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 Post subject: Payback Time (Chlex)- Chapters 1 to 3- Upd 7/30 -TEEN
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:11 am 
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Location: Bahía Blanca, Argentina
SUMMARY:Chloe is living under a new identity and working for a prestigious magazine. A guilty Lex believes her dead and, when someone attempts on his life again, the reporter comes out of hiding to help him undercover.Will they have a chance together this time ?

Fandom: Smallville

Ship: Chlex

Genre: Drama/Romance

Rating: Teen

Disclaimer: all Superman and Smallville characters belong to DC Comics and Gough & Millar. No Infringement's intended.

A/N: this story takes place thirteen years after ' Covenant '- episode 22 of Season 3- and presupposes the events on “ Crusade “ never happened. Therefore, there was no rescue operation carried out by Lex and General Lane.

CHAPTER1
: Darkness

Thirteen years had gone by since the day the FBI called Lex to inform him both Chloe and Gabe Sullivan were dead. Thirteen years since the explosion of their safe house blew them to pieces, and 4745 days since Lex realised he had failed to keep the one promise he'd made when Chloe stubbornly agreed to testify against his father- to protect her.

In all those years there hadn't been a night in which he hadn't woken up in the middle of a nightmare covered in sweat, screaming Chloe's name. Even though he hadn't seen the blowup with his own eyes, he could picture it in his mind, and his subconscious ran it over and over again, torturing him in his sleep.

However, this night when he opened his eyes after the recurring bad dream, something was different. He tried to adjust his eyes to the darkness that surrounded him in an attempt to make out the familiar furniture and wallpaper of his room, still, there was nothing but blackness around him. He brought his hands up to his eyes and felt the gauze around his head. He was blind. Blind as a bat.

“ It's all right, Mr Luthor. You've had a nightmare, “ sad a voice Lex didn't recognise.

“ Who are you ? Where am I ? “ asked Lex agitated.

“ Lie back, Mr Luthor, “ said the woman, helping him to ease his head on the pillow. “ There, much better. You're in hospital and my name's Nurse Williams. “

“ What's happened ? My eyes... I can't..., “said Lex, touching the bandage.

“ I know. It must be overwhelming to wake up all of a sudden and find yourself in this condition. Dr Nichols'll come right away to talk to you. Calm down. “

“ Calm down ? Calm down !” exclaimed Lex breathlessly. “ Tell me what's happened, “ asked Lex with a no-nonsense attitude.

“ All I can tell you is that there was some kind of accident in a lab and that your eyes were damaged in the process. “

“ How extensive's the damage ? “

“Dr Nichols'll inform you, Mr Luthor. I'm sorry. I can't say any more. Oh ! Here's the doctor. I'll leave you two alone. “

“ Good morning, Mr Luthor. I'm Dr Nichols, your ophthalmologist. Do you remember what happened back at Luthorcorp ? “

“The nurse's told me there was an accident in a lab. Everything's hazy. I can't remember what actually happened there but... why... “

“ According to my exam, your eyes were exposed to some kind of acid. “

“ How damaged are they ? “

“ We have to do more tests to be sure. They were badly burnt but at this point I can't give you any certainties. “

Blind. Just when he was on the trail of something big, something that could put his father back where he belonged. Lex had almost tasted the sweet flavour of revenge in his mouth and, once again, God or the Devil- he didn't know which- had made use of his twisted sense of humour. Chloe didn't deserve what had happened to her, to have died to help him put Lionel behind bars, and to be let down by the one person she had decided to put her trust in.

Lex was worn out. He could feel he was drifting back to sleep- sleep and the realm of dreams. At least there was something better than this darkness, a place in which he could see the face of an idealistic girl who did things without expecting anything in return, a land where he could believe there was still innocence and loyal friendship.

