Title: An Exceptional Reunion
Warnings: AU, occasional but barely detectable OOC, Smallville Timeline has totally gone out the window
Summary: rewrite of season 6 Reunion according to the Exceptional Universe.
banner by 552158
AN: If you were sad that there wasn't a lot of Chloe/Oliver interaction in this chapter, I promise there will be much more in the next segment.
"Chloe!" Lana said in surprise, catching sight of her long-ago friend. "My God, I forgot you went to school here, too."
Chloe shrugged, giving her friend a hug and laughing. "Hard to picture me here, isn't it?"
Lana smiled, "It doesn't exactly scream 'Chloe Sullivan,' does it?" Beside her, Lex made no real acknowledgement, only tolerating the conversation for the moment, counting the seconds until it was over. As he had explained to Lana, he came to these events for business purposes, not for any sentiment or nostalgia.
"Oh, I don't know about that," Oliver's voice chimed in from behind, and Lex gritted his teeth. "She made quite a mark here."
"Is that so?" Lana asked, looking at Lex.
"Chloe starred in a play her first year," he said.
"That's right," Lana said, thinking back. "I think I remember…" she paused awkwardly, "being told about that," she finished, clearly not wanting to mention Clark. Chloe raised an eyebrow.
"It wasn't a huge deal."
Oliver laughed. "It was to me. It meant I had an excuse to kiss you back when you still hated me."
Lana raised an eyebrow. "Hated you?" she echoed, surprised by the statement.
"Ollie wasn't exactly charming when I first met him," Chloe teased.
Lex smiled bitterly. "Oh, I think I remember him having charmed most of the school."
Chloe swallowed tightly and silently thanked Lex for leaving it at that. She knew what he was hinting at, but at least he hadn't said anything really provocative.
Oliver's jaw ticked, however, and he said meaningfully, "I'd say we all turned out all right, wouldn't you?"
Lex deigned no answer. "Lana, I think I see a professor of mine that I'd love for you to meet. If you'll excuse us," he said curtly to Chloe and Oliver, guiding Lana away.
Oliver's eyes followed him as he departed, and Chloe rubbed his arm soothingly. "Let it go," she whispered. He closed his eyes briefly and then seemed to straighten his shoulders a bit. Lex Luthor and Duncan Allenmeyer were the mistake he would never escape.
At that moment they were approached by a pair of young men, and Chloe had to blink a few times. "Oh…my…"
"God," Oliver finished.
"Ollie!" the young man with sandy brown hair raised a scotch glass in Oliver's direction, and Oliver felt a mixture of pleasure and panic at seeing his old friend. The result was something resembling nausea.
"Alden," Chloe greeted, moving forward to greet him with a peck on the cheek. "Geoff," she added, noting the dark-haired man on his left and planting a light kiss on his cheek as well. "It's been ages."
"Chloe," Alden grinned teasingly. "How's the farm?"
She scoffed, swatting his shoulder. "I wouldn't know. I live in Metropolis, you fool," she joked back.
Oliver joined them and clinked glasses with Alden. "Sorry I never got back to that message you left me," he said, attempting to be amicable.
Geoff rolled his eyes. "Dude, he totally blew you off, didn't he."
"Yep," Alden said, smirking. "We'll forgive you, though, Ollie, since you brought the prom queen with you."
"You were prom queen?" Oliver asked questioningly.
Chloe turned bright red. "How do you know about that?" she asked. "No one's supposed to know about that. You'd all graduated that year."
Geoff lifted a shoulder and Alden grinned wickedly. "Please. You thought you could keep something like that from Claire? She probably rigged the vote for you or something."
"I can't believe you didn't tell me you were prom queen," Oliver mused.
"We weren't exactly best friends at the time, remember?" she asked.
"Yeah, was that before or after you decided to play Gilligan's Island?" Geoff nudged Oliver.
"Before," Oliver said dryly and Chloe rolled her eyes, chuckling.
