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.
Aliens. This was all about aliens.
Duke was having trouble wrapping his head around that.
Tess didn't look half as confused or taken-back by this as she should be. She just looked highly annoyed.
Sebastian, on the other hand, was visibly stoked at this revelation. "I always knew aliens were real, man! I always did!"
Patricia Swan and Jason Teague had arrived sometime during Oliver's explanation about the secret society their parents had been involved in: Veritas, and how Lionel Luthor had been the one who'd killed their parents so that, when the truth about the "Traveler" was uncovered he could have unlimited, unfettered access and control of this alien who was supposed to be walking amongst them and had godlike powers.
"We've been looking for Chloe Sullivan ever since she disappeared off the radar." Patricia Swan hugged herself. "We wanted to protect her ourselves."
"As well as find out the information she has on the Traveler." Jason sent a dark glare to Oliver. "If someone had actually paid attention to his work and hadn't been too busy being a playboy we could've gotten to her first and protected her!"
Oliver had no excuse whatsoever and so merely pouted in response.
"It doesn't matter now." Patricia glared at them both, obviously the one in charge. "What matters is that Lionel brought Chloe to this place for a reason."
"You keep insinuating that, but why?" Tess moved forwards. "What's so special about this warehouse?"
"It's not the warehouse itself, but the ground the warehouse is on." Jason raised an eyebrow. "Underneath it is a cave system that is linked to the Traveler. No one has ever been able to access it since no one has been able to decrypt the tablets." He let out a sigh. "Except for Chloe Sullivan."
"How could she decrypt stone tablets written in an alien dialect?" Sebastian wanted to know. "It's not like she has a Rosetta Stone or something for Traveler-language."
"We don't know how she did it, but our spies within Luthorcorp assured us that she did. And then she destroyed the tablets." Patricia let out a sigh. "They informed us about her decrypting the tablets a day before news broke of her betrayal of Lionel Luthor and subsequent protection by his son."
"I don't think Lex even knows the part about the Traveler though." Oliver sent the teenagers a look. "He would've behaved differently had he understood everything."
"She was smart not to tell him though." That was from Jason as he flipped through the large file they had on Chloe Sullivan. "You can't trust a Luthor."
Patricia nodded. "He's right."
Oliver turned to look at Duke before he smirked as he went to Jason. "She really is cute, huh?"
"There's definitely an appeal," Jason muttered absentmindedly.
Duke glared at the guys who looked like Calvin Klein models. The only reason why he didn't say anything was because it was obvious that Oliver was trying to provoke him on purpose and he was not about to rise to the bait.
Sebastian and Tess looked amused.
Patricia rolled her eyes at everyone. "This isn't important. What we need to do is figure out what we do when the portal opens."
"Portal?" Duke turned his gaze on her.
Patricia blinked. "Didn't Oliver mention the interdimensional portal?"
"No!" Sebastian shook his head. "He did not!"
"Ooops." Oliver brought a hand to his face, expression sheepish. "My bad."
"Why. Am. I. The. One. Below?" Andrew's voice was strained as he tried to balance Malcolm as he held the guy up on his shoulders.
"Because you're heavier than I am." Malcolm sounded just as strained. Then again, he had Olivia Lennox standing on his shoulders. "Plus, there was no way that I could manage holding the both of you up."
"Stop... swaying!" Olivia grunted. "I've almost got the window open!"
"It's not like I'm doing this on purpose!" Andrew hissed. "Just-hurry it up! I won't be able to keep you guys up for much longer!"
"It's stuck, okay? It's not like they open this window a lot!" Olivia grunted before finally the window slid open loudly. That was the good news. The bad news was that the force she used into opening caused Andrew and Malcolm to sway violently and collapse on the ground. The only reason why Olivia didn't fall with them was because she'd grabbed hold of the windowframe and held on with all her might.
The blonde grunted as she slowly and painfully raised herself upwards. She nearly slipped but somehow managed to grab something to anchor herself with and finally, slowly but surely, pulled herself through the window. She then stuck her head back in and called down in an excited whisper: "I did it!"
"I think I sprained my ankle." Andrew looked up from the ankle he held tightly, an expression of pain on his face.
