with how good Duke was doing during their sessions that he was able to talk to Olivia in a friendly, non-pressured setting. The others were doing fine now after the intial awkwardness! But Duke and Olivia weren't really hitting it off and Chloe could see why that would affect the jock the way that it did.
"Uh, yeah, tarantulas have always, uh, interested me." Toby was lying through his teeth, but it had gotten him what he needed, and both Malcolm and Eunice had joined him in conversation, his first conversation with Eunice. The cute caramel skinned guy kept sending Chloe little "Look! I'm doing it!" looks. She would always send him a thumbs up when he did so. Somehow Andrew and Maria got into the conversation, something about a spider Maria and Olivia had seen in their dorm room that had terrified them, and Eunice and Malcolm tried to identify what the spider could've been by the description Maria gave them. Andrew and Maria did not seem to have a spark at all, but at least they seemed to be easing into a friendship, as were the others.
Who would've thought that the group would be bonding over Malvolio and his species?
"Your plan seems to be working," Dinah declared from her position on Chloe's lap as she eyed everyone. She was having way too much fun with this fake relationship. "Even Duke and Olivia are talking."
Chloe sent them a look (the 100th since they'd gotten to the coffee shop) and smiled softly to herself in relief when she realized that this was true. "I was getting worried about them."
"Well, they must've found something to bond over." That was from Tess, who sat on the loveseat next to Chloe, her back against the armrest as she faced Chloe and Dinah. She knew the situation, apparently Dinah had filled her in on the details, and was very good at playing her part.
"Wonder what they've found to bond over," Dinah mumbled.
"I don't get it, they don't even look like they have chemistry." Olivia raised an eyebrow as she continued to stare discreetly at Cody and Dinah. "Why exactly are they together?"
Good question. Duke made a face as he stared discreetly as well. Who would've thought that a throw-away comment from Olivia concerning Cody's girlfriend would be their common ground and actually give them conversation? "It's not like they even text each other or call each other or anything. He doesn't talk about her much, either."
Olivia pursed her lips. "I think he just isn't able to get rid of her."
"He did tell us that he'd broken up with her when he first came to Illyria, but then she arrived and, uh, unbroke them." At the time Duke had thought it was the coolest thing ever, but now the whole sitaution annoyed him.
"She's a psycho," Olivia concluded. "An obsessive psycho-she basically admitted to it back at Cesario's."
Tess laughed and leaned close to whisper to Dinah and Cody.
"She looks like she's offering to have a threesome with them." A muscle jumped in Olivia's cheek. "I bet you that she'd be up for that sort of thing."
Duke raised an eyebrow. "I don't know, she's never given off a welcoming vibe to anyone-."
"Look at how she's positioned her body, either she wants to join in or she wants to steal him." Olivia took in a deep breath. "Dinah Lance better be careful or Tess Mercer is going to take her place."
Duke didn't understand women, but talking to Olivia was starting to give him an idea. Apparently body language said a lot when it came to girls. "Is that so?"
"Totally." Olivia pulled closer. "Watch how she's shifted her body unneccesarily so that she's facing towards Cody completely. And the way that she makes sure to reach out and touch him every so often. Also? She keeps fussing with her hair. That's a clear sign that she's interested."
Duke felt like he needed to write this down somewhere.
Tess chuckled deeply about something, shook her head, and then reached out and leaned in to whisper something to Dinah.
"Ohhhh... She's good."
Duke turned to Olivia in confusion. "She's talking to Dinah."
"She's just distracting her. Look at her boobs."
Duke's eyes widened. "I'm not going to-!"
"Look. At. Her. Boobs."
It was a clear order with a hint of a threat, and Duke flushed as he glanced at Tess' abundant chest... to find it pressed against Cody's arm. "Oh."
"Yeah." Olivia snorted as she folded her arms over her less abundant chest. "She's very good."
"What do you mean you don't think they approve of me?" Dinah's mouth fell open as her friend pulled away. "What's there not to approve of?"
