Series: Adept Series
Pairing: Chloe/Peter Bishop
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Peter Bishop is only Chloe's temporary bonder, and he's more than okay with that, but that doesn't mean he's just going to let anyone
replace him. And then he finds out that there's someone else who could take over his responsibilities. Who cares if the President likes him? The newcomer needs to gain Peter's
approval. And then there's Adept issues to deal with as well. (Peter POV)
It was a 7 hour, 11 minutes drive to Massachusetts, but a 1 hour, 2 minutes flight, which was why he was searching last minute flights. He couldn't believe he was doing this, that he was going to Massachusetts, to St Claire's, despite having sworn to never do so, and yet he had no other choice. Every time he glanced down at his ring finger the design that tied him and Chloe was fainter and fainter. It was barely there. With the rate in which it was fading he didn't think he'd even make it to Massachusetts.
His finger was seconds away from pressing the CONFIRM FLIGHT on the webpage, when his hand began to burn again. Peter gripped at his wrist and stared down at his ring finger in mute horror. The faint ring was disappearing. He was too late.
The door opened as Jared returned with Alt!Chloe, whom he'd accompanied to get something to eat in the kitchen. With everything that was happening Peter had filled Jared on everything that was going on, so the other man knew exactly just how bad this was.
"It's disappearing," Peter whispered, voice choked. Never in his life had he felt so impotent. His gaze met Jared's in utter horror. "I'm losing her."
Taking in a deep breath, Jared left Alt!Chloe's side and slammed his hands down on the table Peter was sat at. "How did you get her to teleport to you before?"
"What?" Peter made a face, trying to think through the horrible burning, and the fact that it was getting better because the design around his finger was almost completely gone. "I didn't do anything, she did it without realizing what she was doing. I had no clue what was going on! I didn't even know she was teleporting!"
"Why was she teleporting?" Jared pressed as he leaned forwards, his hands still down on the table. "Why to you? What's so special about you?"
What was with this attack? "Her bond with Lionel was dying and she was subconsciously looking for a new bonder." He paused and he blinked. "Which means, I guess, that I'm the best candidate for replacement bonder that it found."
"Which means that there was a connection even before the bond was established between you two," Jared informed him in a hard tone. "A connection that can only have been made stronger with that bond." His gaze met Peter's, and in that second he was far from the charismatic flirt, or the awed newcomer. No. His face was hard, set, his eyes burning with determination. "So use that connection. Call to her. The bond is dying again, isn't it? So she must be subconsciously searching for a new partner."
"Or Lex is trying to force her into accepting him," Alt!Chloe whispered. She hadn't really been told much, but like the real Chloe, she was sharp and picked up things quickly on intuition alone. "That might be why she's not immediately searching you out like she has apparently in the past."
"That, or there's another candidate in that reality, and with everything—," Jared stopped himself and shook his head, returning his attention to Peter. "You need to remind that connection why it chose you. Something about you called it before. Force it back."
He didn't like the idea of forcing anything, but as the pain continued to decrease, Peter's panic grew. "How?"
"I don't know! All I know is that this is our only strategy, the only card we can play given our lack of time." Jared slammed his palms back into the desk. "So play it." He took in a deep breath. "She told Chloe2 that you were the only one who could bring her back. Prove her right."
Staring up into those dark eyes, Peter let out a deep breath and realized Jared was right. Peter knew he was much smarter than Jared, but sometimes Peter was the stupidest smart guy around. How had this not even crossed his mind as an option?
Taking in a deep breath, Peter closed his eyes.
"Concentrate on her," Jared directed him. "Concentrate on your connection, and call her." His voice lowered. "Call her, Peter Bishop!"
Chloe. Peter placed his hand over the burning around his finger. Chloe, come back.
"Will this work?" Alt!Chloe whispered in worry.
"It has to," Jared whispered back.
Chloe. Peter tightened his grip as he clenched his teeth. The design throbbed, it was close to disappearing forever. CHLOE.
He saw a flash of something. He wasn't sure what it was, but he pushed harder.