Malcolm took in a deep breath and looked up at Olivia. "Go get help."
Her eyes widened. "But what about you two?"
"Go." Malcolm shooed her away. "We'll be fine. But you need to go."
Olivia bit her bottom lip before she nodded. "I'll bring the calvary." And with that she was gone.
Andrew sat there and stared at Malcolm. "You could've gone with her, you know. I might've been able to hold you up long enough for her to-."
"Nah. You wouldn't have been able to stand on that foot, much less jump upwards for us to catch you like was in the original plan." Malcolm shook his head. "And bros don't leave bros."
Andrew stared at him before his smile grew slightly. "Thanks, Malcolm."
Malcolm merely stood to his feet and looked around. "I'll figure out some other way to get us out of here. Just wait and see."
From where he sat on the ground, Andrew merely watched him and grinned.
"That's Olivia!" Sebastian pushed away from the wall when the video feed showed the blonde girl bruised and cut but making her way as steathily as she could away from the warehouse.
Jason stood. "I'm on it." He stormed out of the security room they were in, his mission to obviously bring Olivia back safe and sound.
"If that girl managed to escape, Luthor is getting sloppy." Oliver frowned.
Patricia turned to him. "Or he's focusing his efforts elsewhere."
Oliver nodded. "He's moving on the portal."
"Do you know what this is?"
Chloe shivered as those hands came down on her shoulder once more, but her recation wasn't completely due to his touch. No. She also shivered because, deep below the warehouse she and her friends were being kept in, there was a series of underground caves, and in the middle of them, was what appeared to be a large wall of obsidian.
"You do know." Lionel chuckled. "Of course you do."
The blonde stared at the Mirror of El, as the tablets had called this large slab of perfect stone. In its dark depths she could see her own reflection, and that of the man behind her with his hands on her shoulders and a maniacal smile on his face.
"You know what you need to do."
She shook her head as horror trailed up her spine. "I have no idea what-!"
His grip on her tightened. "Fine." He turned to the armed guards behind them. "Bring them."
The men nodded and left.
Chloe's eyes widened. "What are you-?"
"They're going to bring your friends here," Lionel informed her calmly. "And if you refuse to do as I say, I'll make you watch as I kill them, one by one."
"You can't-I don't know-they're innocent!"
"No one is innocent, Miss Sullivan." He reached out to clasp her chin. "Now, unless you want me to shoot the first one who comes through that entrance... start."
Closing her eyes, knowing that he was capable and very willing, Chloe realized she had no choice. He had her exactly where he wanted her. And it was with a small, resigned voice that she whispered: "Yes sir."
"Do you think Olivia's made it out and is calling for help?" Andrew asked as he remained seated on the ground cradling his ankle.
Malcolm shrugged as he paced the length of the room. "She's never been known for her ability to blend in a crowd."
The soccer player raised an eyebrow. "So, basically we're screwed."
"Not if I come up with another brilliant plan to save us all."
Amusement colored Andrew's face. "So what are you waiting for?"
"You can't rush greatness." Malcolm let out a huff as he continued to pace.
Andrew's grin grew. "My apologies."
Suddenly the locks could be heard turning and the door flew open to reveal two burly, armed men.
Andrew and Malcolm turned to look at each other, eyes wide.
The men stepped in and stopped when they realized Olivia was gone. Their gazes went to the open window high above the two boys. One of them nodded to the other, who raced out, obviously in search of Olivia.
The one who remained trained his gun on the two boys. "Get up and come with me." He cocked the weapon. "And don't give me no trouble or I'll shoot ya. Mr Luthor says you have to be alive, not unhurt."
Andrew looked down at his ankle. "I'm already hurt."
"Aint not problem of mine," the man growled. "Keep up or I'll make it worse."
Malcolm held his hand out to Andrew. "Come on, I'll help you."
Andrew stared at that hand before he let out a sigh and placed his in it. He grunted as Malcolm helped him to his feet, and when the pain proved too much for him to walk on his own, the geeky guy proved himself strong enough to help shoulder most of Andrew's weight as he wrapped Andrew's arm around his shoulders and his own around Andrew's waist.
