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 shucked his hands in his jacket pockets and stared around the faire put on by the debutant committe to raise funds for the debutant gala. He only knew about this because of Sebastian moping and complaining about his mother getting on his case about it every year. Duke really didn't care for things like this, and thankfully neither did his parents, and the only reason he was here was because Chloe was here. He'd gotten some amusement out of the fact that the stall she and Sebastian were working was actually one of those ones where you sat over a huge container of water and people had to throw things to try and dunk you. Sebastian was the dunkee, while Chloe's role was to find people who would want to dunk him. She'd taken to that role with devilish delight, yelling out all sorts of "terrible crimes" Sebastian had supposedly comitted and why he deserved to be "punished". The musician denied each and every one of the accusations thrown his way, and their whole interaction not only amused the crowd, but brought in some customers as well.
Toby and Eunice were working together under the "MADAM EUNICE THE MYSTICAL" banner, Eunice reading fortunes and making the people Toby brought to her all cry. She especially had that effect on the little kids. Toby, for his part, seemed to be enjoying their reactions completely and it made him search out for more and more victims... er... clients.
That was how Duke was somehow roped into seeing "MADAM EUNICE THE MYSTICAL" despite the fact that he struggled the whole way to the tent and the only reason he sat down was because Toby physically forced him to.
"Vat do you vant to know from Madam Eunice?" Eunice's fake accent somehow failed to sound comical (as most fake accents did) and just creeped Duke out.
"I, uh," Duke was ready to bolt, but one look at Toby made him clear his throat. "I'm, uh, I'm here to see my future." He licked his lips and decided to just play along for his friend's sake. "Tell me about my love-life."
Eunice stared down at her crystal ball as she moved her hands over it. "You're in love vith someone who returns your affections."
Despite the fact that he did not believe in this sort of stuff, Duke still grinned and leaned forwards. "Really?"
"Madam Eunice the Mystical speaks only ze truth!" Eunice declared with dramatic flair before she returned her attention to the crystal ball, a small frown on her face. "Zhere's going to be obstacles in the vay of your happiness together." She looked a little confused. "You should avoid going to the zoo."
Duke blinked, very confused. "The zoo?"
"Or Africa, are you planning on going to Africa?" Eunice looked up at him expectantly as her accent slipped slightly.
Duke shook his head, surprised he had to answer that.
Eunice pouted, as if she'd truly thought he had tickets to go there. "It could be a symbol of somezing else, I suppose." She raised an eyebrow. "Zhere is somezing or someone who vill stand in the way of your true happiness vith ze one you love. Zhis obstacle is regal, strong, and deadly." She stared up at Duke, expression disturbed as her accent slipped completely. "You need to beware, Duke Orsino."
Duke gulped, decidedly chilled by her warning as he nodded and made his way towards the tent's opening. He stopped at the flap and turned to face Eunice, not exactly sure what made him ask this: "What exactly did you see? What was the symbol used to represent the obstacle?"
Eunice stared up at him before she said two words: "A lion."
Confusion mixed with his wariness and Duke nodded as he exited the flap. He had only taken two steps when it hit him.
His eyes widened and he turned to face the tent in utter horror.
"He made his mother cry!" Chloe yelled into the crowds.
"I did not!" Sebastian cried.
"He kicked a puppy that was lost on the side of the road!" She continued to yell.
"I did not!" Sebastian looked around.
"He tells girls that yes, their butts do look fat in their jeans!"
That caused a couple of heads to turn viciously.
Sebastian curled into himself, visibly terrified. "I have never..."
"It's true!" Viola Hastings declared as she emerged from the crowd, crocodile tears in her eyes. "He told that to me!"
"The nerve!" A group of girls hissed.
"Viola!" Sebastian hissed at his sister.
"He told me I needed to lose weight!" One of the girls Viola had been at the night club with cried out just as dramatically from the crowd.
"And he told me that a girl is only as good as she looks!" Yet another of Viola's friends cried out.
The rage in the girls around was palpable as they lined up to dunk Sebastian, who merely looked at them with utter terror.
Chloe grinned as she pocketed the money and then slipped aside to grin at Viola. "You are evil."