CHAPTER 2: Time to Collect

It was ten in the evening, and the sophisticated petite chestnut-haired reporter everybody in the magazine affectionately called ' L ' was putting in some extra hours to meet a deadline before printing time. She had been at it for six hours and didn't have anything decent to publish yet. In fact, she couldn't remember having writer's block since her high school days at ' The Torch '. The girl that Pete, Lana and Clark used to call ' Chlo ' was incapable of getting focused to write a stupid article on a new restaurant just opened in Soho. It wasn't an investigative report that would put the biggest crime lords of New York behind bars for crying out loud !

Nobody. not even her best friend, fashion reporter Janice Sutherland, had noticed anything wrong with her. Her colleagues were used to seeing her make frequent walks to the coffee machine for her refills and blamed the high caffeine intake for her high-strung mood. That morning, ' L ' took really good care to find refuge in the toilet when a seemingly stupid comment led her to tears. and she realised she'd have to use all the acting tools she'd learnt to master in the last thirteen years to pull her through the day.

“ Miss Lawrence, you're still working ! What's a good-looking girl like you doing here at this time of night ? You should be out having fun with some young man ! “ said Cynthia, the cleaning lady.

“ One'd think that in a city like New York finding an intelligent straight guy who's still available should be a piece of cake, Cynthia, but it's not. Unfortunately, the feat's like looking for a needle in a haystack. However, I'm used to being alone. I've never had too much luck with the opposite sex anyway. They've always seen me as either intimidating or as one of the gang. “

“ I can't believe that, Miss Lawrence. What man could consider you as one of the gang ! You're too femenine to be mistaken for a guy... I wouldn't like to be nosy but... when was the last time you went out on a date ? “

“ You are being nosy, Cynthia. And I have to finish this article before midnight or I'll be in real trouble. “

“ Is everything OK, miss ? You look peaked, if I may say so. “

“ Nothing that a good night's sleep won't mend, Cynthia, “ she stated, struggling to keep the tears from falling.

Lindsey Lawrence, as Chloe had been known ever since she entered the Witness Protection Program, couldn't remember the last time someone had asked her out. In fact, being left alone in this world when she was just seventeen had kept her mind too busy to dwell on any romantic dreams.

The Luthors- or rather Lionel Luthor- had been her undoing. She couldn't blame Lex for what had happened to Gabe and her; she had walked into Lionel's trap alone. If there was an unwitting culprit that was Clark because her jealousy of him and Lana had made her an easy prey. The older Luthor had played on her feelings and when she wanted to get out of the deal they'd struck it was too late. She'd been naïve, too naïve to consider she could blackmail Lionel with a crime from the past and get away with it. Lex had been the only one she could turn to and, despite he had everything to gain from her testimony against his father, he had tried to talk her out of it. She should have listened to him. He knew better. He had always known better.

By midnight, she had finished the article- it wouldn't be the best in history but it'd do- and was ready to leave the building. She switched off the desk light and the computer, and summoned the lift. Once the doors closed behind her, she had a good look at herself in the mirror, appraising again the fantastic job the government-paid plastic surgeons had done with her face, and broke into tears. She cried for the life she'd lost, the friends she missed and the one person she wanted to hate but couldn't bring herself to.

It was close to one o'clock when the taxi parked in front of her block of flats, and Chloe saw a man get out of a car across the street. It didn't take her long to realise he was there for her and she felt a knot in the pit of her stomach. In spite of all those years, the new face and the new identity, the strongest link with her past hadn't been severed. She had known the day would come when they'd knock at her door to collect, and she wasn't ready- not now that she knew something about herself she had ignored.

“ Miss Lawrence ? I'm Agent Clarkson from the FBI, “ he said, flashing the badge. “ Could I have a word with you ? “

“ Clarkson, you said ? “ asked Chloe. The name certainly was a joke.

“ Couldn't you have waited until tomorrow ? Do you live in a different time zone ? The last time I checked it was one o'clock, and I really feel like taking an aspirin and going to bed. And no, I'm not making a proposition if that's what you're thinking. I'm not that desperate. “

“ Have you ever been told you have a sharp tongue, Miss Lawrence ? “

“ What do you want, Mr Clarkson ? “ asked Chloe exasperated.

“ It's not what I want but what the government wants, Miss Lawrence. Why don't we go up ?