The man eyed them then snickered and motioned with his gun. "This way."
Malcolm and Andrew shared a look before they slowly, together, made their way out of the room.
"What do you mean Cody's a girl?" Olivia's eyes were wide in shock.
Everyone ignored her question as they gazed down at the warehouse's blueprints that Oliver had laid down over the table. Under them, backlit, were blueprints of the cave system, which were visible through those of the warehouse.
"This would be where they're keeping Andrew and Malcolm then." Oliver pointed to a room.
"Which is the room with the entrance to the caves?" Duke wanted to know.
"Each warehouse in that complex has an entrance, the whole place was built to cover our parents' activities." Oliver ran his hand over his face.
"Considering that, it was careless of you to allow Luthor to rent it." That was from Jason.
Oliver glared at him. "I didn't know that it was him! I made sure that everyone who rented the warehouses there weren't connected to him or to Veritas! They'd be the only ones who'd know to look for, and be able to find and unlock, the entrance to the caves."
"Obviously you've mucked that up as well." Jason raised an eyebrow.
Tess slapped him up the back of the head and moved to stand next to Patricia as she gazed at the blueprints. "What's needed to access the portal in these caves?"
"We don't know." Patricia turned to look at her. "All the information was encrypted in the tablets. But we do know that the portal, in its inactive form, is a wall of pure obsidian."
"You can see your own reflection in it." Jason looked at Tess.
Tess narrowed her eyes. "Where exactly is the portal located?"
Patricia tapped the exact location.
Tess tilted her head.
Patricia narrowed her eyes on the redhead.
"You see it too, huh?" Sebastian asked.
Tess looked up at him, eyes wide. "You do too?"
Duke pushed away from the wall and came closer. "What are you talking about?"
"I design the covers of Hummingboard's cds, so I am always paying attention to detail." Sebastian moved to stand on Tess' other side. "Look." He pointed to something. "The design of the cave system itself, with the portal in the middle of it. It's not a little off to the side, or a little in front of behind, it's perfect center. Also, look at the design of the caverns themselves, they're like labyrnths whose outer walls look like-."
"A crystal." Duke's eyes widened as he saw it too.
"So what?" Oliver wanted to know.
"Well, if you look at these caverns here, you'll see that they appear to be conduit chambers." Tess took over. "So obviously some sort of power source is supposed to activate from the portal chamber and spread out to the rest of cave system through these chambers."
"But what turns on the power?" Patricia whispered to herself.
"We'll never know if we just stay here." Jason raised an eyebrow as he cocked a gun.
Duke took in a deep breath. Finally. Someone was speaking his language.
He slammed his hands down on the table. "What's the plan?"
Olivia, from where she leaned against the wall, brought a hand to her forehead. "Does this mean I'm a lesbian?"
Once again, she was ignored.
Having pressed the Kryptonian symbols on each side of the obsidian portal in proper sequence, Chloe watched as the black grew blacker and rippled like a wave before all the symbols arching from one side to the other lit up. Chloe's gaze discreetly wondered towards her reflection, to the wide-eyed, near crazed look on Lionel Luthor's face as he stood close behind her, watching every thing she did. She took in a deep breath and shivered at the thought of Clark being under this man's control. She couldn't let that happen.
When she'd first found out the possibility of aliens walking amongst them, Chloe had been just as intrigued and excited as Lionel. She'd worked night and day, slaving over the decrypting of the tablets, which had at first seemed impossible to do. She wasn't even sure how she'd managed to decrypt them, but she had, and she'd discovered the truth about her best friend. Just like that her excitement had turned to horror.
"Yes!" Lionel's hands came down on her shoulders and began to knead them. "Yes! So close!"
She flinched at the touch yet had anticipated it, expected it, needed it. With his hands on her, she placed her own hands flat-against the rippling obsidian.
Neither noticed as Lionel's man returned with wide-eyed Malcolm and Andrew.
Her eyes hurt her and she cried as an odd humming exploded in her head the same time obsidian hands reached out through the portal, grabbed her wrists, and yanked both her and Lionel Luthor through.