"Yeah, we were sorry to hear you died, man," Alden said and no one could tell whether he was being funny on purpose or not. "I was depressed for a whole week."
"Have you seen Claire, yet?" Geoff asked, and Chloe quirked an eyebrow at him, the corner of her mouth twitching. She had suspicions about Geoff that had just been confirmed. He and Diana had gone separate ways after graduating, but she always thought he might carry a torch for her anyway. He knew that wherever Claire could be found, so could Diana.
Chloe just shook her head demurely. "I haven't yet, no."
"Whatever happened with you and Claire?" Oliver asked Alden, and Alden shrugged easily.
"She dropped my sorry butt when we got to college."
"Really?" a voice asked behind Alden, and everyone started. "Because I remember something to do with a pair of twins and some shots of tequila. Then I dropped your sorry butt."
Alden and Geoff turned to see a beautiful pair of women. Claire, who had always been a vibrant girl, had certainly grown into a vibrant woman. Dressed in gold silk, her red hair had grown out, waving gently in a vintage 1940s style, and she wore the makeup to match: smoky eyes and scarlet lips. She could have just watched off the red carpet. Diana, on the other hand, was still all dark lashes and demure smiles, her cheeks faintly pink tinged and her dark starry eyes turned down in shyness. She wore ice blue and had her dark hair piled up elegantly, stray curls tumbling down her neck. Geoff swallowed nervously.
"Claire! Diana!" Chloe exclaimed, and Claire squealed in delight, throwing her arms excitedly around Chloe.
"Chloe, oh my God, you look completely fabulous!"
Chloe laughed. "I could say the same about you." She turned to give Diana an affectionate hug and whispered that she looked stunning as well.
"What have you ladies been doing all these years?" Oliver asked interestedly, wondering what had become of the infamous pair. He had always been fond of Alden's girlfriend and her best friend, long before he had met Chloe even.
"Well, Diana is living in Malibu. She's going to be in another movie that starts filming this summer. Because she's so fabulous." Claire's lips curved into a proud smile as she looked at her friend. Diana's blush deepened. "And Chloe," Claire continued, "is making headlines at the world-famous Daily Planet," she added. "Like we all knew she would."
Chloe grinned. Same old Claire. "I believe the question pertained to you, Claire, not me. Claire has her own fashion line," Chloe explained to the rest of the group.
"Yes, Alden, I believe you're wearing one of my suits," Claire said, raising an amused eyebrow.
Alden played dumb, lifting his arms slightly and examining his suit. "Is it? I had no idea. The guy in the store said it was good. That's all I know."
"Uh huh," Oliver said wryly, smirking.
"What about the dress you're wearing?" Chloe asked, eyeing the shimmering garment.
Claire beamed. "As a matter of fact, this is one of my own creations." She spun around to model it for them. "I'm rather fond of it."
"It looks lovely, Claire," Oliver said.
"Why thank you," she said, charmed. "So was that Lex Luthor I saw you talking to earlier?" she asked, glancing around to see if she could spot their follically challenged friend. "There was a very pretty girl with him."
"Lana Lang," Chloe supplied. "A friend of mine from Smallville, actually."
"Man, what's in the water in your town?" Geoffrey asked. "You can't all be that good looking."
Chloe rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, Lex seems to have done all right for himself," Alden said with a twinge of sarcasm in his voice. "Something else having the whole gang here, isn't it? Everybody except Duncan, that is," he added, and suddenly the cheerful group was silent and tense.
Oliver pulled the scotch glass out of Alden's hands just as he was raising it to his lips. "Okay, I think you've had enough."
Alden looked up in surprise. "Oh, what, like you guys weren't thinking about–"
"That's enough," Chloe said shortly.
Alden rolled his eyes and skulked away.
Claire's eyes followed him with evident sadness. "Ladies and gentlemen: Alden."
They nodded in vague agreement, and the girls broke away from the group to chat with one another while Oliver and Geoff caught up.
