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.
Sebastian Hastings kept four cars down and tried once more to call Duke, but the guy wasn't answering his phone. He kept an eye on the van in front of him and slowed down to a stop before he ease behind some parked cars in time to see the van in front of him pull to a stop. He hadn't known why he'd gone back to look for Cody, but something had made him feel the urgent need to get to the kid, and that was when he'd seen two burly guys pushing Cody, Olivia, Andrew and Malcolm into the back of a van which had no license plate. He probably should've gone for help but he'd known that if he did they'd lose the van, so instead he'd rushed to his own car and followed.
Hidden behind the other parked cars, Sebastian lowered himself in his seat so that he wasn't visible. He then pressed the videocamera option on his phone and filmed as two other armed men came around to the back of the van and opened it to reveal the four teenagers and two armed men within. The teenagers were shuffled out of the back and then marched into the warehouse.
Sebastian quickly dialed Duke's number one more time, hoping against hope that the idiot would answer this time.
Duke didn't answer, but someone else did. It was a woman. "Duke's phone."
Sebastian frowned, wondering why the hell Duke was with a girl now. He didn't understand the relationship Duke had with Cody, but considering he'd seen those two making out behind the bathrooms not twenty minutes ago Sebastian was a bit pissed off at Duke for apparently being a player. "Listen, I don't know who you are or why you have Duke's phone, but let him know that his boyfriend is in deep trouble. There's guys with guns who've kidnapped Cody and taken him, along with Olivia Hastings, Malcolm Festes, and Andrew Aguecheek to a warehouse-."
"Oh dear," she whispered. "His boyfriend? Duke-?"
"He's gay." Sebastian didn't care about bursting the chick's bubble, not right now. "That's not the issue right now. Call the police." He typed in some commands. "I'm sending video to Duke's phone right now of the assailants and the hostages. You need to get this to the police and-."
"Honey." The woman hissed. "Our son is gay."
Sebastian suddenly froze, eyes wide as he realized who it was that he was talking to. "Oh crap." He then shook his head, hung up, and called someone else.
"I can't find her anywhere." Duke didn't know what sort of luck he'd had to come across Tess, who was searching for Chloe as well, but the two of them had found each other and hurried towards the other. "I can't-if something's happened-I'll never forgive myself for-."
"Duke, this isn't the time to break down now!" Tess looked around her. "Mr Luthor is on the way. If anything-."
"Is everything okay?"
They turned to see Toby and Eunice there, the two obviously on a break from the gypsy tent.
"No." Duke shook his head. "Chloe's in trouble."
Tess sent him a look.
Toby's eyes narrowed. "Who is Chloe?"
Eunice eyed Duke. "I think he means Cody."
"Huh?" Toby looked at her in confusion.
"Orsino!" An unfamiliar voice yelled as a pretty brunette hurried towards them. "You're Duke Orsino, right?"
He nodded, not sure who this was. "Yes. But this isn't-."
"Cody's in trouble!" The girl gasped and held up her phone. "He's been kidnapped! Along with some of your other friends! My brother, Sebastian, has followed them and knows where the guys are that took them!" She played a video footage on her phone of Chloe, Olivia, Andrew and Malcolm being escorted by armed thugs into a warehouse. "He's texted me the address and he's staying there to keep an eye on the place in case they're moved again, but it's not safe for him, and-!"
Duke took the phone and watched as one of the thugs poked Chloe in the back with his gun to make her go faster. "Toby. Take her to my father. I'm going to go after Chloe."
"You're not going alone." Tess looked up from where she was dialing numbers into her phone, the device pressed to her ear. "Mr Luthor? The situation has changed. She's been taken. Here's the address." She spouted off the address when Viola Hastings brought up the text her brother had sent her. "Sir, with all due respect, that won't be quick enough. That's all the way on the other side of town." She closed her eyes. "Yes sir." She hung up. "They're not going to make it on time. There's been a traffic jam due to a pile up on the highway."
Duke was already storming towards his motorcycle.
Tess hurried behind him and growled to herself as she began to type in another set of numbers into her phone before she brought it to her ears. She reached Duke as he started the motorcycle's engine and she hopped on after him, gripping him tightly as the person answered. "Oliver? This is Tess. I need your help."
"Where are my friends?" Chloe stared at the clothes on the chair before she turned to face the armed man behind her.
"Mr Luthor wants you to change into that."
A muscle jumped in her cheek. "Where. Are. My. Friends?"
"If you don't want us bringing you them one by one and shooting them in front of you, I'd do what Mr Luthor wants."
The girl glared at him and grabbed the clothes before she stormed behind the divider. She yanked off her clothes and hesitated when she realized that there was a change of underwear as well. Unease curled in her stomach as she slipped off her own and then slipped on the lacy matching pair. She pulled on the dress and stepped out from behind the divider. "Where are my friends?"