Tess snickered as she leaned back. "I think you're being judged by the best friend and blondie, and I think they don't like you."
"They don't even know Dinah." Chloe raised an eyebrow. "They can't dislike her."
"Okay, blondie I get, I've been goading her all night," Dinah admitted. "But jockboy? I haven't even talked to him! What could he possibly have against me?"
"Maybe he doesn't think you're good enough for his best friend." Tess seemed to be getting a kick out of this whole thing. "Also, I'm almost sure they think I'm the scarlet harlet." She paused. "Oooh. I like that name!"
Dinah rolled her eyes. "Weirdo."
"Wait." Chloe frowned as she shifted slightly to look at Dinah better. "What do you mean you've been goading Olivia on?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Tess wanted to know.
"No. Why would-?"
"Because she likes you." Dinah said this as if it should be obvious. "Or she likes, you know, the you she thinks you are."
Chloe blinked. And then blinked again. And then her eyes went wide. "Nonononononononono! This is disastrous! I'm trying to hook her up with Duke!"
"Not going to happen if she's interested in you," Tess pointed out all helpfully.
"Which is why I've been laying my claim all night, to give her a hint to move on." Dinah's grin was evil. "I love this whole matchmaking thing you've got going on, and I'll help in any way that I can, even if I have to act like a clingy girlfriend to let her know she needs to look for someone else... Or I'll cut her."
"She would," Tess informed Chloe.
The girl in boy's clothing nodded. "Noted."
Dinah's phone rang and she frowned when she noticed the name on her caller ID. "It's my boss. I'll be right back." She slipped off of Chloe's lap and walked out the front door.
Tess scooted over closer. "So, the book you ordered should be in in a day or so."
"Really?" Chloe's eyes widened. "Have you read that one yet?"
"Nope, I'm a book behind you, but I'll definitely catch up."
"Wow, just look at her go immediately for the kill the second her friend is gone." Olivia shook her head, scandalized.
Duke decided he knew nothing about women and they terrified him.
Olivia looked down at her phone and frowned. "It's my mother. I've got to take this. I think it has to do with the debutant ball." She gave a growl and turned to Duke. "Don't take your eyes off of those two!" With that she stood and stormed out to look for some privacy to talk.
Duke opened his mouth, closed it, and then sighed as he leaned back on his chair, suddenly alone.
Cody sent him yet another little look over his shoulder, noticed he was by himself, and motioned him over.
He almost didn't go, but then he called himself a coward and walked over to them and sat where Cody was tapping.
"Where'd blondie go?" Tess wanted to know.
"Her mom called her, she's talking to her." Duke eyed Tess and wondered if she really was interested in Cody as well or if Olivia was just reading things wrong. "What about Dinah?"
"Work." Cody frowned. "Apparently it was her boss."
"Mr Maximoff is always rushing here and there and he always needs Dinah to do things for him." Tess rolled her eyes. "He does that to all of us, but I've programed my phone so that it always gives him a busy signal when he tries calling me so he ends up calling someone else." She gave a shrug at their amused looks. "I work two part-time jobs, I can't be running errands for one boss while I'm supposed to be doing something for the other one."
"Makes total sense." Cody looked impressed. "Why haven't you shown Dinah how to do that?"
Tess grinned a little evilly. "Where would be the fun in that?"
Cody and Duke shared looks before they burst out laughing.
Tess merely smirked in dark amusement.
Dinah appeared in the doorway and motioned for Cody to follow her, face grim.
Cody frowned and stood. "Excuse me." He walked to where his girlfriend was and followed her outside.
The door hadn't yet swung completely closed before Tess was up and following behind.
Once more, Duke was left alone.
He frowned, looked around him, and then stood as well. He headed towards the door and hesitated before he pushed it open. If Dinah's "best friend" could hear whatever this was, then so could Cody's. He looked around and couldn't find them anywhere. He was about to turn and go back inside when he caught the sound of Cody's voice in the alleyway next to the building. Duke moved onwards and peered over the corner into the dark alleyway, finding Cody, Tess and Dinah frowning at each other.
