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.
"You're being ridiculous." Cod-Chloe rolled her eyes at him as she sat in bed.
"How is me trying to respect your, uh, femininity, ridiculous?" He wanted to know, terribly self-conscience and knowing it showed despite his best efforts.
"Look, Duke." She scooted closer and the neck of her shirt fell to reveal the curve of her shoulder in a distracting way. "Just because you know that I'm a girl doesn't mean things have to change. I'm still your friend, I'm still the same person you've been sharing the room with all this time, and I've seen you in various states of undress. Believe me, I've gotten used to it. So this thing you've got going on here is ridiculous." She pointed to him as he sat with a sweater, sweat pants, and even socks on. "Don't even tell me that you're "cold" because every night you sleep in boxers. That's it."
He went scarlet as he realized that that was true. He did sleep in his boxers. And he usually walked around with only shorts on.
Oh dear god. This girl had seen him in the most unflattering of ways-he'd even farted in front of her for crissakes!
Chloe raised an eyebrow at him. "Take off your clothes."
Duke squeaked, eyes wide. "W-what-?"
"If you don't take off your clothes, I'll take them off for you!" Her voice was menacing.
The thought of her yanking off his clothes made him hard and he rapidly yanked off his shirt and socks yet kept the pants on. He also grabbed a pillow and positioned it strategically over his crotch area.
Chloe eyed him suspiciously but seemed happy enough with what he'd taken off. "Good. You need to relax around me, Duke. Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean we aren't pals, because we are. And you know what? I think it's great that you know that I'm a girl now."
He cleared his throat. "W-why?"
"Because now we can have our training sessions and they'll be even more effective because you'll know that you're talking to a girl." She was apparently quite pleased with herself. "I'll have you and Olivia together sooner than you can snap your fingers and say Dulivia."
"Dulivia?" Duke blinked in confusion.
"It was between that and Oluke..." She shrugged and acted as if she weren't speaking in an alien dialect. "For Eunice and Toby I'm between Tunice and Eby... I like Eby though, it's cute." She grinned brightly. "Then, of course, there's Andria and Malia, depending on which one Maria ends up liking." She made a face. "I'm thinking it'll end up Andria and I'll have to find someone else for Malcolm." She then snickered. "And me and Dinah are China, while me and Tess are Chess. I've definitely got the best ship names."
Duke opened his mouth, closed it, and opened it once more. "I, uh, so... Are you lesbian?"
She stared at him for a second and then snickered. "No. I'm not."
He cleared his throat. "So, uh, the kiss Dinah gave you..."
"It was all for show." She rolled her eyes. "Unfortunately for you, I'm not into girls. You'll have to get your lesbian fix with someone else."
Nope. Not unfortunately for him. Not at all.
She stretched and threw herself on the bed. "Well, roomie, I'm going to sleep now." She reached over and turned off the light by her side of the bed. "Night night."
Duke turned off the light by his bed and yanked off his pants rapidly (it was WAY too hot to sleep with them on) before he hurriedly got under the sheets. He didn't sleep a wink that night.
Chloe knew that finding out the truth would be hard for Duke, but she tried her best to act as if nothing was going on or different because he was visibly having a hard time of it. He was self-conscious and stuttery and he'd started acting protective, which sure, was nice, but she knew it looked weird to everyone else because they couldn't understand the reason behind it. To be truthful, despite that, Chloe was relieved that her roommate now knew the truth and that he was being there for her in her time of need. It only strengthened her resolve to get him and Olivia together because he deserved to be with the girl he'd liked for so long.
"Malcolm's a player, man!" Toby complained at lunch with a glare at where Malcolm and Eunice were seated next to each other and talking excitedly with a flyer to some sort of spider convention held up between them. "I thought he was after Duke's girl! He needs to go back to stalking her and to leave my Eunice alone!"
Chloe bit her bottom lip and stared at the two people she hadn't thought would truly bond the way they had over that dinner. "Toby, Malcolm's found a common interest with her. You're going to have to do the same if you want to compete."
"But I don't like bugs!" Toby whined.
She could understand him completely. "What about something else then? You talked with her that night, did she tell you about any thing she liked to do? Anything that sparked her interest?"
Toby gave a half-shrug. "Other than talk about spiders all night she mentioned something about playing a gypsy at the upcomming festival they hold annually to help raise funds for the debutant ball."
Chloe's eyes widened. "That's it!"
"What is it?" Toby blinked.
"You need to do that with her!" Chloe was excited at this. "That way the two of you can spend time together without Malcolm in the mixture!"
"But I make fun of the guys who participate in that!" His voice was still a whine.
