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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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svfic: far from now
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
taraljc had a horrible week and I wanted to cheer her up. latxcvi was mulling Chloe-ness and Visitor and then--well. The combination can be dangerous.

celli for the title, tstar78, celli, pearl_o and taraljc for reading and commentary.

Summary: It all comes back to the beginning.



Far From Now by jenn

"I wish I loved you," he whispers, all air and wistful regret, and the spell is broken.

The quilt's covered, saturated, with *them*--with touch and taste, feeling and want, and she levers herself up, pulling from naked skin with a wet, sticky sound that makes her wince. Behind her, she hears him shift, the sound of rustling grass as he reaches for his clothes, his eyes like a weight resting heavy on the back of her neck.

"Okay."

She gathers her shirt from the ground with shaking fingers, ragged nails bitten to the quick. She's never left a mark on him to prove her touch. Her mouth's trembling and her lips move soundlessly to cover it, but nothing's coming loose in her chest to let out the air needed to form words.

"Chloe--" His hand on her shoulder's big and warm, palm fitted to her like it was born to do just that, shaped just for her to feel. Callused and heavy, and she doesn't shake it away even when she knows she should.

The sun's huge and brilliant in the afternoon sky, beating down on them, angled to escape the roof of trees and sprinkle them with liquid warmth When she turns her head, he's like something out of a novel, some fairy-tale hero, washed in yellow-gold and dappled green, eyes the color of the first green of spring, and she closes her eyes on the tears.

"It's okay, Clark." She's not sure that it's true, but she wants it to be, an ache growing in the pit of her stomach that's more theory than reality. She picks up her jeans and pulls them on, grabbing her underwear from beside the apple and stuffing them in her pocket.

She'll be leaving soon.

An hour from now she'll try to make brownies and throw up at the smell of them cooking in the oven. In two, Lana will sit at the table and ask her what's wrong and she'll tell her nothing. In three, she'll escape dinner with the barrier of the door to her room. In four, her eyes will be swollen red and her nose bruised, blankets wrapped close and her face buried in a sweat-and-tear soaked pillow.

But for now, she just breathes.

*****

"Chloe."

He breathes her name like a prayer, and she draws her fingers across his back, slipping on sweat-soaked skin, watching wide green eyes go wider and filling with light. A long, first thrust that ends with a dark head on her shoulder and the end of virginity. Her thighs ache, knees drawn up against slim hips, toes barely brushing the ground, and the blanket's warm and soft beneath her back.

She's never been more happy.

Not like his fingers or even his tongue, the way his hand caresses her and his mouth tastes her like she's a late fall apple, sweet and tangy, but his cock, thick and hard, pressing inside, opening her wide, filling her until she isn't sure she's ever been any other way. It hurts, but not much, and it's Clark, who lifts his head and stares into her eyes, wide and wondering.

"God, Chloe."

He tries to balance, pulling out a little awkwardly, and she bites back the hiss, digging her fingers in when he looks down at her, glazed eyes and heat like summer. Easing back inside, a little rough, a little unsure, but it's Clark so she doesn't care. Her palms spread on his back and her nails push into his skin and she wishes they never had to stop.

Never let him stop, not when he leans to kiss her, tongue in her mouth, he tastes like her orgasm. He's kissing her throat, mumbling words into her skin she wishes she could read there years from now, just to remind her, just to remember, just to feel it then like she feels now.

The sex isn't easy, and every thrust's different, but she loves how he breathes and loves how he shivers, loves tasting his sweat on her tongue and loves feeling it on their skins. Close like she's always wanted, never thought to have, and he's shuddering, shaking, saying her name, and then comes like the tide, inside, rough pulses that make her ache.

When he rolls away, she can't let go.

"I love you," she whispers, and the silence stretches.

When she turns his head, she sees the words he'll say already written in his eyes.

In a few seconds, he'll break her heart.

Tomorrow, she'll go to school and Pete will buy her coffee and offer his shoulder. Next week, she'll break a story about an alien artifact found in the caves outside Smallville and Pete will worry. Next month, she'll be on her back in her own bed with Pete deep inside her while she moans through her orgasm. Next year, she'll watch Clark meet Lois, and her eyes will be swollen red and her nose bruised, blankets wrapped close and her face buried in a sweat-and-tear soaked pillow.

But for now, she just breathes.

*****

He tumbles her onto her back and she drops the apple, laughing when warm fingers slide beneath her shirt, a touch so light on her stomach that she hisses in a breath.

"Clark--"

He kisses like he means it, serious and wet, and he tastes of peanut butter and fresh fruit and himself. She loves how he kisses, loves that she taught him, loves that he reaches for her with familiar hands and knows what she likes. Cupping her breast and rubbing one nipple beneath her shirt when he bites her tongue. Tracing the outline of her lips when she gasps, grinning when she pushes into the knee pressed between her legs.

