Waiting For My Real Life To Begin by RJChasez
Summary: While on a date with Bart Allen, Chloe makes a startling discovery... one that deals with her past, her future, and Clark.
Categories: Smallville Chloe Characters: Bart Allen [Impulse], Chloe Sullivan, Chloe Sullivan as Lois Lane, Clark Kent/Kal-El [Superman]
Genre: friendship, romance
Pairing[s]: Chloe/Impulse, Chloe/Superman
Timeline: smallville season 6
Warnings: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 5577 Read: 1282 Published: 23 Dec 2007 Updated: 23 Dec 2007
Story Notes:
This story could very well be considered AU. It was written April 2006, and was meant to take place October/November 2006, during season 6. Bart did return during season 6, just not in the way mentioned here. This story could contain spoilers if you have not read either of the following: Crisis On Infinite Earths (comics); The Death And Life Of Superman (comics/novel).

1. Waiting For My Real Life To Begin by RJChasez

Waiting For My Real Life To Begin by RJChasez

Chloe rolled her eyes as she listened to Bart ramble on and on, endlessly. Why on earth had she agreed to go on a date with this kid? He was slightly annoying, talked about some of the dumbest things she'd ever heard of, and was practically jailbait. She sighed as she remembered why she'd agreed. It was because of Clark. This was all Clark's fault. He had something he needed to help his mother with, and he wanted Bart the superspeeding brat out of his hair for a few hours. He knew Bart had a crush on Chloe, and decided to try and use it to his advantage.

The young man had showed up in Smallville almost two years to the date that he and Clark had first met, and had been staying with Clark and Martha for a couple days now.

Chloe leaned her head against the table they sat at inside the Talon. She was definitely getting tired of this, and was about to walk out.

"Hey, Chloe, you all right?" Bart had suddenly decided to stop babbling.

She lifted her head, her hair flying in every which direction. "Yeah... I'm fine." She looked at the door, and then back at him. "I need some fresh air. You wanna go outside, Bart?" She felt suddenly as if she were babysitting.

"Yeah, sure." he said, and eyed her.

They stood at the same time, and he was quick to open the door for her.

She looked around, then glared at him. "You really need to watch how you use your powers in public, kid." she whispered as she walked out. "Next thing you know, you could end up a lab rat at Luthorcorp or something." She shook her head as he followed her.

"Hey, Chloe, can you keep a secret?" Bart suddenly asked.

Chloe gave him a look. "Bart... I'm Clark Kent's best friend. What do you think?"

He grinned. "Chloe, what if I told you I've seen other worlds?"

She raised an eyebrow. "I'd ask when you'd found time to become an astronaut."

"No... I mean worlds like this one. Other earths."

"Like what... alternate universes?"

"Yeah." He nodded quickly.

"I'd ask what in the WORLD you've been smoking." She rolled her eyes yet again. What was this kid trying to do? Impress her with science fiction tales? Really wasn't going to work.

"Chloe... I can prove it. I can take you there." he said.

"You can?" She looked puzzled now, but was still skeptical. "And how did you find these other earths?"

"Wanna go for a ride?" He nodded toward her car. "I'll explain everything."

After seeing Bart fasten his seatbelt, Chloe started the car. "Get to talking." she said as she took off down the road.

"The day I left Smallville, I was running faster than I ever had, cause I was trying to outdo Clark, and when I stopped to look around, I was in this black void-like place. I looked to either side of me, and it was like a mirror there. I saw an earth on either side of me. It was freaky." He paused, checking to see if she was still listening to him, and she was. "So I kept running in the direction I had been running, and the next thing I knew, I was in Metropolis. But it looked a little different."

"Different?" Chloe asked. "How so?"

"It looked a little more modernized, like it was further along in the future or something." he said. "And when I visited Centennial Park, there was this big statue there of some guy in a costume. It said he'd died in battle a few days before." He looked over at her.

"The statue kinda resembled Clark."

Chloe suddenly slammed on her brakes. "WHAT?!?"