"Fine." Chloe folded her arms over her chest. "But don't come crying to me when they end up getting married and raising a spider farm together."
Toby squared his shoulders, shot to his feet, and stormed towards where Eunice and Malcolm were.
Chloe grinned and then turned to Andrew. "You. Go distract Malcolm."
"What?" Andrew's eyes widened. "Why do I have to-?"
"Because he'll probably want to volunteer as well and will mess things up." Chloe raised an eyebrow. "You need to help your best friend. So go. Now."
Andrew flinched. "I don't have to hold anymore spiders, do I?"
"Do you see Malvolio around?" Chloe glared at him. "Get going!"
Andrew, head lowered in defeat, moved towards the table as if to his own execution.
Duke watched this whole thing with a raised eyebrow. "You're bossy."
She turned her gaze on him and smirked. "It's one of my finer attributes."
Duke refused to answer that.
Her greens swept the room and found Maria and Olivia talking. "We should go and say hi to them. I'll talk to Maria and let you and Olivia have some moments to yourselves."
She turned to look at him at that. "Why not? You two seemed to finally click the other night! You were forming complete sentences and everything!"
"Just, uh, no." Duke shook his head.
She raised an eyebrow. "You can't keep doing this, Duke. You need to strike while the iron's hot!" She then cleared her throat. "Plus, it looks like you don't have a choice. They're coming over here."
"Wait, what?" He sat up straighter.
She smirked at him and then turned to greet the girls. "Hey pretty ladies! What brings you to the neanderthal table?"
Olivia laughed and Maria rolled her eyes, even though it was obvious she was amused as well.
At Chloe's glare Duke sank a little deeper into his seat and let out an awkward: "Hey."
"Hey Duke." Olivia turned to Chloe. "So, Cody..." She leaned her hip against the table. "You're looking chirpy today considering that the news of your breakup has hit the school."
Chloe raised an eyebrow, not having expected that her 'break up' would be a thing the school would be that interested in. Then again, Dinah was seriously hot, even as a straight girl Chloe could appreciate her beauty, so she figured that hot girls always got a lot of attention. "Yeah, well, it was amicable. Her parents are moving away and we figured it was better to do this and not let it get weird with distance."
"I'm surprised to hear that after hearing her talk at our group outing." Olivia twirled her finger through her blonde hair. "She sounded like the type who wouldn't let you go, even in death."
Now that the other girls had opened her eyes to things, Chloe could notice Olivia's flirtations, and she felt somewhat embarrassed and uncomfortable for the girl's sake. "Nah, she's great." She turned to Maria. "You're wearing red again! Nice! I know I've told you this before but it is totally your color."
Maria blushed slightly and picked at her shirt. "Oh, uh, this? It was the first thing I grabbed from my closet."
Chloe smiled at her and kicked Duke's foot under the table.
He jolted up with a grunt and caused everyone to look at him. He blushed and cleared his throat. "Cody's going out with Tess now."
The smile froze on Olivia's face before it returned, forced. "Oh."
Maria frowned slightly as well. "Doesn't your ex mind that you're going out with her 'bestie'?"
"Nah, man, she told them that they should get together while she was gone." Duke leaned forwards, apparently warming up to this story. "I was there when she said it."
A muscle ticked in Olivia's cheek. "That's very... modern... of her."
Duke nodded and reached out to sling an arm around Chloe's shoulders. "This boy's lucky, man."
"Yeah, totally." Chloe raised an eyebrow at Duke and wondered what he was going on about, and then she realized that he must've figured out Olivia's attraction to the boy her, and was doing his best to make Olivia lose interest. Smart guy. She smiled up at the girls. "We're going slow for right now, but it's basically a sealed deal."
Olivia faltered for a second before she smiled brightly. "That's great." She leaned closer. "Why don't you invite her to come along to the party we're going to have? You're all invited. It's why we came over."
"Party?" Chloe perked at the word, not because she liked parties much, but because it was a perfect excuse to get Duke and Olivia closer. "Sounds great, where is it?"
"My house." Olivia grinned. "So you'll come?"
"Definitely!" Chloe nodded.
"Great! I'll text you the address later." Olivia smiled somewhat cunningly. "See you boys later."
"Bye Cody, Duke." Maria gave a little wave.
Chloe waved back at them and then turned to grin at Duke. "Dude, we are soooo going to get you with that girl!"
Duke stared at her before he cleared his throat and removed his arm rapidly. "Yeah, uh, totally."
"You're such a dork," Chloe teased and ran her fingers over his hair before the sight of Andrew and Malcolm leaving the table while talking rapidly about something caught her eye. "I wonder what those two are doing." She got up and raced towards the guys, flinging her arms around the taller dudes as she joined them. "Where's the party and why wasn't I invited?"