They've learned this together. How to touch and taste, and she knows he likes her fingers in his hair, wrapped in too-long curls, a gentle twist that makes him shiver. He likes it when she runs a hand over his stomach, baby-soft skin stretched over muscle, and gasps when her knuckles brush against the waist of his jeans.

She knows. Knows his body like her own, and it's all old-hat and still brand-new. His fingers are still clumsy when he unbuttons her shirt and slides it down, one button flying to the blanket that she ignores. His mouths' wet and heavy on her skin, tracing paths she can only feel, warm breath on her breasts when he nuzzles them, dark hair soft and silky, clinging to bare, wet flesh.

She loves knowing she's taught him with her body. How he knows to pull her jeans down carefully and how gently he pulls away her underwear. How he touches her with warm fingers and watches her with wide, dark eyes, like she's a gift he never thought to get. How he tastes her, sweet and delicate and rich, and how he makes her come, shivers that ripple beneath her skin, her voice caught in her throat, fingers in his hair.

When he lifts his eyes, green as a new spring, she reaches for him.

"I'm safe," she says, spreading her legs wider, denim harsh on the soft inner skin of her thighs. She's never been this happy. "Make love to me."

When he shivers and nods, she can't help but smile.

In a few minutes, she'll lose her virginity beneath this tree.

A few days from now, he'll talk to Lana and she'll see the look in his eyes that she once thought was for herself alone, stretched naked beneath a spring apple tree. A few weeks from now, she'll see them kiss in the Talon against the counter, slow and sweet and vividly real. A few months from now, she'll go to her internship and meet Daniel, who teaches her to fuck. A few years from now, she'll learn about the alien that walks among them and start to connect the dots. That night, her eyes will be swollen red and her nose bruised, blankets wrapped close and her face buried in a sweat-and-tear soaked pillow.

But for now, she just breathes.

*****

They carry lunch outside, because it's a new spring and beautiful and she wants to share it with him. Months together, and it's still this thrill, when he takes her hand, fingers twined together.

"So still going to do the internship again this summer?" Clark asks, swinging the basket like a kid during spring break. She laughs, remembering Martha tucking the fruit in the basket, hefting the blanket higher over her shoulder.

"Yeah. It'll be fun."

"Metropolis isn't as weird as Smallville," Clark says, and Chloe thinks what he means is, Smallville isn't as interesting without her.

"I'm sure weird things happen other places. But Smallville has its charms."

It's spring and it's gorgeous, golden light and bright green everywhere, like a painting of classic middle American come to life. She skips without thinking, reaching for an apple in the basket and taking a bite as Clark comes to a stop beside Miller Pond, taking the blanket to spread beneath an old tree. Then he laughs and pulls her close, tumbling her onto her back, and she drops the apple and closes her eyes to wait for his kiss.

In a moment, they'll be making out on this blanket.

A while from now, she'll wonder about the cave paintings and think on what they could mean to Smallville. Later, she'll think about Kyla while she takes the pictures to Metropolis and spreads them out, thinking on what they could mean to Clark. Even later, she'll know Clark's secret and wonder if it's true. And after that, she'll write a story that will change the world. That night, her eyes will be swollen red and her nose bruised, blankets wrapped close and her face buried in a sweat-and-tear soaked pillow.

But for now, she just breathes.

*****

"He'll be down in a minute," Martha tells her, smiling from the sink as she finishes the morning dishes, and Chloe grins, reaching for an apple on the table. "What are the two of you up to today?"

"Dunno," Chloe answers, running her fingers over the smooth surface. "He say anything? He just told me to wear comfortable shoes."

Martha snickers softly, glancing up at the sound of feet on the stairs moving at double time, before Clark appears, beautiful in dark red and smiling at her so blindingly he's like the sun in splendor, and Chloe catches her breath. "Hey! You're early!"

"Hopefully welcome," she teases, grinning as she tosses the apple in the air. He crosses to his mother to give an absent kiss, then leans into the table beside her. "So what's up?"

"Picnic," he says, and Chloe catches her breath. "See? I remember. One year anniversary."

"Now?"

"Basket's in the cupboard and yes, I made the sandwiches myself." He disappears, only to reappear with that old Kent picnic basket that's seen too many years of fairs and town gatherings, and Chloe finds herself wondering if she'll use it with their children. Silly thought, but it makes her warm. "You ready to go?"

Leaning over, she drops the apple in the basket and slides her fingers through his. "Sure. Let's go."

In an hour, they'll find the perfect picnic spot.