He motioned with his gun towards the vanity.
Her gaze went to it to find a pretty hair clip as well as some high heels. "Are you serious?"
He raised an eyebrow.
Letting out an aggravated growl, Chloe stormed towards the vanity and slipped on the heels before she grabbed the hairclip and slid it into her hair. She then turned to him. "Where. Are. My. Friends?"
"Mr Luthor will see you now." And with that he opened the door and motioned with his gun for her to move.
Chloe breathed in and out before she left the room. She followed the two other men there and couldn't help but think that this was all so utterly ridiculous. It wasn't that she didn't understand the tactic of forcing her to dress up, it was just one of the many ways in which Lionel Luthor was proving to her that he had all the power in this situation. But why was she still alive? Why was he here? All the other attacks on her life had been, well, BOOM. They'd been quick and happened in seconds and she'd been surprised she was alive each and every time. He'd never been anywhere near the vicinity when they happened either. So why exactly was this time different from the others?
A door was opened and she found herself shoved through it. She stumbled slightly and brought her hands up to shield her gaze from the bright light. Blinking a couple of times, her gaze finally grew accustomed to the brightness and she realized that she wasn't alone in the room.
Lionel Luthor sat at the head of a large table, a banquet set out. He smiled magnanimously at her. "You look delightful, Miss Sullivan. This suits you much better than those male clothing you've been using of late."
This civility creeped her out more than any violence could. "Why am I here? Why are you here?"
He merely motioned to the seat opposite his. "Please. Have a seat."
She wanted to tell him where he could shove that seat, but he had her friends somewhere, and she didn't want to piss the psychopath off. Taking in a deep breath the blonde made her way to the seat and sat down. Her gaze lowered to her almost over-flowing plate, unnerved to find her favorites stacked there.
"Is it poisoned?"
He sneered at her. "If I wanted you dead I wouldn't have to resort to poisoning. Now eat before everything gets cold."
Well, that was true. But it didn't mean that he wouldn't poison her just for the heck of it. So it was with great trepdiation that Chloe began to eat. She at first took tiny little bites, and would chew and chew and chew until there was nothing left to chew and she was forced to swallow. She could feel his amused gaze on her, amusement which grew when she realized that a good ten minutes had passed and so far she wasn't dizzy or feeling off in the least bit.
"You've become so paranoid, Miss Sullivan."
A muscle ticked in her cheek. "I'd call it cautious considering that you've tried to kill me several times already."
Her eyes widened. "Don't pishposh me! You had my house bombed! And gassed! And shot up!"
"Call it a slap on the wrist more than a true assassination plot."
Her mouth fell open. "I'll call it whatever I want! And I want to call it attempted murder!"
He tutted at her as if she were an unruly child.
She tightened her grip on her utensils.
"Have you repented, Miss Sullivan?" He asked this in the same tone that one might ask how school was. "Have you realize the error of your ways and the folly in trusting my son?" He raised an eyebrow. "Have you finally admitted that he cannot keep you safe no matter how much he promises to do so? Do you finally realize that I still have you as much in my grip now as I did then?"
"This is why I'm alive, isn't it?" She took in a deep breath. "You have no one else to lord things over and you missed it."
He smirked at her. "I admit I do miss our little tête-à-tête."
Chloe put down her utensils and took in a deep breath. "Why am I here, Mr Luthor?"
He touched his fingertips together as he watched her. "Withdraw as witness and your friends and their families won't all die tragic deaths."
She gulped as she stared up at him. "Leave them out of this."
"I never truly planned to kill you, the lack of you dying in each attempt should've shown that. I don't need the prosecution making you a martyr for their case." He smiled. "What I have always wanted was for you to withdraw. Everything rests on you, Miss Sullivan. You were ruthless and cunning and underhanded in your ways of extracting your evidence, but it was due to your loyalty to your friends that you did what you did. You have a protectiveness inside of you that keeps you from allowing harm to come to those you love. It is a weakness that I have no problem exploiting."
"Even if I withdraw they still have a case against you," Chloe found it hard to breathe.
"You're the pin that binds it all together and you know it, Miss Sullivan." He eyed her thoughtfully. "You have a gift, would you like to know what it is?"
A muscle ticked in her cheek. "I have a feeling you're going to tell me whether or not I want you to."
He ignored her and continued. "You have the ability to stick yourself into any given circumstance and somehow make yourself invaluable."
She gulped as suddenly icy dread filled her as she realized something she should've known all along. "This isn't about the case, is it? Not really." She took in a deep breath. "This is about the research."
He gave a smile which chilled her to the bone. "Withdraw from the case and come back to me, Miss Sullivan. We have much work to catch up on."
She took in a deep breath. "You don't think I'd believe that, do you? There's no way you'd trust me again. Once I withdraw you'll kill me."