Bart nodded. "So I decided to look Clark up... and I found his apartment, but there was no answer, so I... kinda broke in." He smiled sheepishly. "I found a picture hanging in the living room, and Clark was in it... with both of his parents."

Her eyes widened. "So what are you telling me, Bart? That Clark and his parents have twins?"

"No. I think each earth is in its own universe, and each person has a counterpart."

"And how'd you come to that conclusion?"

"I ran into a guy that can run as fast as me. His name is Wally West.. which is weird, because that's one of the aliases I used to use." He laughed. "He was really sad about something, but started questioning me, and I felt like I could tell him what had happened. As it turns out... he's a superhero there. They call him The Flash. He did the same thing, Chloe. And apparently, there's more than one earth besides that one, but he wouldn't give me many details. I saw the other one, but I didn't visit there. I think he knows more about it than he told me. But... something he did tell me. Each earth is separated by its own unique vibrational frequency... and Wally and I are so fast, we can run right through it."

"If only you and this Wally guy can do it, then what about me? Wouldn't it kill me to try and go through?" she wondered, actually interested now.

"I can protect anything that's with me." he said. "As long as it's in close proximity. If my hands are on it, or I'm touching it, it can go through."

She raised an eyebrow. "This isn't some lame excuse to paw at me, is it?"

The kid smirked. "If I was gonna paw you, I wouldn't make an excuse." She glared at him, and he changed the subject. "So... you wanna go there or not?"

They had reached her father's house by then, and she parked the car, turning it off.

Her curiosity began to get the better of her, and she slowly looked over at him.

"I need to see it. Take me there."

Minutes later, Chloe walked out of her father's house wearing a hat and a pair of sunglasses.

Bart was leaning against her car, and immediately cracked up when he saw her. "Um, Chloe, you're not going undercover. What's with the get-up?"

"Well... you know... I don't wanna accidentally run into my counterpart and scare the heck out of her." she said, and he laughed again.

"Trust me. Won't happen." He straightened himself up, moving away from the car.

Chloe looked puzzled. "Why won't it?"

"Because there's no Chloe Sullivan there." he muttered, and her eyes flew wide.


"You don't exist there, Chloe. Don't take it personally... I don't either."

Her jaw dropped, and she looked genuinely hurt.

"Apparently, my grandfather did, though... he was a Flash, too. Wally took his place." Bart sighed. "Are you ready?"

She nodded. "I guess so."

He picked her up, and then groaned. "Geez, Chloe, you're awful freaking heavy!"

"Oh, shut up!" she exclaimed, rolling her eyes.

He did, and began to run.

She saw everything blurring past her, as she had the few times Clark had ran with her, but after a few minutes, she started to get a little dizzy.

She saw a swirl of black, and then could have sworn she saw two earths, just as Bart had described.

She felt Bart put her down, and then everything seemed to clear. She was standing in the middle of Centennial Park, but it looked very different.

She turned around, and her jaw nearly hit the ground.

The statue. It was enormous, and it did resemble Clark.

There was a big S on the chest of the statue, and as she looked down, Chloe realized the same S was near the bottom of the concrete platform the statue stood on.

Her brow furrowed. "This is freaky." She looked over at Bart. "Can you get me a copy of the Daily Planet paper? I think I really need to see it."

He grabbed her arm, and headed out of the park.

They were at the Planet within a few minutes, and Bart tossed some money into the little slot, and opened the big yellow newspaper container.

Chloe snatched up the paper, and her brow furrowed as she read the headline. "'The Day Lives On: A Retrospective Of The Two Years Following Superman's Death... by... Lois Lane'?" Her eyes widened. "Lois is a reporter for the Planet? Okay, this world is severely backwards." Her eyes wandered to the photograph on the right side of the front page, and she gasped. "Oh my God... he... he's dead?" Much to her horror, the picture was of Clark, laying on the ground, horribly mangled, in tatters of the costume that the statue wore. Tears struck Chloe's eyes. "Clark... was a hero called Superman here? And he's..." She trailed off, and her jaw dropped when she saw the name under the photograph. "'Photograph by JIMMY OLSEN'?!? There's a Jimmy here, too?"