"I know, it's one of my best attributes." Not at all repentant, Viola giggled when her brother was dunked and yelled as he fell into the water to the cheer of the women around him. "But he doesn't have to work at the kissing booth, so I need to make sure he suffers sufficiently." She anchored her hands to her hips. "So, I was going to hook you up with Paul, but from what I've been hearing you're with Orsino." She pouted. "I keep looking for a good guy for Paul but all the really cute ones are taken."
Chloe's eyes widened. "Wait, what? I have a girlfriend!"
Viola snorted. "Please. I can spot fake flirting when I see it. You shouldn't have to hide who you truly are, we're not in the Middle Ages anymore!" She raised an eyebrow. "I'm just surprised that Duke Orsino is gay." She then shook her head, apparently not really caring. "But if you and Duke break up, let me know, I have a nice guy who I can hook you up with."
Chloe had no idea what to say to that, so she just smiled weakly.
Viola patted her shoulder. "Seriously. People are more accepting now. You'd be surprised." And with an encouraging smile, Viola left.
Chloe sighed and ran a hand over her face as Sebastian cried and was once more dunked to the elated cheers of the women around him.
Duke had waited for Chloe to be on break to grab and pull her behind the bathrooms, where they could have a little bit of privacy. He didn't want to be affected by Eunice's prediction, but to be truthful he was shaken by it. He knew that despite any warning he could get there really wasn't anything he could do against a man like Lionel Luthor, especially since he doubted that the man would ever get his own hands dirty. Nah. Lionel would have other people going after Chloe, and unless someone took care of Lionel himself they could get rid of a million assassins and yet Chloe would never be safe.
Chloe whimpered as he pressed her into the wall, her hands gripping at his shoulders and her body arched into his as she returned his kiss with just as much fervor as he . She only pulled away to suck in a deep gulp of oxygen before Duke's lips found hers again and she giggled as she pulled him closer.
He wasn't surprised that he wanted her, dressed as a boy or not Chloe was gorgeous, but it surprised him just how much he needed her. She'd become such an integral part of his life. Not only was she his roommate, but she now helped with his soccer and homework and was there to listen to him and tease him and... He couldn't remember how life had been before her.
And the thought of losing her, of someone hurting her, drove him insane.
"Whoa, whoa, calm down cowboy." Chloe let out a soft chuckle as she pulled away, her hands on his face. "Not that I don't appreciate the surprise kisses, but what if someone sees us?" She raised an amused eyebrow at him. "Try convincing anyone you're not gay then."
How he was right now, Duke really didn't care about that. He merely kissed her again, and she giggled into the kiss as she pulled him closer and returned it.
He was in love with her. He realized it fully at that moment and the realization had him kissing her harder, more desperate.
"Duke, your mom-!" There was a squeak.
Duke groaned as he closed his eyes.
Chloe batted at him and then pushed him away as they both turned to see a very frozen Malcolm Festes next to a face-palming Andrew Aguecheek.
Malcolm opened his mouth and closed it, repeatedly, quite pale and obviously in shock. His wide gaze went from Duke to Chloe before he turned and raced away.
"Malcolm!" Chloe cried out as she raced after him.
Duke frowned and went to follow when Andrew grabbed his arm. He groaned and turned to his friend. "I know. I know. It wasn't smart of me." He turned to Andrew. "I can't-I love her."
Andrew stared at him with a grim expression. "Your parents are here and they're looking for you."
Duke's eyes widened in horror. "My dad."
"He could recognize Chloe." Andrew nodded in agreement. "It's why I came to look for you and then Malcolm saw me and decided to tag along."
Duke ran his hand down his face. "Do you know where they are? I need-I need to keep them busy, distracted."
"I'll take you to them, and then I'll find Chloe and warn her," Andrew offered.
Duke sighed. "Thanks."
"Seriously, though," Andrew mumbled to himself as he began to lead Duke away. "How did you guys manage to keep the secret this long before I was here to help?"
"Malcolm, you have to talk to me." Chloe leaned her back against the door of the bathroom stall that Malcolm had locked himself inside of. "You can't stay in there forever, and I'm not moving until you open the door and come out."
