Title: No Joke
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: All things Smallville belong to DC Comics, WB, et al.
Distribution: The normal places, provided they want a pure Smallville fic.
Author’s Notes: Well, my first Smallville fic. Damn me for starting a new genre.
Summary: In honor of April Fool’s, a particularly fluffy piece that my muses haven’t let me get out of my head.
She stumbled out of bed, one hand slamming her alarm clock with a vengeance for daring to wake her so early, school or not. There wasn’t a single thought as to the day as she went about pulling on her clothes, chugging down a cup of coffee from the kitchen, and dashing off to school.
“Chloe! Wait up!”
The blonde turned, arching an eyebrow at her two best friends as they jogged across the school’s front lawn to catch up to her.
“Hey guys. Can’t talk right now – got something to do for The Torch before first period.”
She turned away, missing the look that passed between Pete and Clark.
“Yeah, about that, Chloe – there’s something we need to tell you,” Pete fell into place next to her. “Front page type stuff.”
Chloe glanced over at Pete, then at Clark, noting the worried looks on their faces; the not so subtle way they were trying to go about being ‘sensitive’ with whatever it was they needed to say. “What’s going on?”
“You haven’t talked to Lex yet this morning, then?”
She frowned, stopping halfway to the school’s entrance. Lex Luthor, none other than Smallville’s own resident billionaire, had been dating her for two months, during which time they hardly ever spoke before she left for school. He was usually too caught up in meetings by that inauspicious time of day.
Which made Clark’s statement all the more worrisome.
“You know I haven’t,” she murmured. “What’s going on.”
“Well, you see. . .it’s like this, Chlo’,” Pete sighed. “It’s all over the TV this morning. His company’s going under.”
“What?!?” Chloe felt the screech leave her mouth before she could stop it, her heart pounding in her chest. Oh, no. Lex would be devastated. How could something like this have happened?
She turned, running back across the lawn, to the parking lot. She had to get to Lex.
“Think we should call her cell and tell her it was a joke?”
Pete grinned, shaking his head. “And face her wrath. Hell no. Let Luthor cool her off when she realizes what today is.”
“I’m going to kill them.”
Lex smirked, leaning back in his chair to watch the woman pacing his private study. She was a vision when she got like this. All fired up and raring to do something particularly nasty to someone or something. It was one of those qualities he most enjoyed in her. That fire that burned just beneath the surface.
“It never once crossed your mind that today is April 1st?”
“No, it never once crossed my mind that today is April 1st,” she mocked with a roll of her eyes, flopping gracelessly into a chair. Her heated eyes met his, and he raised an eyebrow at her subtle taunt.
“They say vengeance is sweet,” he drawled, standing quickly. The distance between himself and where she sat was short, and he crossed it before she had a chance to utter a response to his jibe. He knelt between her legs, placing a hand on either side of her knees, seeing her eyes flare with passion as his fingers gently massaged her inner thighs. “Would you like to play a joke on them?”
He felt his body surge to life at the hitch in her voice a moment later, as her eyes drifted partially shut under the tender ministrations of his fingers.
”What did you have in mind?”
Just play it cool, Sullivan, Chloe told herself, pulling up in front of the Talon. She glanced down at her hand, then at the coffee house, then back at her hand. It was the perfect gag, of course. Clark and Pete would have a coronary. Well, Pete would anyway. Clark would just look. . .dumbfounded. It was a look he pulled off rather well, she had to admit; though she knew that he didn’t practice or even mean to come across like that. It was just the way he looked when he got confused.
She slid out of her car, pasting a silly grin on her face. They were in there already, of that much she was sure. School had been out for almost forty-five minutes and Lana had work today. Where Lana was, so was Clark. And where Clark could be found, Pete was as well.
It gave her the perfect opportunity to set this little prank into motion.
She pushed open the door, the scent of fresh coffee assaulting her senses almost immediately. Her body whimpered, reminding her that it had been a long time since that initial cup this morning.
Not that she’d been thinking about coffee while spending the day wrapped in Lex’s arms, she smirked silently; stopping at the counter long enough to put in her order before wandering over to where Clark and Pete sat.
“I’m still mad at you two,” she fumed, not needing to fake her irritation with her two friends.
“Aw, c’mon, Chloe,” Pete grinned. “Admit it, we had you.”
“Right – had me speeding all the way to Lex’s,” she rolled her eyes, smiling in relief as Lana walked over with her coffee. It was now or never, she supposed. With a move that she’d thought long and hard about, she reached for the cup that the brunette held out to her, making sure that her fingers were visible.
“Oh. My. God.”
Chloe fought to keep the smile off of her face as Lana’s stunned comment burned into her ears. She snickered silently as she met the other girl’s eyes.
“What?” she asked innocently.
“Is that. . .I mean. . .Did Lex?”
“Propose?” Chloe filled in, smiling outright now. “Why, yes. He did. Do you like it?”