The image returned, and this time it held long enough for him to make it out. Chloe was on her knees, sobbing as she gripped the jacket of a blonde guy with blue eyes who looked down at her as if scared and not sure what to do. His hands were on her shoulders and he was asking her something as darkness began to gather around them. Chloe was sobbing uncontrollably into his jacket, gripping him as if to life and sanity.
All around them darkness was growing, shadowy figures beginning to form.
Peter had seen this before on the day that Lionel Luthor had died. Our bond's going to break, he realized in horror.
The stranger cupped Chloe's face and raised her gaze to his, his lips moving.
Chloe looked up at him in pain and surprising supplication.
The guy, who must be Lex Luthor, closed his eyes and brought his lips to hers.
Peter felt something in him reacting, and suddenly the design around his finger flared like lava. CHLOE COME HERE!
Chloe's eyes widened and seconds before Lex's lips could touch hers she flickered away. A second later something heavy collided into Peter's body, and he opened his eyes to find Chloe, his Chloe, there in his arms. She was sobbing and shivering, whispering his name over and over again into his chest.
Something welled in his chest and Peter wrapped his arms around her, his lips meeting hers. He didn't know what happened, but suddenly Jared and Alt!Chloe weren't in the room anymore, the door slammed shut loudly, but he didn't really care as he cupped Chloe's face and kissed her harder, feeling the burning beginning to once more and get unbearable, but he welcomed its intensifying heat because it was spreading, and that meant the design was regenerating.
What happened really wasn't lovemaking, but every time he felt her shuddering around him in pleasure, and every time he found completion, he could feel her slowly returning more and more. It seemed to last forever and yet was over far too quickly all at the same time. Chloe, clearly exhausted by the whole ordeal, had fallen straight to sleep, and from where he sat up in bed next to her, Peter couldn't help but stare at the design around her finger, which was once more a deep golden red, and the pattern fully regenerated.
His own was similarly restored to mint condition. A sigh escaped his lips as he rubbed the design before returning his gaze to the sleeping blonde.
That had been close, way too close. As if worrying about their own reality wasn't enough, now they needed to worry about this other one - and the Grimoire Adeptus - and whoever had it. As long as that tome existed, and Chloe didn't have a permanent bonder, she'd live in even more constant danger the before.
I need to find her a permanent bonder as soon as possible. Reaching for his phone, Peter paused when he saw all the missed calls on it. He sighed and called one of them back.
"How is she?" Seeley Booth answered immediately. "Jared said she's back but that he couldn't comment further on it. I've been trying to call you for details but you haven't been answering."
"Why me and not Gibbs?" Peter asked tiredly.
"He scares me," Seeley admitted with no shame. Not that he had any reason to be ashamed for that fact - Leroy Jethro Gibbs was scary.
"I need your help," Peter replied instead of answering Seeley's question. "How soon can you be over at my place?"
"I'll be there with beer right after work," Seeley responded. "I have a feeling we're going to need the alcohol. See you then." And with that he hung up.
Looking through his other missed calls, Peter chose another and called back.
"Finally!" Dr Spencer Reid of the Behavior Analysis Unit - and Chloe's psychiatrist - declared as he answered, sounding flustered. "I heard she's back. I'm on my way from Quantico. Is this a secure line? Can you tell me exactly what happened? All I've been fed has been vary vague but highly disturbing."
"How soon will you be here?"
"The trip is approximately 52 minutes by vehicle, so considering I left a little early and have a lead on the traffic—-,"
"I'll see you at my place," Peter hung up and dialed another number.
Peter didn't know who had looked more confused - Gibbs at the fact that he now had twin daughters, or Alt!Chloe, who had finally been clued in on Gibbs' identity. Their Chloe was still sleeping off her experience, and it was only due to the fact that nothing and no one would ever get the drop on Gibbs (and the fact that Booth was staying and updating Abby, Ducky, Palmer, McGee and Vance) that Peter finally left.
By the time he bathed and changed clothes Seeley was at his front door with two packs of beer to add to the ones Peter already had cooling in his fridge.
Ziva (Peter's last call) arrived with Tony soon after, both ladened down with boxes, the latter complaining about Ziva's driving, as well as making sure everyone knew he wanted to die in bed as an old man with a hot younger wife - and not in Washington DC traffic because 'Ziva's too good for a yellow light'.