"We could always say we broke up again." Cody shoved his hands into his pocket. "I'd told them that we were broken up before they met you so maybe they won't ask question."
"Of course they'll ask questions." Tess rolled her eyes. "They're guys."
Cody worried his bottom lip.
"I'm so sorry, but I had told Mr Luthor that my contract totally depended on this pending issue." Dinah looked guilty before she turned to Tess. "Why don't you two go out while I'm gone? You could even say you left me because Tess gave better head or something."
"Dinah!" Cody flushed.
"I do, though," Tess interjected.
"Not helping." Cody was scarlet.
"This could work, though. You two have great chemistry... plus... look at her boobs." Dinah grabbed them for good measure. "Who wouldn't want these boobs on their girlfriend?"
"She's got a point." Tess agreed despite the fact that she was batting away Dinah's hands.
Cody pursed his lips. "I don't know you guys. I could just stay single for a while and..."
"Chloe, you're pushing adronygous as you are." Dinah anchored her hands on her hips. "You need a girlfriend if you don't want to be tormented and bullied by the neanderthals you're living with."
Duke blinked in confusion.
"If you don't have a hot girlfriend who verbally tells them all how much of a man you are, they're going to realize that you're a girl." Tess raised an eyebrow. "I'm honestly surprised they haven't figured it out already. I mean, the second I first saw you I knew you were in drag."
Duke was shocked to his core. Cody... was a girl? He must've let out some sound because all three of them turned to look at him and went pale immediately.
"D-Duke?" Cody stuttered, eyes wide in horror.
He somehow managed to get enough control of himself to storm in there and glare furiously at him, her, him, her? "You're a girl?"
Cody hurried forwards and wrapped her hands over his mouth. "Don't say that so loudly!"
Duke glared down at her.
Tess and Dinah shared looks before they hurried out of the alleyway to give the two privacy.
"I'm going to take my hand from your mouth and I need you to listen to me, okay?" Cody stared up at him pleadingly. "I have a good excuse for what I'm doing, I swear."
Duke highly doubted that, but he nodded nonethless.
Pulling his hands away, Cody took in a stuttered breath. "My name is Chloe Sullivan, and I'm basically in the witness protection program."
Duke's eyes widened. Okay. Maybe Cody-Chloe-could say something on his-her-behalf.
"My guardian had me enroll in this school under a guy's name so that I could be relatively safe until the trial comes up." Cody worried his bottom lip. Chloe worried her bottom lip. Damn. This was mindscrewy. "The guy I'm hiding from has already compromised two of my supposedly 'safe' houses."
Duke frowned at that. "He's tried killing you?"
"Not surprising, really. I mean, I'm testifying to the fact that he murdered his parents." She then paused and her eyes widened. "I shouldn't have told you that!"
Duke gulped. Damn. This was... this was bad.
"I know that I don't have the right to ask you anything, but please, Duke, don't tell anyone." She moved closer and grabbed his shirt, her pretty green eyes staring up pleadingly into his and causing his mouth to go dry. "I don't want to leave, I feel safe and happy here, and I'll have to leave if my guardian realizes that my identity has been compromised." She leaned in closer. "Please."
Duke couldn't speak because it suddenly hit him: She Was A Girl.
He almost laughed in relief.
She was a girl!
It meant that all this time, he hadn't been attracted to a boy-he'd been attracted to a girl!
He managed an awkward grin as he nodded. "S-sure. But you have to tell me everything when we're back in our room."
Their room. The room they shared. With one another. Him being a boy and she being a girl.
Oh dear god what was he doing?
Chloe's eyes sparkled and she threw herself onto him with a cry. "Thank you! Thank you! You won't regret it! I swear! I'll be an even better roommate than before!"
As Duke's arms went around her he gulped loudly and realized that he had just invited all sorts of madness upon himself.