"We should all go out to dinner tonight," Claire was saying as Diana nodded in agreement. "Although then again, maybe tomorrow would be better. When Alden's feeling more…less…"
"Less of an ass?" Diana supplied simply.
Chloe had opened her mouth to respond when a hand gripped her arm. "Chloe, I need to talk to you."
"Mr. Williams!" Chloe said, turning in surprise. "Oh wow, how are you?"
But her delight at seeing her old teacher quickly faded at the expression on his face. "Chloe, you've got to get Alden away."
"What?" she asked, just as there was a sudden scream and gasp from several people. She looked around wildly until she spotted Alden, looking shocked at a piece of concrete on the ground. Mr. Williams hand shoved her forward and Chloe did the first thing she could think of: scream. "ALDEN MOVE!"
Alden, hearing Chloe's shriek, reacted on instinct and threw himself onto the ground, a sword from the statue on the roof crashing to the ground, still managing to pin his leg to the ground rather than spearing him through the chest as it had nearly done, twisting freakishly in air. Alden let out a agonized scream, and one to match went through the crowd.
"How's he doing?" Mr. Williams asked Chloe when she left the hospital room.
Her face was pale but serious. "He's in a fair amount of pain, but the doctor says he'll be fine. Oliver and Claire are both in there with him for the moment." She glanced around nervously and ushered Mr. Williams and Mr. Christopher into an empty room. Once inside she rounded on them. "What happened back there? Why didn't you warn me sooner?"
The graying teachers shot each other a look before answering.
"He didn't see it coming," Mr. Christopher said. "At least, not until about one minute before it happened. Alden was about to die there, Chloe."
Chloe registered all of this information with no small amount of anxiety. Finally, slowly, "What do you mean, you didn't see it coming? You see everything coming."
But Mr. Williams was shaking his head. "Not this."
"Chloe," Mr. Christopher said seriously, "I think you should sit down. There's something we need to tell you."
Chloe looked from one guilty face to the next and swallowed thickly. She sat down on the hospital bed and looked up expectantly. "Hit me," she said.
Mr. Christopher gave Mr. Williams one of those looks that Chloe had long ago learned meant that he was searching the other man's thoughts. With a brief nod, he spoke first. "Duncan Allenmeyer is alive."
Silence pounded in Chloe's ears. "I'm–I'm sorry, what?"
"He's alive," Mr. Williams sighed, rubbing his temple. "Alive but brain-dead. Or so we thought."
Mr. Christopher fielded that one. "I haven't heard so much as a hint of a brainwave from young Mr. Allenmeyer in over a decade. Until today. All of a sudden…" he frowned, gathering his own thoughts. "All of a sudden I detected something from him, like he was screaming in anger, drowning out everyone else. But as far as I could tell, he wasn't anywhere near that reunion. I generally have to be in the same immediate vicinity as someone to tune into their thoughts. And It has been many, many years since I was unable to tune someone out. I've had control on what I tune into for a long time."
Chloe's mind reeled as she jumped from one thing to another. "So what…what does that mean?"
"Meteor rock," they said together.
"Meteor rock. It's the only thing either of us has ever known to change the future. Like your expulsion from Smallville High, for instance," Mr. Williams explained.
"Although this is the first time it's ever interfered with my abilities. Unless you include that I can't hear Mr. Kent's thoughts."
"You can't hear–okay, sorry, main plot. So you think somehow Duncan has been infected by meteor rock?" Chloe asked.
"Yes," Mr. Williams said as Mr. Christopher nodded. "Chloe, if he's allowed to continue, he'll probably go after more than just Alden, wouldn't you agree?"
Chloe's mind flashed to the faces of all of her old friends–every one of whom harbored guilt over the death of Duncan Allenmeyer. She nodded. "But what's stopping him from taking them all out right now?" she whispered with a shiver of fear.
"We don't know."
There was a long pause as the wheels in Chloe's mind turned. "Okay. I need you to tell me where he's staying. And then I have to go talk to Oliver about this. He's the only one who will be able to keep his friends safe. And I should probably put Clark on red alert as well."