"Uh... what's the big deal about Jimmy Olsen?" Bart wondered, cocking an eyebrow.

"He was my fir-" She cut off, blushing. "Nevermind." He snickered, and she smacked him with the paper before going back to reading. After a minute or two, she looked up with a smile. "He's not dead. He... came back. And there were four other guys who kept claiming to be him, including one that was his clone." She blinked. "Cloning is only for sheep in our world. Wow." She leafed through a few more pages, and ran across the announcements page. She gasped again, and fresh tears met her eyes. "What...? No..."

"Chloe?" He touched her hand. "What's wrong?"

She looked up at him, then back down at the paper. "'The Daily Planet is now proud to announce that our two start reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, will finally, after a near three-year engagement, be married in precisely fourteen days." She sniffled. "Clark and Lois... they're getting married. If it happens here... that means it has to happen in our world, too."

Bart reached out and squeezed Chloe's hand as he saw the pain in her face. It was all too obvious to him now that she was in love with Clark. He'd had his suspicions before, but now he knew for sure.

At that moment, a red-haired young man came flying out of the Daily Planet.

"Oh my God..." Chloe muttered. "That's Jimmy."

What puzzled her that Jimmy looked the exact same as he had when she'd met him at sixteen, but she realized that Clark, on this earth, was about thirty, and her Jimmy had been the same age as her Clark.

She was confused, to say the least. Unfortunately, it was only about to get worse.

"Jimmy!" She heard a voice call from the doors of the Daily Planet.

Her jaw dropped and she nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw the woman walking out to join Jimmy.

She had long red hair that fell to about her elbows, bright blue eyes, and a friendly smile.

"My God, Chloe... that woman looks exactly like you!" Bart muttered in awe. "Sounds like you, too."

Chloe found herself staring at her red-haired doppelganger. "I thought you said there wasn't a Chloe Sullivan here."

"There's not." he muttered.

"Then who is she?" she wondered.

Jimmy turned to look at the woman, and Chloe's eyes locked on the two. Looking at her face, she realized that this redhead version of herself was obviously older.

"Jimmy, have you seen Clark?" The woman asked, and Jimmy nodded.

"He said he had to go meet with a friend. He wants you to join him." Jimmy said, and Chloe's brow furrowed.

The redhead rolled her eyes. "That fiancé of mine."

"Fiancé ?" Chloe muttered, her eyes falling wide. "But that means..."

"He's at Bibbo's, Lois." Jimmy said with a chuckle.

Chloe turned to look at Bart as the redheaded Lois hailed a cab.

"Oh my God... I'm Lois?" She blinked. "But what about... my Lois? My cousin?"

"I'm sure there's some logical way to explain this." Bart said.

"Is there a library here?" It was a dumb question, but it shot out of Chloe's mouth. "I need to do some research."

Thirty minutes later, Chloe was surfing the net, and Bart was watching her from his seat, which was near hers.

"Got anything?" he asked, and she nodded.

"Lois Lane's father is General Sam Lane, which is true on my earth... but his wife is still alive. Her sister's locked up in a mental hospital here in Metropolis... and her brother-in-law's name is Gabe Sullivan. And you're right. Chloe Sullivan doesn't exist." Chloe took a deep breath. "Lois shares a birthday with me, but is ten years older. She wrote her first story for the Daily Planet at 24, and just before her 25th birthday, Clark asked for a job there. He was turned down, but, mysteriously, eight months later, he did get a job there. They're partners. They're the reporting team of Lane and Kent. Around the same time, the superhero known as Superman first popped up. Most of their stories are about him. And I'm pretty sure that Clark is Superman. He's always been good at keeping secrets, so it wouldn't surprise me." Her eyes scanned the page. "On her 28th birthday, after three years of going back and forth, Clark proposed, and they became engaged. Exactly two years ago today, only months after the engagement, Superman died in Lois's arms outside the Daily Planet building after battling a creature called Doomsday. A crowd, as well as members of the Justice League... which is some team of superheroes... were nearby when it happened. Chaos ensued, and only a week or so later, four guys popped up, each pretty much claiming to be Superman. The real Superman miraculously came back from the dead not too long after, and two of the wannabes died. One was a bad guy. Of the two that survived, one turned out to be Superman's clone, and he is now known as Superboy. While Superman was dead, Clark was apparently and conveniently 'lost', having gotten buried under some rubble during Doomsday's warpath."