"Bro!" Malcolm grinned at him. "Can you believe Andrew likes broadway musicals too?"
"Really?" Chloe asked in surprise.
Andrew gave an embarrassed shrug. "My grandmother used to take me to see them when I was a kid."
"I've got the soundtracks to some of the best shows out there." Malcolm pounded his chest, visibly proud. "I'll hook him up."
Chloe grinned at Malcolm. "Cool." She let her hands falls from their shoulders. "Go get your broadway on with my blessing."
The two grinned and waved at her before they started off.
Chloe watched them go and her smile grew. Looks like Malcolm was slowly making more friends. This whole day rocked.
"You're sucking more than usual." Of course, Chloe always told him things with a bluntness that was cutting, but that was something that Duke liked about her. He didn't have to stress out wondering what she was thinking or what she felt (like he had to do with every other girl he'd ever come into contact with) she told him things straight out and he appreciated it immensely. If she was happy with him, he knew what to do to keep her happy, if she was pissed off or annoyed with him, he knew what he was doing that made her feel that way and thus learnt to not do them again. All in all, all the things that'd made her a great roommate made her an amazing, uh, girl. Yeah.
"How am I sucking more than usual?" Duke wanted to know. "I'm talking with you, aren't I?"
"Yeah, but you keep looking at my chest area and not my face." She raised an eyebrow. "Considering I have my boobs bound so that they're flat against my chest, I can only imagine what you do when you actually talk with a girl with a low cut shirt and boobs perked at attention."
He flushed and hated his body for betraying him and his deepest wonderings. "So they're taped down?"
She raised an eyebrow at him. "Is that why you've been eyeing my chest all this time? You're trying to figure out if I'm really this flat?" She then snorted in laughter and covered her face. "You're such a guy!"
He flushed darkly and glared at his bedsheet. "I'm not a pervert or anything, I just, well, that can't be healthy, right?"
She was still laughing as she looked up at him. "Probably not, but it's what I have to do to pretend to be a boy. My hips are enough of a problem to hide but I get away by wearing wide pants and jackets that reach my hips." She sat up. "It's all about layers."
He couldn't believe he was having this conversation with her.
Getting up, Chloe went to their bedroom door and locked it before she reached behind her under the shirt and flinched slightly before she unhooked something and yanked down a long cloth-obviously what she'd been using her bind her breasts. "Oh, that feels good." She seemed to not realize how inappropriate this might be and Duke gulped as he watched her yank out the last bit of material and threw it on the bed, the slope of her breasts now visible under the t-shirt. "I figure, if it's going to be a distraction for you, might as well be comfortable." Chloe hopped back onto her bed and smiled up at him, not seeming to realize that this was a far worse distraction than him wondering if she was truly that flat. "Where were we?"
He looked up from her chest and gulped. "My mind has blanked."
She sighed as she got more comfortable. "You've got to do better than this, Orsino. The party's tonight and you're going to have to talk to Olivia and get her to see how awesome and hot you are-make her look pass your inability to talk to any woman other than me." She moved closer to the edge of her bed. "I'm going to make you an even greater stud than you already are. People will whisper in the halls about your mighty prowress."
Despite his nerves, Duke snorted at her enthusiasm. "My prowress?"
"T'will be mighty once I am through with you." She waggled her eyebrows. "Cassanova will ask to take notes."
This time he full-on laughed. "I'm sure he will."
"Don't doubt my ability to make a man a woman-magnet!" She cried out in mock outrage as she catapulted off of the bed and pressed her hand to her (now) bountiful chest. "I'll have you reciting sonnets and terribly sappy poetry in no time!"
He continued to laugh at the very thought of him standing with a rose between his lips and reciting Lord Byron or something.
Chloe's pretty green eyes twinkled as she laughed as well, and Duke figured that this was one of the reasons why he could feel so comfortable with her (most of the time) despite the fact that she was a girl. She had no problem being utterly ridiculous, in fact, he thought that sometimes she did it on purpose just to put him more at ease.
He shook his head as he continued to laugh. "How did you get this good?"
"At what, exactly?" She tilted her head. "I'm good at many things."
He chuckled harder. "At speaking to guys."
"Oh!" She collapsed back onto the bed. "Easy. My best friends are both guys. Always have been. For most of my life Clark and Pete were my best friends, and even after Pete moved away we've kept in communication through emails and skype calls." She sighed, her amusement melting. "Clark is the most important person in my life and I adore him. I know I'm lucky to have him." She tilted her head and seemed deep in thought. "I just hope that he knows that."