"So paranoid," he tutted and rose from his seat. Lionel moved slowly down the table before he positioned himself behind her and placed his hands on her tensed shoulders. "While its true that certain privileges won't be extended to you once more, you are still of use to me, Miss Sullivan." He leaned down to whisper into her ear. "In many ways."
She shivered in disgust and closed her eyes against the feeling of his hands kneading her shoulders. "I didn't crack the code. I swear to you that I didn't. The Traveller's identity is still a secret. I don't know who he or she is."
He tightened his grip on her. "I think we're passed the point of lying to each other, don't you agree?"
"I don't." Her voice cracked with emotion. "I really don't know."
His grip on her grew painful before he let go of her entirely and returned to sit down. He began to eat and when he noticed that she didn't follow suit he raised an eyebrow. "Miss Sullivan, do not let the food go to waste."
Hands trembling, Chloe followed his orders.
"If they hadn't taken our cellphones away from us we could've call for help." Olivia looked around the small dark room they'd been shoved into. She moved to the wall and kicked off her shoes before she tried to climb up towards the out of reach window.
Malcolm watched her first attempts before he motioned Andrew close and lowered his voice when he spoke. "I think they're ex military. Did you see their tats? I'd say they were probably dishonorably discharged."
Andrew raised an eyebrow. "And?"
Malcolm sighed. "It means we definitely wont be getting out of this through our physical talents." He made a face. "But maybe we don't have to."
Andrew's eyebrow remained raised. "Huh?"
Olivia fell down once more with a hiss.
Malcolm cleared his throat. "How much do you weigh?"
"You mind telling me what your girlfriend has done to piss off Lionel Luthor?" Oliver watched from the security cameras as Cody and three other kids were escorted into the warehouse.
"She's not my girlfriend," Tess mumbled as she hugged herself.
"She's mine." Duke clenched his fists as he watched the footage once more. "Is there any way that we can get a view of what is going on inside of the building?"
Sebastian merely leaned against the wall, eyes on them.
"Not without alerting Lionel to the fact that he's being watched." Oliver made a face. "I'm surprised he took her to one of these warehouses considering my father's company owns the whole place. Why not take her to one of the ones he owns?"
"Wouldn't it be easier to hide her this way?" Tess wanted to know. "If he took her to anyplace he owned then he would be easier to trace and find. This way even if he did get caught he could say you were involved in it."
A muscle ticked in his cheek. "He must have someone else renting it in their name because I know for a fact that Luthor isn't the one paying the rent on that warehouse. The worm." He turned to Tess and Duke. "Any idea why he wants those kids?"
"Olivia, Malcolm and Andrew are just there as bargaining chips." Tess frowned, eyes narrowed. "He'll keep them alive because he can use them against Chloe."
"Considering he wants her dead-," Duke began.
"I don't think he does." Tess shook her head.
"I was going to say the same thing," Sebastian agreed. "If he wanted her dead he could've easily just had someone shoot her and the shooter could've blended in with the terrorized crowd and escaped."
Oliver nodded his agreement. "This was definitely a retrieval mission."
Duke's eyes widened as he realized that they were right. It would've been easier to just shoot her. Kill her. Not to take hostages. "He wants her alive."
"The question is why." Tess turned to him. "Has Chloe ever told you of any other reason why Lionel might want her? Other than to keep her from testifying against him in court?"
"No." Duke shook his head. "She never talked about it and I didn't want to press her."
"Wait, she is the one who is supposed to testify against Lionel in court?" Oliver's eyes widened and his body went tense. "She is the one who used to work for him? The one who turned on him?" He moved towards them, intent. "Are you telling me that that girl is Chloe Sullivan?"
Tess' eyes narrowed. "How do you-?"
"Why didn't you idiots tell me that in the first place?" He hissed as he ran his hand down his face. "No wonder he's here. No wonder he's still keeping her alive!" He groaned. "I should've paid more attention to those files! Jason's going to kill me!"
Duke moved towards the older guy. "What do you know? What aren't you telling us?"
"My father and mother were murdered because of the secret that that girl is the key of!" Oliver was pale. "They died trying to make sure that Lionel didn't find the information that she's unlocked!" He shook his head and grabbed his phone. "I need to call Patricia. She needs to know."
"No one else-!" Duke snapped, scared that they'd just put Chloe in more danger.
"Patricia! It's me, Oliver. I need you and Jason to come here, now." Oliver turned to look at Duke and Tess. "Lionel Luthor has the key to the Traveller. It's time for Veritas to finally end this once and for all."
"Veritas?" Sebastian muttered in confusion.
Tess and Duke shared wary looks.
Giving Patricia his address, Oliver turned to the three teenagers in front of him. "You're going to need to sit down. I have a lot I need to explain to you and very little time to do so."