“OK. But don't you get any ideas in that head of yours. “

Once inside the apartment, Chloe kicked off her shoes, took off her jacket and sat on the sofa with her feet tucked underneath her.

“ Well, Agent Clarkson, let's come straight to the point. What does Uncle Sam want from me ? “

“ I assume you've learnt about the recent developments. “

“ Recent developments ? “

“ The lab accident that left the younger Luthor blind. It was on the front page of every major newspaper in the country. “

“ Oh, yes ! I think I've read something about it on the net, “ confessed a poker-faced Chloe.

“ We need your help on this case. “

“ My help ? I don't see how I can help. Remember that I'm part of the Witness Protection Program. I'm not supposed to come near any of the people that were once part of my life- least of all the Luthors.

“ I know how you feel, Miss Lawrence, but... “

“ You couldn't possibly know what I feel like, agent. Still, I've made my bed and I'm prepared to lie on it. I don't regret what I did. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It's not the deed but what I've lost that I regret. “

“ You knew that one day we'd ask for your help again. You weren't fit to testify in court and Mr Luthor got away with murder. Now, he's involved in something bigger, and we've got reason to believe he's behind the attempt on his son's life. “

“Knowing the old devil, it wouldn't surprise me. What I don't understand is why he waited thirteen years. “

“He didn't. This wouldn't be his first attempt at finishing Alexander. The day your safe house exploded, the younger Luthor was found dying on the floor of his study. Poisoned wine. Those Luthors are definitely made of strong stuff. He survived a chemical onslaught that would have killed 99.9 of people and he required a very expensive treatment to purify his blood every 72 hours, “ explained the agent to a stunned Chloe.

“ What is it that you want me to do ? “ asked Chloe, trying to hide the effect the agent's revelation had had on her.

“ You've got an advantage, Miss Lawrence. You look nothing like your old self, and that charming accent of yours would never be associated with the midwestern girl you used to be. Were you to come near them, they wouldn't recognise you. Besides, you were just seventeen and, judging by the old photos I've seen of you, they could never confuse the girl they knew with the sophisticated woman in her thirties you're now. “

“ Well, gee, thanks... I guess, “ said Chloe with a smirk. “ But tell me, agent, how am I supposed to come near Luthor without blowing my cover ? “

“ Alexander's condition'll require him to have a personal assistant that could be his ' eyes', so to speak, and ... “

“ Alexander ? Aren't we talking about getting Lionel ? “ interrupted Chloe with a puzzled look.

“ Getting close to the son would be easier. He's an attractive young man and you're a beautiful young woman- although he wouldn't be able to see that, poor bastard. “

“ Why don't you refrain from making hurtful comments, agent Clarkson ? “ she exploded.” Just stick to the facts, please. “

“ I'm sorry, Miss Lawrence. I didn't think you'd be so touchy, considering he's the reason why you're part of the program. “

“ Let it rest, agent, “ snarled Chloe. “ Couldn't you send one of your undercover agents to spy on Lionel Luthor ? “

“ We tried that in the past but the old man smells federals from miles. “

“ I wonder how he manages to do that. You're the masters of disguise, “ she added ironically.

“ As I was saying... being Alexander's assistant would put you in a priviliged position. You'd have access to confidential information and be near Lionel Luthor. “

“ You're poor judges of character, agent. There's no love lost between those two, and you don't know Alexander as I do. He's been raised to distrust strangers, and there's no one I know who could get close enough to be privy to his personal or business matters. “

“ You're right, Miss Lawrence. You know him. You know how he thinks and that makes you perfect for the plan. “

“ I'm not spying on him, agent. It's out of the question. My days as an intrepid reporter are over, “ she shouted, leaving the sofa.

“ It'd be the perfect way to send to prison the man who killed your father, Miss Lawrence. Isn't that incentive enough ? Besides, you owe us. “

“ You're asking me to renounce to everything I've managed to build in these last thirteen years. And what's more you want me to deceive someone I used to call my friend, “ she said, pacing up and down the room for a couple of minutes. “ Let me sleep on it, agent. “

“ I'll wait for your call, Miss Lawrence, “ he said, walking towards the front door.