"I thought we were bros!" Malcolm yelled accusingly on the other side of the door.
She stared up at the ceiling. "We are bros, Malcolm."
"No we're not!" He snapped. "Bros tell bros about their hoes! Or, uh, about their, bros?" Malcolm's anger dissipated into confusion as he obviously tried to figure out what the coloquial term would be. "Brethren? Bro-hoes? Boytoys?"
Her lips tugged in amusement. "You're my bro, Malcolm."
"Then why didn't you tell me that you're, you know, homosexual?" Malcolm cleared his throat. "I know I'm seen as if I have a stick up my you-know-what, but I'm accepting. I mean, I'm your bro and you were born that way. Lady Gaga says so."
She grinned brightly and fought the urge to giggle. "You're a great bro, Malcolm."
There was a pause, and then: "I am?"
"Yeah, you are." She sighed. "I have been keeping a lot of secrets, from everyone, so please don't take it personal. It doesn't mean that I don't trust you." It was only because she heard the door unlock that she pushed away and didn't fall through when Malcolm opened the door to the bathroom stall. She gave him a small smile. "Hey."
Malcolm eyed her curiously as he clung to the bathroom stall door. "What secrets?" His eyes narrowed. "Are you in trouble?"
She shouldn't be doing this, but she was Malcolm's only real friend, and she felt that she could trust him. The girl in boy's clothing raised a finger for him to wait before she went to each bathroom stall and made sure it was empty before she returned to an intrigued looking Malcolm. "What I'm about to tell you is a secret that only a very few know. And none of them know because I told them, Malcolm. You're the only one I've trusted enough to come out and tell."
Malcolm's eyes widened. "Really?"
She nodded. "It's going to sound lucidrous at first and you mightn't believe me, but I swear, Mal, that it's the truth. And I need you to keep it a secret for me or I could be killed."
He collapsed on top of the closed toilet seat, took in a deep breath, and turned his gaze up to her. "I am ready."
Chloe bent to her knees, took his hands, and spoke in a very soft voice that caused him to lean forwards to hear better. She told him everything, and hoped to god that Malcolm would believe her and not tell anyone. She had to trust him because, to her own surprise, he really had become her "bro".
When she was finished, Malcolm merely stared at her before he narrowed his eyes. "How do I know that that's true and that you're not making up a very extravagant story?"
She merely lifted the hem of her shirt until it revealed the bottom half of the bind around her breasts. It wasn't anything indecent, but it proved its point.
Malcolm went bright red and covered his eyes despite the fact that he'd basically only seen a glimpse of her stomach. "You're a-a-you're-!" He shook his head. "This is a lot to take in."
Chloe nodded in agreement. "I'm sorry for the deception."
Malcolm took in a deep breath and removed his hands from his face as he eyed her. "I am not happy that I was lied to, but you chose to tell me the truth even though it would put you in more danger, and that shows that despite everything, you're still my bro." He cleared his throat. "We're still bros."
Chloe smiled up and hugged him tightly. "Thank you Malcolm." She pressed a kiss to his cheek.
"Bros don't kiss bros!" Malcolm squeaked but patted her back awkwardly anyway.
She pulled away and looked up at him with a grin.
He cleared his throat, shook his head, and then managed an embarrassed smile back down at her.
Sebastian searched for Cody, eyes narrowed in fury. Those women had risen up against him and while the debutant committee had earned a lot of money from his misery he was sure he'd get a cold from how many times he'd been dunked. There was going to be revenge, especially since, after getting the money from the long line of people (some of the girls had enlisted the help of their boyfriends) Cody had buggered off. This was why Sebastian was on a mission of revenge. He was going to find that boy and dunk him in the closest body of water he could find.
Up ahead Cody could be seen chatting and laughing with Malcolm and Andrew, the boys each at Cody's side, and Andrew was laughing at Malcolm, who was redfaced and sputtering.
Sebastian moved to go to them when he stopped and realized he wasn't the only one watching the trio. There was an older guy in the crowd, and his gaze was rested solely on them. On Cody. Something about this guy made Sebastian shiver and he took a step back.
