Title: Going Under
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Genre: Dark Fluff
Disclaimer: All things Smallville belong to DC Comics, the WB, et al. The lyrics are to the song ‘Going Under’ by Evanescence.
Distribution: The normal places.
Author’s Notes: So. . . Here’s the deal. I can’t claim to have seen even half of the Smallville episodes out there. I can, and have, read transcripts at times to fill in the blanks, but that doesn’t provide a great grasp of things at times. So – while there will be many bits and pieces of this fic that are quite canon in nature, I’m going to label it as AU anyway, just to save myself if I tread on the toes of canon while inventing a nice, dark past for Chloe. These changes will, most likely, be pretty evident to die hard SV fans. So - AU, just warning you now *smiles*
Summary: Betrayal is a sharp edge, difficult to walk, and even harder not to fall into headfirst. Betrayal to one’s self. Betrayal by friends to those most close, and reverse betrayal when vengeance moves from want to need.
//Don't want your hand this time I'll save myself
Maybe I'll wake up for once
Not tormented daily defeated by you
Just when I thought I'd reached the bottom
I'm dying again//
She slammed her hand into the steering wheel of her car. Once. Twice. Again and again, until the pain became real, something other than an ache in her heart that couldn’t and wouldn’t be given weight to. It throbbed through her palms, into her fingers. A dull, spreading pain that infused itself into the very bones of her hands. She refused to cry over what she’d seen. Not again; never again for Him or Her. Let them drown in a sea of pink hearts and fluffy bunny rabbits for all she cared. She wasn’t going to play this game anymore.
Warm copper glanced over her taste buds, filling her mouth with its metallic flavor. She licked at her lips, unsurprised when her tongue ran over a moment of pain. Brief and bursting. She’d bitten her lip to keep from screaming, it seemed. The blood was dotting her tongue, coloring her senses.
A hollow laugh filled the inside of her small car. Hands aching, lip bleeding, she let the laughter roll over her. Desperate, painful laughter. Hard to dredge up from that place within her that felt so dead. That warm, bright place that she’d never thought would even exist, and it was breaking apart second by second, minute by torturous minute. She welcomed that release. Let the walls come down, her mind whispered with a sigh of pure bliss. Let the pain wash away the hurt, until all that was left was what she had been before.
She looked around the half-empty parking lot, surprised that she’d let herself get this emotional here, where anyone could see. Setting her heart to stone, if only for that blissful span of time from here to home, Chloe Sullivan started her car and roared out of the parking lot.
She leaned against her bedroom door, car keys fallen heavily to the floor. Her heart was pounding a mile a minute in her chest; so fast that she had to wonder, belatedly, if perhaps it might just not jump right out and dance a weary jig in front of her. Wouldn’t that be something for her Wall of Weird? Heart does dance after friends caught –
They hadn’t seen her, but she’d seen them. In the back office at the Talon, their lips locked together in a kiss so passionate that she’d almost been amuse, until she realized what she was witnessing.
She gasped for breath now, chest constricting around that painfully beating object within her. Happiness so close, yet never within reach. Not even close enough to brush her fingers across. And it wasn’t their fault, but she couldn’t hate them less for it. Pain was pain. It was hard and agonizing, and burned like a slow fire from the inside out.
It was all her own fault, after all, that annoying little voice in the back of her head reminded her. The one that was never silent, always whispering about things that could have been, should have been, and still could be. It whispered now, even while her heart was steadily breaking; awakening parts of her that had been shoved down, a betrayal to herself as surely as her friends’ betrayal today had been. Thought processes, long since pushed aside for those more ‘pure’ and ‘innocent’ came to the fore, unbidden but more than welcome in their coolness.
The old Chloe would never have allowed herself to get head over heels for that. . .farmboy! She would never have allowed herself to be molded by her so-called friends, to be changed from what she was into something she could only sickeningly hope to be, out of desperateness to fit in.
Her fault, then; for allowing her father to guilt her into this. . .experience. Smallville. Disgusting little hick town in the middle of Kansas nowhere.
Come along Chloe.
Make some new friends. Some. . .good friends.
Be a good girl, for me? Please Chloe?
Her lips curled up into a sneer, those final walls in her mind breaking down. She’d done what he’d asked; though he’d given her no choice in the moving aspect of it all. She’d moved to this backwards little place, and she’d dampened down those instincts of hers, turning them to journalism instead of her more preferred, illicit activities. She’d allowed herself to get caught up in the whirlwind that was friendship with Pete and Clark, their small town charm rubbing off on her; shaping who she was to come to be.
Day by day she’d changed herself to better suit their world, to fit in with what they thought she was. A fifteen year old girl, recently from the city. Living with her father. A girl that ‘needed’ some friends to show her around. Sweet, curious Chloe; with a wit and charm all her own. The snarky one, with the biting humor.
Minute by minute she’d given in, infatuated with the tall wonder that was Clark Kent. No more thoughts of sneaking back to Metropolis in the dead of the night; hanging out with her old friends, her true friends. Gone were those idle dreams of what she’d given up by coming here, replaced instead by that hope that maybe, just maybe, Clark could one day look at her the way he looked at Lana Lang. No one had ever looked at her before. Not back then, and not now. But she had hope, because Lana couldn’t give Clark the time of day.
Hope no more, she chided herself. Let hope fall to the wayside, like a piece of paper flying out of a car’s window, to disappear forever into the nothingness of the countryside.
She sat down heavily on the edge of her bed, glaring around the room. So little of herself here, for all that it was ‘hers’. The room, like the clothes she wore and the attitude she’d adopted, was merely a façade. An act, impressive and flawless.
No one guessed.
They didn’t know a thing about her that she didn’t want them to know. And she didn’t want Clark to know those things from her past. The things that –would- end any chance that she had of ever being with him. She’d hidden it all so well, under that carefully created guise of Chloe Sullivan, girl reporter.
“Hardly matters now,” she whispered under her breath, eyes lingering longingly over her laptop. It would never do now. Fine for working on stories or the Torch, it just didn’t carry enough ‘firepower’ for the plans that were already racing through her head.
She’d done what her father wanted. Been the good girl. The model student, with her tenacious curiosity her only fault.
But it hadn’t worked.
“Can’t keep a bad girl down.” Her laughter echoed through the room, bouncing back and forth off of the walls, ringing back into her own ears. She smiled coldly.
No, you couldn’t keep a bad girl down. Not when she had tasted the good, and the bad, and found the darkness more to her liking.
Being bad was so much more fun, after all. Definitely more satisfying.
And it was a fun she intended to indulge in again; whether her father wanted her to or not. She was eighteen now, and there was nothing he could do to stop her.
Not a single, solitary thing.
Smallville could burn and she wouldn’t care. Clark and Lana, and Pete too – because he had probably known, could all be damned.
In fact – her smile grew, spreading into a wicked approximation of delight – she’d be the one to do the damning, so to speak. For their role alone in making her a part of this little community, they could suffer. But for their selfish betrayal, their conscious treading on of her feelings – for that they would know once and for all that she had never been who they thought. And she knew just where to start --
It was about time she got down to figuring out Clark’s secret once and for all.