Since there were more boxes in Ziva's car, Seeley and Peter went back down with the agents and helped them bring up the rest.
When Reid finally arrived, all twenty boxes filled with possible permanent bonders were all over Peter's small living room. "So it's going to be a long night," he declared as he pulled off his jacket.
"We can't let this happen again." Peter tossed Reid a cold beer, and now that he was there, Peter finally begun explaining (in detail) what exactly had happened. He was interrupted a million times by those listening, but was finally able to finish the whole convoluted story.
"Two Chloe's?" Seeley had already asked this question, multiple times. This seemed to be the part that had him flummoxed.
"I wonder what effect having both of them here at the same time could have on the timeline continuum," Tony muttered as he looked over the file in his hand before chucking it in the "HELL NO" pile.
"I was about to say the same thing," Reid admitted. He'd chosen to drink water and not the beer Peter had thrown him. "This other government agency seemed to have not only had experience with temporal displacement anomalies, but their insistence that it be rectified immediately suggests that the situation could lead to catastrophic results."
"I usually only understand half of what Spencer says," Seeley announced to the whole room. "But even I get that Fauxie being here isn't a good idea."
"Fauxie?" Ziva asked in confusion.
"Faux Chloe," Tony answered immediately.
"Ahhhh." Ziva nodded in understanding.
"Shouldn't we be trying to figure a way to get Fauxie back to her own timeline?" Reid wanted to know. Apparently Alt!Chloe's new name had stuck.
"It won't matter if Fauxie returns to her own timeline, not if Chloe gets pulled back there again," Ziva responded before Peter could.
"She's right," Tony backed his partner up from where he sat on the ground, leaning his back against the seat she was seated on. "Peter is right. The most important thing we can do right now is find her a permanent bonder. As soon as it isn't temporary - and we know she's safe - we send Fauxie home and then go out for drinks to celebrate."
With nothing more to add to that, the group went back to work.
Everyone had spent their Friday night sorting through the hundreds of possible permanent bonders, and after all that filtering they'd only ended up with five people who could possibly replace Peter.
They needed to concentrate on these five new candidates and get his replacement as soon as possible. Not only could Chloe be pulled through to another reality and be put through atrocities, but Peter couldn't be her permanent bonder, so really they were just wasting time. Why wait if Peter couldn't be it? He couldn't. Not only did he have a history of mental illness in his family, which completely disqualified him on its own, but he'd almost done something today he'd promised himself he'd never do. He'd been seconds away from going to see the last person he ever wanted to see - his father.
That could only mean that for all his talk about not letting Chloe get too attached to him - he'd gotten too attached to her - and that never ended well. For both Chloe's and his best interests he needed to find his replacement… and get back to the life he'd been living before this whole mess had fallen on his lap.
His gaze went to the figures sleeping and snoring all over his living room. Chloe had a good support system, many people who cared about her. As long as she had the right bonder she'd be fine.
Still, he was surprised they could sleep during such a time as this.
The five finalists' files were spread across the table. One of these people would be Chloe's permanent bonder. His temporary time in that role would soon be over.
Grabbing his lukewarm beer off of the side table, Peter took a very long gulp.
"Are you sure?"
"Of course," her twin reflection replied with a little shrug, an amused expression on her face. "This is your universe anyway. You keep our first name. I'll just go by our second."
"Anne," Chloe murmured softly. "This must be weird for you."
Anne made a face. "I'm used to weird. Not, you know, this degree of weird, but definitely weird. I guess… I like knowing that there's more to it than just my world. This one is so… same yet different. I almost don't want to go back immediately. I want to see more of it and figure out why certain things are so different from mine."
"Such as?" Chloe asked curiously. She figured she should probably be more freaked out to be talking to herself, but figured this must be what twins felt like. They'd just had years of getting used to it.
"Well… this, for one. I still live in Kansas." Anne moved closer on the bed. The two mirror-image girls sat facing each other, legs crossed. "And, well, the fact that I have a father I didn't realize I did." She took in a deep breath. "And I just find it hard to believe that there's a universe in which I'm not best friends with Clark Kent." Her finger trailed over the quilt's design. "Why are we not friends with Clark in this reality?"