"Still confused?" Bart asked, and she nodded slowly.

"How am I Lois here?" She shook her head. "I don't get it. Any of it."

"I know of someone who can help you. If he'll finally admit what he's been hiding." Bart stood. "Do me a favor. There's a hotel down the street. Check in there under a false name."

"O... kay." Chloe gave him a look, and then he was gone.

Chloe had done as Bart had said, and she wasn't surprised when he showed up nearly five minutes after she'd checked in.

He came in with a tall blonde-haired man.

"Chloe, this is Wally. Wally West. I told you about him." Bart said, and she nodded, holding out her hand.

"Chloe Sullivan." she said softly, studying his face. There was nothing familiar about the man, but she almost felt as if she knew him.

Wally shook her hand. "My God. Bart was right. You look just like her." He was obviously in awe.

"Do you think maybe you could figure out why? Because... I have a cousin named Lois Lane, and she's nothing like me." Chloe seated herself at the end of the bed in the room, and Bart sat next to her.

"I already know why, Chloe." Wally said. "All of this was set into motion years ago. How long ago, exactly? I don't really know." He sighed. "What I'm about to tell the two of you... I've never gone into detail about... not even with my best friends... namely, the members of the League. It's a lot to wrap your mind around. You truly have to have an open mind... and then, hopefully, it won't drive you crazy. It's nearly driven me to that point several times."

Chloe's brow furrowed. "Please, Wally... go on. I need to hear this."

"At the dawn of time, when God created the heavens and the earth, he made one single, solitary universe. But several hundred years later, something happened, and everything changed." Wally started. "There was once a planet called Oa, a place where all the inhabitants were basically geniuses. One, by the name of Krona, was a little too smart for his own good. He longed to discover the origin of the universe. He did, but something terrible happened. Because he'd done something so forbidden, the universe shuddered, and split... more than once. At least ten other universes were born in that instant. Each planet was copied, except Oa. But Oa had a duplicate, as well. Not only did the universe become a multiverse, an anti-matter universe was born. The anti-matter universe is nothing but gases and rocks and the like... and Oa's duplicate is there. It's called Qward."

Chloe and Bart both listened with wide eyes.

"Qward and Oa each had their own moons. And only moments after the birth of the multiverse and the anti-matter universe, on those moons, opposite immortal beings were born. The anti-matter universe had the Anti-Monitor, and the multiverse had the Monitor. The Anti-Monitor was evil, and his hunger for power became uncontrollable. The Monitor spent his time learning, and built a special spaceship for himself, where he could see everything that happened in each universe. The two beings knew of each other, and the Anti-Monitor sought to destroy his alternate self, and the multiverse. After thousands of years, he finally discovered how, and slowly, very slowly began to destroy each universe, until only six remained. He grew stronger with each universe that was destroyed, and the Monitor became weaker. The Monitor died as only five came to exist, and by that time, most of us had been recruited to help save those universes. Worlds lived. Worlds died. And nothing was ever the same again." Wally seemed near tears again, and Chloe reached out to touch his hand.

"What happened, Wally? How were those universes saved?" she asked.

