Image hosting by Photobucket

Disclaimer: Chloe, Lois and company belong to Al Gough, Miles Millar, and DC Comics. I own nothing.

Author's Note: Written for the Female Gen Ficathon.

Chloe Sullivan chewed on her bottom lip as she stared at her blank computer screen. She had the facts in front of her and her quotes were neatly arranged in order. So why couldn't she write this article? She sighed, sliding her chair back. Coffee. Coffee would help clear her head.

She made her way towards the break room, a woman on a mission. Caffeine always helped to clear the writer's block. She was halfway to the hallway when sounds of a celebration stopped her.

“I can't believe you broke the Lexcorp fraud scandal story,” one woman said in awe. “How did you get that employee to talk?”

“It was nothing. Just doing my job,” another woman answered.

Chloe gritted her teeth and counted to ten when she heard her cousin's voice. Lois Lane, lead reporter for the Daily Planet. Let's all bow down and worship her. It was enough to make Chloe tear her hair out.

Of course, Chloe wouldn't do that. It wasn't her style to be jealous. She should be happy that Lois chose to follow her into journalism.

But if she told anyone that, she'd be lying.

Journalism was her world, her life, her identity. Everything she had done lead to the position at the Daily Planet. A respected journalist was all she ever wanted to be. And Lois had taken it all away by stepping through the door and using Daddy's military contacts to break her first big story. Now Chloe was only known as Lois's cousin.

Chloe ventured a glance in Lois's direction. She preened at her desk, her followers in awe.

So, she dug up some dirt at Lexcorp. Big deal. Chloe had written several articles centering on the scandals that seemed to follow Lex Luthor around daily, but no one oohed and aahed at her.

Shrugging off the jealousy, Chloe resumed her march to the break room. She reached the hallway when Lois called her name.

“Chloe! Where you going?”

Chloe turned to see Lois walking after her, her audience having dispersed. A forced smiled graced Chloe's lips.

“Oh, nowhere,” she replied once Lois had reached her. “Just needed some coffee.” She resumed walking and her cousin fell in step beside her.

“You know, this journalism thing is pretty cool. I wish you had told me about it sooner,” Lois rattled on.

Chloe kept her eyes forward as they entered the break room. “It does have its perks.” She grabbed a styrofoam cup and poured some coffee into it. The warm aroma seemed to calm her. Strong and hot, the way she liked it. Setting the pot down, she took an exploratory sip. Perfect.

Lois poured herself a cup. “I'm still surprised you're fine with all of this.”

“Why wouldn't I be?” Chloe kept her eyes on her cup.

Lois set the pot down. “Well, you know, you're the one who always wrote and always searched for the truth. I kind of floated along.” She leaned up against the counter. “Watching you and Clark work back in Smallville really made me like this line of work.” She took a sip and made a face. “Oh, that needs some milk or cream or something.”

“Can't stand the heat?” Chloe asked, hiding a smirk behind her cup.

“Are you being snarky with me?” Lois turned her green eyes on her cousin.

Chloe feigned innocence. “Now why would I do that?”

Lois brushed it off and set her cup down on the counter. She opened cabinets and drawers, searching for some cream. She knew there was no milk in the refrigerator. Her voice echoed as she stuck it into a cabinet under the sink.

“Back to what I was saying. I'm glad we could share this dream,” she said.

Chloe clutched her cup. “Yeah, me, too,” she mumbled.

'Down, green-eyed monster, down,' she thought. She stared into the dark swirling liquid resting in her cup. She had to let this go. Lois wasn't going anywhere, and she wasn't going anywhere. They were both good journalists. It was time to accept that she wasn't the only reporter in her family.

“There you are. Just the lady I was looking for.” Chloe looked up to see Jimmy Olsen standing in the doorway, his young face flushed.

“You were looking for me?” she asked.

“No. Sorry, Chlo, but the boss wants to see Lois.”

Lois popped up from under the counter, her hand full of little packs of cream. “I knew there had to be some around here.” She smiled at Jimmy. “Give me one minute here.” She ripped open two of them and dumped them into the coffee. She then picked up her cup. “Lead the way.”

Curious, Chloe followed her out of the room. What could Perry White possibly want with Lois now? Some big trouble that Chloe wasn't capable of covering? They weaved their way through the hallway and turned the sharp corner leading to Perry's office. Chloe stopped dead beside it when she saw who stood in the office.

He was taller, and he wore glasses now, but there was no mistaking the face. Clark Kent.

Jimmy opened the door and lead Lois into the office. He didn't bother closing it.

Perry nodded to Lois as she entered. “Good. You're here. I need you to show the new guy around. Clark, this is our ace reporter, Lois Lane. Lois, this is...”

“Smallville. I remember.” Her face seemed to glow.

Chloe's heart dropped into her stomach. She couldn't watch the exchange. She dealt with their flirting in high school and college. She couldn't witness it again. As if it wasn't enough for Lois to take her job, now she had to take Clark again, too.

Turning around, she stalked back to her desk. Her blank screen greeted her.

Sitting down, she pulled up her e-mail, avoiding the article that wouldn't write itself. One new message. Chloe opened it and smiled as she read the contents.

The editor of the Gotham Gazette wanted her to be a managing editor there. He was pleased with her work and so was their owner, Bruce Wayne. Could she come for an interview?

Chloe didn't hesitate. She hit reply and sent her answer.

She wasn't going to be second rate to her cousin anymore, and she refused to let jealousy run her life. Yes, Chloe Sullivan's life was going to change for the better.

Back to Smallville

© 2006 Crimson Idealist