The blonde haired reported hid her smile in her coffee mug, letting Lana examine the ring. Lex said it had been his mother’s, and she had to admit that the woman had been in possession of considerable taste. It wasn’t too big, but neither was it something that anyone would take for granted. Very flashy, definitely sparkly. The type of thing that any warm-blooded girl would go gaga over. Yes, even her. She’d been awestruck when he’d first taken it out of the safe and slipped it on her finger; even more so because it fit perfectly, almost as if it had been made for her.
Which was silly, of course. It was his mother’s ring. One of many from her private collection, to hear him tell of it.
But still, a girl could dream.
“You. . .and Lex. . .married?” Clark muttered, still shaking his head in confusion, much to Chloe’s amusement.
“Well, technically we’re just engaged, but – yeah. He asked. I said yes. Look – ring.” She held up her hand for their inspection, mentally chuckling at the look on their faces.
“So. . .wow,” Lana breathed, her face lit up in a smile that Chloe was pretty sure could take sight even from the blind in its wattage. “Congratulations.”
“Thanks,” the blonde haired reporter smiled, a small ache in her heart. Maybe one day she’d get to do this for real, see their reactions all over again. But, for now, this is what she had, and she was going to play it to the fullest. “Anyway – Lex wanted me to invite you guys over tonight for dinner. Sort of a celebration, you know. I gotta run.”
She was up and out of the Talon before anyone could stop her. She paused just outside of the door, her sides shaking with silent laughter as she pictured the looks on their faces only moments before.
This was turning out to be a good day, after all.
And it was only going to get better.
Chloe trailed one hand down the banister, finding some sort of sensuous pleasure in the feel of the smooth wood beneath her hand. The ring that Lex had loaned to her that morning sparkled with every little speck of light that it caught, and she felt herself smile. For tonight she was a fairytale princess, complete with castle and sparkly jewels. And while she didn’t necessarily want to admit it, even to herself, it felt right.
She paused at the bottom of the stairs, hearing laughter echo from somewhere within the house. The dining room, of course. Everyone was already here, just waiting for her and Lex.
“Are you ready for the biggest prank of your life?”
The blonde turned, smiling at Lex.
“Let’s get this party started.”
The meal had been wonderful, even if conversation alternated between stilted, on the part of Clark and Pete, and overly-exuberant, thanks to Lana’s new found infatuation with the ring on Chloe’s finger.
It was almost enough to make her want to cut the prank short, just to end the misery she was personally enduring. If she had to hear one more time how beautiful the ring was, she was sure that she would lose it.
“It’s just such a beautiful –“
Chloe growled under her breath, shooting Lex a look of pure, unadulterated begging. End it now, she said with her eyes, resisting the urge to kick him under the table when he flashed her that smug smirk of his her way, as if nothing at all was wrong with this scenario.
Well, maybe her friends were annoying her more than they were annoying her. It was possible. He was the one that had worked his whole life to stay calm and collected, whereas she was the bundle of energy that everyone had come to expect from her. She twisted the ring nervously on her finger, the entire prank seeming childish now. A fake engagement, a fake engagement party. She sighed.
“Yes, sweetheart,” she ground out through teeth clenched so hard that she worried half heartedly if one would crack beneath the pressure.
“Shall we bring this to a close, then.”
“God, yes,” Chloe muttered, head dropping in relief, Lex’s chuckle echoing in her ears.
“Very well, since you insist,” he murmured softly, rising to his feet, wine glass in hand. She wished that he had let them have a little of that tonight. Alcohol could have only made Lana’s doting that much easier. “Thank you all for coming to celebrate with us tonight. Chloe and I appreciate our friends being with us during a time like this, sharing our joy.”
Chloe bit her lip, eyes on the table. She couldn’t bear to look up yet, if not she’d give the whole thing away, start laughing too soon, before he had a chance to even let them in on the prank.
“However,” she could hear the smirk in his voice, and dared a glance up, marveling once again at how lucky she was to have him, even if only as her boyfriend. “In honor of today’s. . .less than auspicious festivities. . .I have something to admit.”
Her eyes, having traveled back down to the tabletop, jerked sharply back up to Lex’s face at his. . .tone.
“Chloe – there never was a payback for your friends. If anything, they were in on my surprise. The ring is yours, if you’ll have it.”
She looked down at the ring on her hand, her heart hammering wildly in her chest. “Mine?”
“Yes, yours,” he drawled with a playful roll of his eyes, and she was sure she heard Clark snicker, though when she looked over at him he was the picture of innocence. Lana, on the other hand, looked just about ready to explode with giddiness.
“This was a joke. . .on me?”
“Only if you consider me asking you to marry me a joke.”
She blinked, surprise and shock warring with her own brand of ecstatic jubilation.
“I’m still in high school.”
“You graduate in a couple months.”
“We’ve only dated for two months.”
“And I already know you’re it for me.”
She swallowed, looking down at the ring again as he batted down every objection that she could find to what he was proposing. She knew she should be angry at him, at her friends, for pulling off something this. . .big.
But she couldn’t.
Her mouth parted slowly into a smile as she gazed into sparkly bauble on her finger. The one that she’d admired all day long, daydreaming about one day owning something similar.
And now she did, if only she would say –
She looked up at Lex, vowing to seek revenge somehow, someway, for this little ‘prank’ of his. But, for now, she had something more important to say.