"So many heroes died trying to save the worlds... Kara... she was Clark's cousin. The only other survivor from Krypton. She died protecting him... to make sure he was able to say around to help. And then... my Uncle Barry." Tears met his eyes now. "Jay Garrick was his hero. When he developed his powers, he became The Flash because of him. And then Barry died to save the worlds. So many... so many that were loved. So many of the loved ones of the heroes... gone in an instant. Especially when we went to the dawn of time to fix things. The Anti-Monitor was going to create a world of pure anti-matter, and we had to stop him. When we did, all five universes became one. Duplicates existed... the world was imperfect... and so much had been lost. One of Clark's duplicates... Superboy from Earth-Prime... he was the only survivor of his world. Superman of Earth-2... he lost his wife. His Lois." A small smile touched his lips. "She looked like you, too. Except she was older, grayer. She and her Clark had been married for twenty years. Every Lois looks like you, Chloe. I guess except for the one in your universe."

Wally sighed. "With all the imperfections, we all knew that it wasn't over. It turned out that the Anti-Monitor had survived, and wanted the earth that remained. So many of us went to the anti-matter universe to battle him... but Earth-2's Superman and Earth-Prime's Superboy stayed behind when the ones who survived the battle had to leave. They died destroying him. And in that moment, every duplicate was erased, and so was the memory of every single person on the new earth. And then time... I guess it turned itself back a bit. To right before the birth of Kal-El. I guess, in some ways, each other revolves around him. He is the greatest superhero of all time." He laughed softly. "In the new world, Jay had been the Flash, then Barry, but it was said that Barry had died in an unknown battle. Supergirl, Kara, she never even existed. So many others didn't, either. But no one ever knew."

"How did your memory return?" Chloe wondered.

"I became The Flash four years ago. During my second major mission... I nearly died, and saw Uncle Barry. And my memory returned." Wally said. "And I am the only one who has regained those memories. He told me of something that had occurred at the same moment the memories were erased, and it wasn't something that surprised me." Wally stared out the window. "We were warned it could happen once everything was fixed. We were also warned that it could happen if anything drastic happened that had never occurred on any of the previous earths. We were also warned that even the simplest of things could have the biggest repercussions.

"What are you talkin' about, man?" Bart asked, confused.

"We were warned that the merging of the earths and the destruction of the Anti-Monitor could accidentally spawn another universe. Because it was such a huge event... it may have caused a divergent universe... and it did." Wally swallowed. "I haven't visited it, but I was told by Barry that its much like the universe Earth 2 existed in."

"So... the final battle was to get rid of the multiverse, and yet it created another?" Chloe blinked. "Okay... That's freaky."

"I imagine it's only gonna get freakier..." Bart murmured. "So what's this other part about?"

"We were also warned that it was highly possible that if something happened that was never really meant to happen, and had not occurred on any of the other earths in the past multiverse, that another divergent universe would be born... and anyone involved with what caused it, even in the smallest of ways, could, by some cosmic flub, literally turn into someone else." Wally's words caused Chloe and Bart's jaws to drop. "When the universe potentially dirverged, nearly everything could be changed. And I think that's what your world is."

"Whoa... wait a minute. Back up." Bart said. "What created our world?"

"I'm not totally sure, but I think I know." Wally replied. "It wasn't discovered until six months ago that Doomsday, the monster who killed Superman, was Kryptonian. He created 50 years before Kal-El's birth, and by accident. This would ultimately lead to Superman's... Clark's death two years ago today. Destiny... Fate... knew this would happen... That Doomsday's creation would cause his death, and a divergent universe was born at that point. And I imagine many things were changed. And, as things have happened here, they might have had a parallel effect on your world." He stared at them both. "Chloe, tell me about your world. Tell me about your Clark."

She did, and told him of the caves, and of Jor-El visiting the earth in the 60's, as Clark had told her of once.

He in turn revealed that he was positive that those things had never happened on this earth.

"I know quite a bit about Lois and Clark... my girlfriend and I are pretty close to them. If anyone would be able to tell if you and Lois are the same, it'd be either me or my girlfriend." Wally smiled. "When Lois was sixteen, she started dying her hair red, and has kept it up. She was born a brunette."