"Sebastian!" Viola yelled for him through the crowd. "Come here a second!"
Giving the man one last look, Sebastian told himself to stop being paranoid, and hurried through the crowd towards his sister.
Duke looked around him, trying not to let his parents realize just how distracted he was. He kept an eye out for Chloe, his stomach in knots as he tried to come up with a plan of how to keep his girlfriend a secret from his parents. A part of him resented having to stay away like this, but another was happy that his parents were unlike those of most of his friends, and that they always made sure to make time to spend with him.
"Oh look, it's Olivia!" His mother smiled. "She looks so lovely, doesn't she honey?"
His father nodded. "Of course dear."
Duke wondered for a moment why they felt the need to say that, and then he remembered that they still thought he liked Olivia. Oh great.
Olivia, for the first time ever, saw him and grinned as she hurried through the crowd.
"She's coming here!" His mother cried out. "Fix your hair honey, and your clothes!"
He fought the urge to cringe. "Mom."
Thankfully Olivia arrived then and cut into his mother's answer. "Mrs and Mr Orsino, it's lovely to see you again."
"You too, Olivia my dear." His mother grinned. "You look beautiful today, doens't she, Duke?"
He wanted to die of embarrassment. "Yeah."
"Thanks." Olivia cleared her throat and turned to Duke. "Have you seen Cody?"
"Cody?" His father asked curiously. "Who is that?"
The knot of nerves in Duke's stomach grew worse. "It's no-."
"He's Duke's best friend," Olivia supplied them with an answer, her expression proving she was shocked they didn't know.
His mother and father shared looks before they turned to him, and his mother asked: "Why haven't we heard anything about this Cody before?"
Duke turned to Olivia, a little desperate. "I haven't seen him."
"Oh." Olivia sighed. "Well, I know he's here so I'll keep checking. It was nice to see you again, Mr and Mrs Orsino." And with that she was gone.
"Best friend?" His mother prompted.
His father eyed him silently.
"Uh..." Duke cleared his throat.
His mother smiled. "We should meet him. Today." It wasn't a question, it was an order.
Duke lowered his head, his nausea growing.
"Mr Luthor?" Tess frowned as she receieved the phone call. "Why are you-?" Her eyes widened. "What?" Her breath caught in her throat. "I'm not with her right now but I know someone who is. They're at the debutant faire." She quickly gave him the address and then hung up and tried Chloe's number despite the fact that Mr Luthor had just said the girl wasn't answering. She then tried a number Mr Luthor didn't know, and when Duke Orsino answered she didn't give him a chance to even say hello. "He knows where she is, Duke. Get her out of there. Now!"
Duke Orsino hung up without ever having uttered a word.
Tess was already out of the bookstore and hurrying towards her motorcycle.
Duke dropped his phone and raced away through the crowd. "CHLOE!" He yelled at the top of his voice. "CHLOE!" He didn't notice his parents hurrying behind him, he didn't notice the looks he was getting from the other people at the faire. All he knew was the terror that filled him at the realization that Lionel Luthor knew where she was. "CHLOE!"
"It's going to be alright," Chloe whispered to Olivia as they sat on the floor in the back of the van, two men with guns pointing the weapons threateningly at them as the vehicle moved.
"We're worth ransom," Malcolm declared to them. "Our parents are all very rich."
"I don't think it's ransom that they want," Andrew whispered.
"I know that," Malcolm whispered back. "But if we can tempt them somehow..."
"Quiet." One of the men growled.
"Just let them go," Chloe pleaded. "Just take me and let them go. They don't know you or who you work for."
"Cody?" A teary Olivia whispered.
"We're taking you all. Don't have time for them to run to the cops." The same man growled. "So just keep your traps shut if you want to make it there in one piece."
Olivia whimpered and hid her face in Chloe's arm.
The blonde wrapped the crying girl in her embrace and sent Andrew and Malcolm looks over her shoulder. She was going to get them out of this. There was no way that her friends were going to die with her.
She closed her eyes tightly and wished that she had given Duke one last kiss before she'd run off after Malcolm.