“ Goodnight, “ said Chloe, locking the door behind him.

CHAPTER 3: The Decision

Chloe arrived at the magazine when the clock struck nine. She had taken extra care with her wardrobe and make-up to cover up the puffy nose, the red eyes and the bags she got after a particularly sleepless and tearful night.

“ Good heavens , L ! What in bloody hell's happened to you ? “ asked her very British friend Janice. “ Have you been crying ? “

“ Not at all, Janice. I've spent too many hours in front of the computer screen to finish that damn article. My eyes were dry and I've just put some drops in them. “

“ You can't fool me, L. Why don't you confide in me ? I promise I won't tell. I'm the Bank of England as far as secrets go. “

“ Wouldn't that be Fort Knox ? “ asked Chloe, remembering the nickname Lex and her had given to an old friend of theirs. “ You're a wonderful friend but there's nothing to tell. However, I need to ask you a favour, Janice. I'm taking my holidays now and... “

“ That's the best news I've heard so far. You could use them, L. You're on the verge of a nervous breakdown, I can tell. Whatever happened yesterday morning has clearly pushed you closer to the edge, my friend, “ added her perceptive friend.

“ You could say I had an epiphany. I realised it's high time I stopped running away. I've been hiding for too long. “

“ I know what you mean, L. It's time to live and let your hair down. Have you thought of taking a cruise to the Caribbean ? “

“ Nothing as sophisticated as that. I was thinking of spending the three-month vacation the magazine owes me in Kansas. “

“ The countryside ? What's a cosmopolitan girl like you going to do in the middle of nowhere ? “

“ It'd be the perfect place to rest my weary mind but I've got a tiny little problem “

“ That's where I come in, isn't it ? “

“ Right. I've spent my savings on my wardrobe and the new carpet I bought for the apartment so I'm going to need a temporary job to make ends meet. “

“ Why don't you ask the boss for an advance ? “

“ I wouldn't like to owe him more than it's necessary, Janice. You know what he's like.”

“ Yes, yes, I know what you mean.What kind of job were you thinking of ? “

“ Maybe secretary or assistant. Something that involved clerical work. I'd need a letter of recommendation and I was wondering if your grandmother could write one for me. “

“ Grandma ? What have you got up your sleeve, L ? You want to impress someone ? OK... OK... I won't ask. I'll talk to her. She dotes on you so, I guess, it won't be a problem. Sometimes I think she loves you more than me. “

“ Thanks, Janice. You're a dear. “

“ Don't mention it, love. It'll be my pleasure. “

The wheels were already in motion and the only thing left now was to call Agent Clarkson with her answer. She'd agree to colaborate but in her own terms because she didn't trust the FBI. Some of its agents were easily bought, she was the living proof- their corruptible nature had cost Gabe his life and her a lot of pain and suffering. She couldn't trust anyone who could be outsmarted by the devil incarnate, and she didn't mean Lex Luthor. She'd agree to come back because it was the right thing to do. It was definitely high time Lionel paid for what he had done to her life and that of his son.

_________________
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This amazing signature was designed by herohunter.Thanks for letting me borrow it. Also a big thank you to atem for the avatar.


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 Post subject: Re: Payback Time (Chlex)- Chapters 1 to 3- Upd 7/30 -TEEN
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:44 am 
:clap :clap :clap I've read the first two chapters of this here and they are great! :) I'll read the third tomorrow - it's almost midnight...lol...but I'm looking forward to reading the rest and seeing how Lex and Chloe will reunite! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Payback Time (Chlex)- Chapters 1 to 3- Upd 7/30 -TEEN
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:11 am 
Okay, I've caught up! :) I"m glad that Chloe has decided to take her vacation and in the process stop running and go back home where she can put a stop to Lionel. I look forward to seeing what she will do as well as what's ahead between her and Lex...Great beginning to the story, Lexie! :) :dance :clap :clap :clap :clap


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