Chloe stared up at her double. "Do you remember the organisms which attacked us?"
"Those beetle things?" Anne asked curiously, visibly intrigued by the change of subject.
"They were slugs once, but they went through a moment of metamorphosis in which they were in a chrysalis, one which turned them into what they truly are." Chloe took in a deep breath.
Anne's eyes narrowed. "You're saying Clark's in a chrysalis?"
"Metaphorically." Chloe cleared her throat. "He left to train with his father to become the person he was meant to be. He's been gone for so many years I do not think he is coming back."
"Oh." Anne's expression fell. "But what about Lana?"
"The last time I saw her I had just removed an unholy parasite that had attached itself to her soul and was using her as a conduit so as to approach me and form an unholy union," Chloe muttered with a flinch. "We did not remain in communication after I left."
"What about Lois?" Anne pressed. "The Lois I know would be here campaigning to find a way to help you. So why are all these strangers here but not her?"
"I cut off all contact with her after I left Smallville," Chloe explained. "It wasn't safe anymore. I left there because Gabe couldn't protect me, neither could dad, but at least he gave me anonymity. No one knew of any connection I had here, and I basically disappeared, but to do so I had to cut all ties with my old life." Chloe shrugged. "It was safer for her that way."
Anne frowned sadly. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay," Chloe responded with another shrug.
"No it's not, Lois is my best friend, she's my biggest support." Anne made a face. "This reality sucks!" She reached out and wrapped her arms around Chloe's shoulders, pulling her close in a crushing hug. "I'm so sorry about everything that's happened to you."
"It has not all been horrible," Chloe tried for a joke, and cleared her throat when her voice squeaked. "Gibbs is gruff but great, and so are everyone else."
"Plus, there's Peter." Anne pulled away with a grin as she hugged her knees to her chest. "He really cares about you, you know. He lost his crap when he realized I wasn't you and that you were trapped over in my reality. He scared me a little, but I was also a bit jealous."
Chloe tilted her head curiously.
"Well, I don't have that." Anne let out a deep sigh. "I'm always so busy with Clark and Ollie and the Justice League that I never have time for guys who aren't in spandex. Even what I had with Jimmy totally disintegrated, and he was the closest thing I've had to a boyfriend in forever."
Chloe would get Anne to explain who Ollie and the Justice League were, right now she was more interested in this Jimmy guy. A version of her had been dating him, after all. "What's this Jimmy guy like?"
"You never met Jimmy?" Anne blinked and then laughed. "He was a fling when I interned in the Daily Planet, and then later on, when we both started working there, we got close again."
A pang gripped Chloe's heart. "You work at the Daily Planet?"
"Yeah." Anne nodded with a growing smile. "It's hard to juggle work there, helping the Justice League, and have a personal life, but it is worth it. I love my job." Her smile was ear to ear. "So why didn't you ever want to work there?"
"I do. I did." She corrected herself immediately and cast her gaze on her hands. "I—with everything—it's not a plausible dream." She took in a deep breath. "Lois is at the Daily Planet."
There was silence.
She lifted her green gaze to see utter sadness in those identical greens. "Please don't pity me, I don't think I could take it."
Anne cleared her throat and nodded, trying to smile, but it didn't reach her eyes. "So, uh, Peter?"
"It's not like that between us," Chloe responded, her voice soft even to her own ears. "He's doing me a favor, he's keeping me safe. He's temporary." She took in a deep breath. "I cannot allow myself to become too dependent, too attached, because as soon as he finds someone to take his place he's going to leave." She force a smile on her face as she looked back up at Anne. "He is a good man, even if he doesn't realize it."
Anne stared at her before she reached out and held her hand, squeezing.
Chloe stared at her alternate version and smiled. "Is it weird that I want you to stay a little longer too? There's so much that we could learn from each other."
"I know." Anne grinned brightly, genuinely this time. "Let us use this time to help each other. Until we can find a way to get me back I'm staying here as your estranged twin sister Anne, so let's be what we both wanted as kids."
Chloe stared at the other blonde and smiled. "Okay, sis."