"I was born a brunette, too." Chloe muttered. "When I was six, it started turning blonde for no reason. By the time I was 14, you couldn't even tell that I had been a brunette."

Wally raised an eyebrow. "Lois dying her hair could have had an effect on you... changing your hair color, as well."

Chloe appeared deep in thought. "I read that Lois and Clark met when she was nearly 25... and they started working together after she was 25. I met Clark when I was almost 15... and he started working for me at the school newspaper when I was 15."

Wally and Bart looked surprised, and both were noticing a pattern.

"When Lois was 26, she and Clark nearly dated, but then decided they were better off as friends. Did anything like that happen?" Wally prodded, and Chloe's eyes flew wide.

"Y-Yeah... I told him we'd be better off as friends because he loved someone else." Chloe's voice was starting to shake.

"Only a month or so after Lois's 28th birthday, and after they'd become engaged, Clark revealed the truth to Lois that he was Superman." Wally said.

Tears suddenly hit Chloe's eyes. "Oh my God... a month or so after my 18th birthday, I found out the truth about Clark." Her jaw fell and she gasped as she remembered what she'd read. "He died. He died only a few months before my 19th birthday... and he came back. He was powerless to stop it... he couldn't. And I saw... I saw him. I saw him so close to death. And then I touched him when he came back, and I couldn't believe he was even alive." She sobbed and looked at them both.

"There's a ten year gap between the events... but Chloe... you ARE Lois." Wally said with a smile. "The great cosmic flub that occurred was you being born with a different name." He laughed. "What's amazing is... Lois once went undercover as a Chloe Sullivan and wore a blonde wig."

Chloe laughed through her tears. "But what does this mean for my Lois?"

"Nothing. You are essential... but it doesn't matter if she exists or not. I'm sure there's many in your world that never existed here." Wally said with a smile.

Chloe mentioned a few names, including Pete, Lana, and Whitney... and the only one that Wally hadn't heard was Whitney's.

It wasn't long before the three left the hotel, and Wally parted ways with Chloe and Bart.

They walked slowly through the city, and suddenly, Chloe noticed a red, yellow, blue, and black streak up in the sky.

"Is that Clark?" she whispered, and when the being landed, she realized right away that it wasn't. This one was wearing a black leather jacket instead of a red cape, and was slightly shorter.

Chloe saw his face, and was slightly surprised. He looked exactly as her Clark had at fifteen, except that one ear was pierced, and he'd just taken off a pair of dark sunglasses. He could have resembled what Clark had looked like that summer in Metropolis when he had been high on Red K.

"That must be Superboy." Bart whispered. "I think he's stationed in Hawaii, but comes back to visit occasionally."

Chloe nodded and smiled. "Cute kid." She took a deep breath. "Bart... I... need something. I don't know if you can help me. I need to... see them."

"I'm sure that can be arranged." Bart grinned.

The sun was on the verge of setting as Lois and Clark walked hand-in-hand to the front door of her apartment complex.

They stepped on the stairs in front of the door, as they often did, and Lois took in a long, deep breath.

"I'm so glad this day is over." she said, and he nodded.

"Me, too." he whispered, pulling her into his arms. His glasses fell down his nose a bit as he held her.

"This is the second year in a row they've practically glorified it. They turn it into a three-ring media circus." She sniffled, trying to force away tears. "But what they don't know... is that it almost kills me. They think we all lost a hero that day, and they think of the crime that arose while that hero was gone... but they have no idea... I lost my fiancé that day. I lost the man I love. And though you're here now, and I'm so thankful... it still hurts to remember. You died in my arms, Clark."

He "shh"-ed her. "Lois... if I could erase the memories, I would. And I'm so sorry you have to put up with this." He touched her cheek, staring into her eyes. "Superman may have came back because the world needed a hero... but Clark Kent came back because the love of his life needed him. I came back for you, Lois."

She finally let the tears come, and he kissed her softly.

