by Francis

If there was one thing that Chloe hated more than reunions, they were nametags. She felt like an art exhibit, or worst a piece of meat at the deli. James Garrison, who had sat next to Chloe during junior year chemistry squinted trying to read her name off the tag. Or maybe he was just checking out her cleavage, either way she was annoyed.

She found that she was easily annoyed nowadays, which she guessed was for the best, being a columnist for the website Rant.Com and all. "Chloe Sullivan," James finally said to her. "How are you?"

"Oh, super! Thanks for asking," she faked enthusiasm which was what you did at reunions. "How about you?"

James shrugged, "Oh, not that good. My wife left me." He looked around like he was being watched. "Listen, can I buy you a drink or something?"

Chloe smiled at him. Ten years after high school and as horny and dumb as ever. "Actually, the drinks are free."

"Oh yeah, right." He agreed awkwardly and said goodbye to her. At least he was polite enough to say goodbye, she thought.

"So Chloe, enjoying the party?" Clark asked from behind her. His hand brushing gently against the small of her back. It meant nothing anymore but it still sent a shock through her system.

She turned and faced Clark who wore non-prescription eyeglasses to hide his secret identity (she thought it was lame and stupid) and Lois Lane, reporter extraordinaire of the Daily Planet. "This party sucks Clark," she complained. "What makes it worst is Pete isn't here."

"C'mon, I'm sure he had a good reason not being here," Clark defended the absentee Pete.

"Yeah, I bet that supermodel girlfriend of his is a good reason."

"I heard they broke up," Lois Lane commented. She reminded Chloe of Lana, dark brown hair, big eager eyes that sort of puts you in a spell. Chloe began to wonder where Lana was.

"And being the big shot sports star that he is, I bet there's a replacement supermodel girlfriend," Chloe chuckled.

"Have you seen Lana by the way?" Clark asked suddenly for no apparent reason. Lois rolled her eyes upon hearing the name. Chloe was amused that someone was still getting jealous over the thought of Lana and Clark being close friends. Gods knows she was back in high school.

"No, not yet anyway," she answered now looking around for her. Faces, some new, some familiar met her gaze, but no Lana. "Did she really say she'd come?"

"Yeah, I called her before we left the farm," he told her. "She said she might be running late. But she'll definitely come by."

"Chloe, would you excuse us for a sec," Lois said as she tugged at Clark's suit. Uh-oh, Chloe thought, trouble in May-December paradise.

"Definitely. I'll be by the bar numbing my senses. I might need a ride later back to Mi Padre's Casa, that is if you don't mind."

"Of course not," Lois answered, Clark now being completely silent.

Chloe struggled towards the bar grinning. She couldn't imagine the constant pressure of being with Clark Kent anymore. All that Lana talk and those mysterious disappearances. In fact when he told her all about his powers and where he really came from she began to lose interest in him. She leaned on the bar to call attention of the bartender. "A margarita," she ordered.

"Make that two," Lana interrupted and bumped her hip against Chloe's.

"Lana!" Chloe screamed too enthusiastically and pulled her to a hug. "God, I missed you."

"I missed you too," she squeaked, her hands on her side unable to hug back. "Where's Clark and Pete?"

"Pete is busy somewhere with someone, typically," she answered releasing Lana from her embrace. Lana smiled a knowing smile about Pete. "But he sends his best and tickets for his next game."

"And Clark?"

"Mr. Kent is with Ms. Lois Lane, arguing, if my observations are correct." Their drinks arrived, they toasted quietly and took a sip.

"Arguing about what?" Lana asked with that innocent look. Chloe couldn't believe how Lana could be so naive about things.

"I don't know," she muttered then took another sip. "Might have to do something about a certain brown haired woman."

Lana grunted, "I told her Clark and I are just friends now." Chloe laughed finally having someone to listen to her. "What is it about me? Do I have a big sign that says 'Clark's Bitch' on me?"

"Hey, no self-respecting woman is a man's bitch," she turned serious for a moment. "Besides, you know how she's older. She's afraid that Clark might decide to move back to same tens digit age."

"She's not that old, Chloe. Besides, it isn't just Lois," Lana complained, moving through acquaintances and friends to a table, Chloe sat beside her. "Remember Charlene and Monica, even Dave!"

"Wait, Dave! You mean Clark and Dave Grubbman were..." Chloe shivered remembering Clark's old roommate. The thought that Clark dated a few guy in college always amused Chloe. But big slob David Allan Grubbman was an appalling image.

"No, at least I think not. He was just you know, always asking where Clark and I went and what we did."

"I think my brain needs a shower."

Lana laughed, it was great seeing Chloe again. Although they had been constantly calling and e-mailing each other, being there with her was exhilarating. She put her hand on Chloe's and smiled at her. "Maybe your brain would like some company?"

"Lana," Chloe shifted in her seat, half-surprised and half-terrified. She pulled her hand away.

"Look, I know that when we broke up, we, actually, you decided that it was for the best," Lana began, "And I know that you were right. I was just going through a phase."

"We were both going through a phase Lana."

"Okay, we were both going through a phase. But don't tell me you don't miss it? That you don't miss us?" Chloe looked at Lana and wanted to kiss her, then and there. But she stopped herself.