"Boss?" The armed man's eyes widened as he took a step towards the portal. Chloe and Lionel Luthor had been yanked through and disappeared in a blink of an eye, and from the confusion in the guy who'd had the gun on them, this hadn't been part of the plan. "What-?"
Andrew narrowed his eyes and reached down to grab a rock, which he flung as hard as he could at the back of the man's head. It hit him dead center, and the man cried out as he collapsed to the ground, hopefully unconscious and not dead.
Malcolm's eyes were wide. "Wow."
Andrew cleared his throat. "Yes, well, you couldn't be the only one doing something to help save us."
Malcolm's lips tugged into a reluctant smile as he left Andrew where he was and went towards the fallen man. He held up the gun as if it contained some sort of contagious, fatal disease, and then began to search the man's pockets with his other hand.
Above them, in the warehouse, something heavy must've fallen because the roof of the cavern shook and dust rained down on them.
Andrew coughed and tried to shield his mouth and nose.
Malcolm dropped the gun to do the same and then his hand connected with what he was searching for, and he grinned.
It had killed Duke to stay behind, but he really hadn't had much a choice considering that Patricia, Oliver and Jason had basically locked them in the security room as the trio left to confront Lionel's men inside the warehouse. Duke knew that he didn't have any training, and that he was still only a teenager, but it was his girlfriend who was in there and in danger! He should be there! He couldn't just stay here not doing anything! He leaned against the table where the blueprints were, and he stared down at the cavern where the portal should be, where Chloe probably was being forced to do only the gods knew what by that disgusting pervert.
"I should be there." Tess obviously felt like Duke did, frustrated that they were being treated like useless kids. "I could help! I have training damn it!"
Sebastian eyed the lock on the door. "I think I can pick this." He turned to face the girls. "Do any of you have a hair pin?"
From where she sat against the wall next to Olivia, Tess levelled him with a glare that clearly asked: Do I look like I have a hair pin?
Olivia, on the other hand, brightened. "I do!" She yanked the hair pins out of her hair and held them out to him.
"Thanks." Sebastian then turned his full attention to the lock.
Tess' phone rang, and when she yanked it from her pocket she frowned at the screen. "I don't recognize the number." Nevertheless she answered. "Who is this?" Her eyes widened. "I don't believe it." She put on speakerphone. "We're listening, Andrew."
Everyone turned towards her except Sebastian, who was still concentrating on the lock.
"Andrew?" Duke moved around the table and came closer.
"Hey Duke. We're calling from the phone of one of the thugs who work for Lionel Luthor." Andrew sounded in pain but okay. "Malcolm and I are fine. Olivia went for help though and we're worried she might've gotten caught."
"I'm here, Andrew!" Olivia moved closer to Tess. "I'm so relieved to hear your voice!"
Andrew sighed in relief. "Us too."
Duke opened his mouth to ask them if they had any idea about where Chloe was and if she was okay.
"Tell them about bro," Malcolm could be heard saying in the background.
Duke's nerves tightened in his stomach. "What about Chloe?"
"Ummmm..." Andrew hesitated.
Malcolm could he heard sighing. "I think she's opened some sort of interdimensional door and was yanked through it, along with Lionel Luthor." He cleared his throat. "That's not the worse of it. There are also glowing symbols that seem to be doing something way to close to a count down for my peace of mind."
Duke's blood turned toice. "A count down to what?"
"Duke..." Malcolm's voice broke. "If she's not back before that count down ends... I think she'll be stuck wherever she is."
The door clicked open and Sebastian stood with a triumphant: "And they say you don't learn anything useful in juvie!"
Duke didn't even stop to think things through. He grabbed the blueprints from the table and raced out of the door as fast as he could go.
"Andrew, we're coming to you." Tess stood and turned to Olivia and Sebastian. "You two, stay here."
Olivia hurried to her feet. "I'm not staying! I told Andrew and Malcolm I'd be back with help! I'm coming too!"
Tess turned to look at Sebastian.
He shrugged and gave her a sheepish grin. "Aliens."
Sighing, Tess shook her head. "Don't fall behind!" And with that the three of them raced out after Duke.