Monday, June 19, 2006

Hopelessly Devoted, Chapter 8

Season 4, during "Devoted"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC Comics, not to me.

"You'd better talk fast if you want to live to see the sunrise, young man."

Lex and Lois had left right after Mom showed up. Lex had walked out of the barn and gotten into his Porsche, grinning with unrepressed amusement. Lois had stalked down the stairs, still glaring at me over her shoulder like she wanted to tear my balls off, or at least both my arms. Mom had wordlessly handed Chloe her clothes and called Mr. Sullivan, who'd quickly come to retrieve his daughter.

I'd followed Mom to the house, feeling like I was being led to the gallows. Now Mom sat on the other side of the kitchen table, looking at me through narrowed eyes. She hadn't even offered me a piece of pie, and I knew that meant I was doomed.

The only up side to this situation, I thought unhappily, was that Dad was out tonight. Dad would have just started right in on the lecture. At least Mom was giving me a chance to explain.

The problem was, I didn't have a clue how to explain what Mom had seen. Like I said before, a naked girl on your lap isn't the easiest thing to explain away.

"Something's wrong with Chloe," I said at last, studying a crack on the tile floor like it was the most fascinating thing I'd ever seen. "I'm not sure what's going on, but the cheerleaders are spiking the Gatorade with kryptonite."

Mom's eyes went wide. "Kryptonite? Why?"

"I don't know," I said crankily. "I only figured it out because I took a sip. It hurt. I lost my invulnerability, and I got seriously beat up at practice."

"Oh, my God, Clark. Are you okay?"

I nodded. "Yeah. It's not that bad." I pulled up my shirt and showed her my ribs. There was still some pretty decided bruising there, but it was fading. I guess the meteor rock was finally working its way out of my system.

Mom looked horrified. "Oh, Clark."

"It's getting better. Don't worry about it. The thing is, I'm not sure what the cheerleaders are doing, but I think it has something to do with making the guys on the team fall in love with them."

Mom frowned. "Why do you think that?"

"The quarterback got kicked off the team yesterday because he walked out of practice to go shopping with the head cheerleader," I explained. "And then he went after the assistant coach with a shotgun. He's not a bad guy, and it was totally out of character for him." I didn't mention I'd been the one to save the coach from getting shot. Mom didn't need to freak out any worse than she already was. "And the other guys on the team have been acting really weird, following the cheerleaders around like puppies."

"So you think Chloe..."

"I saw her drink a cup of the stuff," I said. "I think maybe it made her think she's in love with me."

"Oh, no." Mom studied me carefully. "Did it affect you that way, Clark?"

"No." I sighed. That would have been a good excuse, but I wasn't going to lie about it. "It just gave me stomach cramps."

"So what I saw tonight... you weren't reacting to any sort of love potion. Just normal teenage hormones?"

I thought I heard amusement in her voice, and I glanced up suspiciously, but she was looking across the table with serious eyes. "I guess," I said sullenly.

The truth was, I knew it wasn't the Gatorade, but I was pretty sure it wasn't all hormones, either. It was something inside me that I hadn't known was there till last night. It was something more substantial than either Gatorade or hormones.

But the problem was that what was inside Chloe was some sort of weird, meteor rock-laced liquid. And maybe nothing else.

I was afraid that when the kryptonite worked its way out of her system, she'd be sorry she'd ever approached me. I was miserably certain she'd be horribly embarrassed by this whole incident, and probably never speak to me again.

"So," Mom said. "This morning you mentioned Chloe, um, approached you last night, too. You said nothing happened. But now I'm wondering if you two--"

I turned red, dropped my gaze, and stared at the crack harder. "I didn't know about the Gatorade, Mom. I thought she, you know, really meant it."

"Oh, Clark." Mom stood up, walked around the table, and started stroking my hair. "Maybe she really does."

I couldn't believe it. Mom had found me with a naked girl on my lap, and I'd practically admitted to making out with her... and instead of grounding me for life, Mom was trying to console me.

That was Mom for you. This is why I love my mom, because somehow she always understands. Dad would have been talking about a life sentence without parole, but Mom was only worried about my feelings.

I felt a weird lump in my throat, and I swallowed. "The thing is, Mom, I really like Chloe a lot. I didn't realize how much until I..." I looked up at her for a second, then looked away. "I mean. Well. Anyway. The point is, now I don't know if she really likes me, or if it's all the Gatorade."

"There's only one way to tell," Mom said, still stroking my hair. "You're going to have to figure out how to get her back to normal... and then ask her how she feels."

Read Chapter 9 here.


sanaazzy said...

Great chap

Anonymous said...

Hope it ends well...loving Martha


blackheart_me said...

:D I love that Martha still is concerned with her son's health above everything else and that she is willing to hear him out. AWW poor Clarkie :( I love that Martha soothes him. Man i miss her in the show now. Brilliant job with the Mother/Son conversation :)