It nearly killed her, their break-up, and after investing so much into getting their friendship back on track she wasn't going to be pulled back in. She wasn't the greatest liar, so she took her time. Chloe did miss being with Lana. She missed holding her hand and sharing a tub of popcorn while watching obscure European movies at the Metropolis University theater. She missed waking up with her nose in Lana's hair and her hand somewhere else in the Lana anatomy.

And of course she missed fucking Lana, and Lana fucking her.

"Honestly," she sighed. "No Lana, I don't miss us." She hated hurting her and swore after the break-up never to do it again. But it was a necessity, this lie. It needed to be done to protect Lana, but maybe even that was a lie.

Lana nodded, smiling but visibly hurt, "I guess I have to go. I left some important things at home."

"Lana, wait!" Chloe called out to Lana as she left. She suddenly hated herself for doing what she did. She needed to talk to her, to explain.

"Chloe, what happened?" Clark appeared out of nowhere, without his date. "Where's Lana going?"

She looked up to him and tried to smile but couldn't, she was holding back so much that she felt she would explode any second. And she didn't want to cry, she didn't want to cry anymore, because that's what she's been doing almost all of her life.

Crying. Crying in a corner, all alone.

It got too much, she sprinted out of the dance hall and to the parking lot where she threw up behind a black convertible. Clark followed her out and eased her by rubbing her back. No tears, she said to herself. "I'm sorry," she gasped.

"Are you okay Chloe? Do you want me to drive you home now?"

Bent forward by the waist, she shook her head and tried to fix herself (as best as someone in a dress puking in the parking lot of the high reunion can). "I'm okay Clark. I just had too much to drink that's all," she said facing him.

"Are you sure?"

"No," she sobbed and held on to him until her tears ran out, which was brief. "Clark remember when we, I mean, me and Lana were dating, right?"

"Yeah," Clark scratched his head and put his hands in his pockets. "Why?"

"Was I happy, I mean, did I look like I was happy?"

Puzzled by the question, Clark took his time before answering. "If you mean that did I think you were happy; then yeah, you looked like you were happy."

Chloe winced and wiped her eyes with the back of her hands, Clark offered her his handkerchief but she declined. She breathed in and out slowly, trying to catch her breath and clear her mind. "Did I ever tell you why I broke up with her?"

"Yeah," Clark nodded, "you thought she was just going through the bisexual-until-graduation phase, like we all did." The last part he whispered.

Chloe laughed a little. "Hey, no shame in that Clark!" Her voice was still cracking in spots, her eyes were sore and her nose red.

"Why did you break up with Lana?"

"I was afraid. I was afraid because it felt so right, like we were meant for each other. I remembered thinking that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Then I realized that I couldn't, I couldn't go home and tell my dad that her little girl was in love with another girl." Chloe smiled at Clark and concluded, "But maybe that's just lie I tell myself."

"You know, if there's one thing that I've learned from all the things that happened to me; it's that life is too short." Chloe groaned, but Clark continued, "Lana deserves to be happy. You deserve to be happy. And if that means that you two have to be together to be happy, then nothing's wrong with that. In fact, I think you two are great together."

"Your not just saying that are you?" she asked, deep in her thoughts.

"Hey, I'm Superman. Superman doesn't pull things out of his ass."


If there was something Lana hated more than going to reunions it was phone calls in the middle of the night. She groped in the dark for the phone, knocking over the glass of water she habitually has on her bureau. "Shit," she cursed and answered the phone. "Hello?"

"Lana? It's me," the voice at the other end of the line said. "It's Chloe."

"Oh. Hi Chloe," she said struggling to modulate her voice. She wasn't going to cry over her anymore. She didn't want her to know how badly she wanted, needed her. "What's up?"

"Um, yeah, can you let me in? I'm downstairs on your porch."

"Is everything alright? What's wrong?" Lana asked worried. She got off her bed and hurried downstairs.

"Nothing's wrong Lana. I just..." Chloe began just as the front door opened and Lana emerged, phone next to her ear. "...wanted to say I'm sorry."

They both hung up. "Sorry for what?" Lana feigned innocence.

"When you asked me at the reunion, if I missed us. I lied. I lied. I missed being with you. I missed us Lana," Chloe confessed. Lana stood there looking at her. A smile slowly crawling to her face, tears tumbling across her cheeks. "Don't cry baby."

Lana pulled her into a voracious kiss. Teeth grinding against each other like their bodies, their tongues in a competing dance. Chloe pulled away breathless, "I missed that part too." Lana laughed and lead her upstairs to her room, there Chloe remembered a few more things she had missed about being with Lana.


"What are you going to tell Gabe?" Lana asked as she cuddled. Chloe put an arm around her and sighed.

"I wouldn't worry about that Lana. My dad's a hardcore Democrat." They both laughed and settled down.

"Seriously Chloe, if you didn't break up with me because you were afraid of what Gabe might think, then why?"

"I think that sometimes we try to figure things out about ourselves and when we get to the part where we truly, truly get to who we are, we're suddenly afraid of it. So we turn away or worst ignore it, but you can't, really, because it's who you are and you have to love yourself," she paused. "Otherwise, you'll never find someone who'll love you."

"You didn't answer my question," Lana teased.

"I just had to deal with my inner demons, that's all."

"That's good enough for me," Lana smiled and kissed her. This time it's slow, the way Chloe really likes it.


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