Someday, she'll graduate from Smallville High School at the top of her class and watch Clark watching Lana when she gets her diploma. Eventually, she'll leave college to become the best rookie reporter the Inquisitor has ever had. Afterward, she'll watch Clark marry Lois and forget how a new spring tastes. And one day, she'll accept an award for the greatest news story ever written and realize that she'll never see him again.

That night, her eyes will be swollen red and her nose bruised, blankets wrapped close and her face buried in a sweat-and-tear soaked pillow.

But for now, she just breathes.

the end


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I love you.

I love this story.

And also? I love you.

Aww. As long as it pleases you, chica. *hugs*

I am well pleased.

Man. If I had a dollar for every outstanding, Memento-esque story I've read in SV fic, I'd have enough for an extra large fancy ass Starbucks drink. Still, glad to see you contributing to the genre. That was just excellent. I got seriously hooked by the idea as well as the execution. Great story.

STARBUCKS?

I do like their caramel coffee, though. Obsessive thing in college. *g* With whipped cream and sprinkled hershey's cocoa.

Great. Now I want some and the nearest is about forty miles away. GAH.

Thanks so much!

Amazing. And poor Chloe, *sniff* you really captured her.

Wow, thanks! *hugs* I was hoping it sounded okay!

*hugs*

Oh, man. This is so sad. Feeling it build, seeing the inevitablity of the refrain at the end of each verse, moving back from despair to sorrow to joy to hope all the while knowing where it will lead.....

Poor Chloe -- keep breathing....

Hee. Inevitability sucks so much. *pets Chloe* Thanks!

Oh, man. It takes amazing skill to tell such a sad story so beautifully.
You make me believe that it'll all end in tears! I guess we already knew that.
--LastScorpion--

*huggles* Thanks so much!

*looks at story* I've GOT to cheer up soon or doom is going to do bad things with my karma here.

*pokes* See, you can do Chloe. Told you. Lovely symmetry. Beautiful as always.

Re: green with envy

*huggles hard* From you, that is VERY high praise. Thank you VERY much, chica. *hugs*

Oh pish, praise is given where praise is deserved. *g*

BTW, my last contribution to the Chlex can be found here. Ether, aka, the story that branched off to everything else I wrote from June 2002 on. :)

Oh, man, I just want to shake you, you have completely given me the how could you do that to Chloe! blues. Really, it's a lovely piece, the interiors are pitch perfect and heartbreaking, yes, you can do a beautiful Chloe and you now need to leave her alone. God I have to go read HAPPY Chloe/Wally fic now before I cry.

*laughs* I almost never hurt Chloe! I only killed her once and that other time? Orgasms happened. Okay, this isn't a good defense, is it? *g*

Thanks. I'm glad you like it!

This is just awesome. I love the way you have captured Chloe, she rings completely true to me. And the construction is just wonderful. This is a keeper; and I don't have many of those :-)

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much!

How beautiful.

Thank you.

*Hugs* I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Wow.

I'm torn between wanting to read that again and needing to stuff my heart back into my chest.

*grins* I like that effect.

Thanks! That is--a VERY visual comment! *g*

I love Chloe and I hate it when she hurts in fiction or on the show. But damn, if you didn't make that hurt gloriously.

Also, in my head? Chloe ends up with a man that adores her, kids that worship her, and a Superman that wished he could have kept her.

fabulous piece.

Hee! Chloe deserves better, I know. *nod*

*hugs* Thanks so much for the comments!

This whole piece is heartbreakingly, achingly beautiful, and gut-wrenchingly sad. I can feel the warmth of the day on my skin. You excel at making the settings of your stories real, did you know that?

And this line: Chloe finds herself wondering if she'll use it with their children. Silly thought, but it makes her warm. Killed me. Seriously, I'm broken here.

Good stuff.

Someday, she'll graduate from Smallville High School at the top of her class and watch Clark watching Lana when she gets her diploma. Eventually, she'll leave college to become the best rookie reporter the Inquisitor has ever had. Afterward, she'll watch Clark marry Lois and forget how a new spring tastes. And one day, she'll accept an award for the greatest news story ever written and realize that she'll never see him again.


You know why this works for me? Because it hits on one of the basic truths of Smallville:

Knowing Clark, really knowing him, hurts.

I think it is the thing that Smallville brings to the Superman mythos that hasn't been the focus in other stories. Certainly not the golden age stories in comics. I know there are storylines that focus on Superman's angst - and that is certainly part of Smallville, along with the wonder of - Hey, Look! New power! *g* But the pain of being part of Clark Kent's half-life isn't just a joke in Smallville - it's the catalyst for so much that happens.

and of course we do it better in fanfic LOL

Well done.

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