All laughter and amusement disappeared from Duke as he watched the wistful expression on her face. Was she-was she in love with this Clark guy?
Shaking her head, Chloe cleared her throat as she sat up once more. "Okay. We've gotten distracted. Where were we?"
He really wanted to ask her more about Clark, but a part of him was worried about what her answers might be, and he wasn't ready to face what exactly his worry meant. "You told me, and I quote: Are you related to Yoda? Because Yodalicious." His lips twitched in amusement as he recalled the horrible pick up line.
"Believe it or not, I've been on the receiving end of that pick up line in real life." Chloe's smile was back in full-force as she moved closer.
"No!" Duke's eyes widened.
"Oh, yes, I have!" Chloe nodded enthusiastically. "It's one of my top five worse pick up lines ever receieved."
He blinked. "I'm also afraid to ask."
"Number five: the Yoda pickup line. Number four: Baby, I put the STD in "STUD" all I need is U." She began counting them off on her fingers. "Number three: Girl, you're like an itchy rash. You're hot and make me uncomfortable."
"You're not serious!" Duke nearly choked in laughter as he held on tightly to his stomach.
"I wish I were joking, but sadly, I'm not." Her voice wobbled with her attempt to not laugh. "Number two: The CIA is trying to steal my penis... I need to find a place to hide it." She took in a deep breath. "And Number one: Do you live in a corn field? 'Cause I'm stalking you." She shook her head. "Thing was, I found out he really was stalking me."
Duke shook his head. "Damn. Those are so terrible pick up lines." He then paused as he realized what she'd said. "Wait, he stalked you? For real?"
"I'm sorry to say that stalking is common in my hometown." She raised an eyebrow and shook her head. "It starts being weird when someone doesn't want to stalk and/or kill you."
His eyes widened. "Remind me never to visit you."
She snickered at him before she straightened. "We've gotten off course... Again!" She threw her pillow at him. "Stop distracting me!"
"Yes ma'am!" Duke gave her his most innocent look, but if the glare she was giving him was anything to go by, she wasn't convinced.
Shaking her head, Chloe moved over to his bed and smiled coquetishly at him.
Duke licked his lips in a sudden case of nerves. "Hey."
"Hey." She ran her hand down his arm as she leaned forwards and gazed up at him through her eyelashes in that way that he hated because it made him sweat and tense and desperate to... do... non-friendlike things... to her. "So, how are you doing?"
Okay, she was going easy on him. Good. "Fine. How are you?"
"Fine." She sat up Indian Style, green eyes fixed on him. "What was the best part of your day?"
The answer was instantaneous. "Your bad pick up lines."
She snorted and slapped his arm. "I'm being serious!"
"So am I!" He couldn't keep the snicker controlled. "They were terrible!"
She smiled and shook her head as her eyes twinkled in amusement. "You're terrible."
"Nope, I'm honest." He found himself leaning closer to her with a cheeky grin.
Chloe's gaze lowered to his lips and then rose back to his face. "Tha-that's good." She cleared her throat and looked away. "That was a real subtle movement that wasn't threatening in the least bit and made me want to encourage you to continue violating my personal space." She licked her lips. "You're on the right track, Orsino."
"Right." Duke nodded because, yeah, this was supposed to be training. He wasn't supposed to forget that. Chloe was being an amazing friend and helping him get more comfortable with the female species. That was all. The flirtations weren't real. He realized that that bothered him more than he thought it would, and that realization bothered him further. "I have a great teacher."
She grinned back at him, apparently oblivious to his inner conflict. "Yes, you do."
He cleared his throat and traced the patterns on his sheet with his forefinger. "Can I ask you something personal?"
"I don't know, I should maintain some mystery or you won't ask me out for a second date," she quipped before she tilted her head to the side curiously, cutely. "What's up?"
He really didn't think he should ask this question, he knew it was wrong, he knew he was taking advantage… but he couldn't stop himself from forming the words. "Have you ever been attracted to me?" At her wide-eyed stare he hurried to try and save his ass, and their friendship. "Because, well, you're a girl, and you know me better than anyone. So if you don't think I'm attractive I don't think I have any hope whatsoever."
Chloe was silent as she stared at him, and then she shook her head and chuckled softly. "Of course I find you attractive, Duke. Even though you farted in front of me that one time."
He flushed darkly at that horrible memory.
She reached out and placed her hand on his arm and leaned in close, her voice soft and her eyes earnest. "You're an amazing guy, Duke Orsino, and I'm not going to rest until Olivia Lennox sees the guy I do and falls madly in love with you."
Somehow, despite the fact that he was touched at the sincerity in her answer, it didn't make him feel better.