Chloe and Bart watched from around the corner, and Chloe smiled through tears.

She pulled Bart back into the alley as Lois and Clark went inside, and wiped at her eyes. "Bart... you can take me home now." It only seemed minutes later that Chloe and Bart were back on their own earth, and Chloe was driving Bart back to the Kent farm.

Chloe pulled up a little ways away from the house, and after turning off her little car, sat in silence, thinking. She'd just learned so much. It caused her head to spin a little. And it was all something she knew she couldn't share with anyone. It was a huge secret, and she wasn't too positive she could keep it.

"Chloe, you okay?" Bart asked.

"I'm managing." she whispered. "This is all so much to take in."

"I know. Wally warned us, too." He sighed.

"This is hard... too hard. And weird. I keep wondering what's going to happen to my cousin." She looked down.

"Chloe... you wanna know what I think of this?" He asked in a hushed voice, and she looked up at him with wide eyes. "I think some people were born before their time... like me and your friend Jimmy. And some people... are non-existent here, like Jay and Wally. And some people were born, and nearly born, that never existed in the first place... like your friend Whitney, and Clark's lost brother or sister." Tears met Chloe's eyes as she listened to him. "Some people were born different... with the same name and some similarities to who they were over there, but looking different, and living their life a little different... like Lana. And there's those people who share the same exact name as someone there... but they're a completely different person... like Lois. They just exist to exist, maybe to make your life more interesting, or to somehow support you in some way. And then... there's you." Bart grinned. "You may have a different name, and a different hair color, but deep down, on the inside, you're that same saucy, sweet, sexy, nosy little reporter that Clark Kent is gonna fall madly in love with, and spend the rest of his life with."

Chloe finally let the tears fall, and choked back a sob at Bart's words.

"You really have something to look forward to, Chloe. You're his destiny. You and that big red S." He exhaled. "In the end, it's not really about the destination, Chloe. It's about the journey. It's about how you get there. And so far, it looks like you're having one heck of a journey."

She smiled and laughed through tears, and hugged the younger man, squeezing him tightly.

It was strange. Hours ago, she hadn't been able to stand him. And now, it was as if they'd been friends for years.

Clark spotted Chloe's car outside and came out of the house, and was surprised when he saw Chloe and Bart hugging.

They finally moved away from each other, and as they got out of her little car, Chloe wiped at her eyes.

"Hey, man, is dinner ready?" Bart asked, and Clark nodded. "I'm starved. Catch you inside, Kent." He disappeared, and Clark chuckled.

"He's always hungry." he muttered, and looked over at Chloe as she walked toward him, a huge smile on her face. "Did you have fun with Bart?"

"Yeah, I did." She breathed. "But we both realized that we're just friends."

"Bart's your friend now?" He raised an eyebrow. "How did that happen?"

"I think a miracle happened." She laughed.

"Hey... what were you guys talking about out here?" Clark wondered.

Chloe stared up into his eyes, and was completely honest with her words. "The future."

"What about it?"

"Plans for it."

He grinned and laughed. "And you've probably got a million of them."

She bit her lip, thinking. "Actually... I've only got one."

Curiosity filled his face. "And what's that?"

She beamed. "I'm waiting for my real life to begin."

He raised an eyebrow, not sure if he understood what she meant, but still broke into a smile. The words were completely Chloe-like, and mysterious. He liked it that way.

The happy grin stayed on her face, and nearly turned into a smirk as she leaned up and kissed his cheek.

She walked around him, heading for the house, and he stood there, thinking about her actions and her words, and then turned back to look at her as she went up to the door.

And, as typical as ever, he was there, opening the door for her, before she could even reach out and touch the knob.

She looked at him for a moment, biting her lip again, and then finally went inside, with her best friend right behind her.

At least some things were consistent in the multiverse.


End Notes:
This story is based on the song Waiting For My Real Life To Begin by Colin Hay.
This story archived at http://truthandjustice.svtometropolis.com/viewstory.php?sid=2