Shelby and Clark (offscreen Chlark)
Season 6, end of "Zod"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
I was sprawled out on the kitchen tiles when The Boy stomped into the house. The tiles on the kitchen floor are the coolest place in the house in the summer, except on those very rare occasions when the cold air comes out of the vents. If it was up to me, the cold air would come out of the vents all the time, but the rest of The Family doesn't have fur, so maybe they don't care about keeping cool as much as I do.
Anyway, The Boy came in, slamming the door behind him and looking like he wanted to hit something. He's not really a boy anymore-- he's every bit as big as The Man was, before The Man went away-- but he's the youngest member of the family, so I can't help but think of him as The Boy. I scrambled to my feet and went running to him, wagging my tail to show how glad I was to see him.
Hi, kid. Where have you been? I'm starved.
"Hey there, Shelby," he said, absentmindedly rubbing my ears. He turned from me and stalked toward the big white box, and I sat down next to my bowl as a kind of polite reminder that it was suppertime. He didn't notice.
"Damn it," he said under his breath. "Why didn't I just tell her?"
Oh, great. It sounded like angst and drama had made a reappearance in The Boy's life. The Boy was no stranger to angst and drama, that was for sure. But he sounded more upset than he had in quite a while, so I whined, trying to show sympathy. That's my job.
Besides, I figured sympathy might get me some food.
The Boy reached into the big white box and pulled out a can. He tried to pop the top open, but instead just ripped off the tab, which happens sometimes when he's upset. He sighed and stuck a finger into the top of the can, making a hole, and took a long swig.
"All I had to do," he said to me, "was tell her that I wanted to hook up. Should that really be such a hard thing to say? I mean, it's a simple sentence. I want to go out with you, Chloe. Is that so damn difficult?"
I recognized the name of The Girl, and my tail waved. The Girl isn't the only girl in The Boy's life. One girl lived with The Family for months. But she had a harsh, strident voice that hurt my ears, and she was always shoving me away and sneezing. I wasn't sorry when she left.
But I'm always happy to see The Girl, the one The Boy calls Chloe, because she never fails to rub my ears in exactly the right place. She even sits on the floor and lets me climb into her lap. No one else does that. I love The Girl.
The Boy stormed across the kitchen, waving his can angrily in the air. I sat next to my bowl, looking hopeful. "I mean, she kissed me, Shelby. She kissed me. And it was a hell of a kiss, too. You can't tell me that was all about the world ending. I just don't believe it."
So the angst and drama was about The Girl. I tilted my head and tried to look like I understood, even though I didn't. I know what kissing is-- The Man and The Woman did it often enough, before The Man went away-- but why humans want to mash their lips together I simply do not understand.
And The Boy isn't actually human, anyway. I don't know exactly what he is, but he doesn't smell like a human. But he acts like one, most of the time. And he seems to like the lip-mashing thing as much as humans do.
Anyway,I didn't understand why he'd want to kiss The Girl, but I did manage to grasp the fact that kissing her, or the lack thereof, was what was bothering him. For some reason, it seems like an awful lot of his angst and drama revolves around girls.
Females are no end of trouble. You should do what I did. Get fixed.
"But this afternoon she acted like it was no big deal," he said, sighing. "And I just didn't quite have the balls to tell her how I felt."
Really? Hey, I didn't know you'd been fixed already, kid.
"And now I don't know what to do," he said, still gesturing. Some of the liquid in the can splashed onto the floor, and I jumped up and went over to lick it up. I love that sweet stuff. Anyway, I was starving, because The Boy wasn't making a move to feed me. Too busy moping. Big surprise there.
The Boy fell silent for a minute, then sighed again. "Anyway, there's this Jimmy guy..."
I looked up from the sweet stuff, wrinkling my forehead. I didn't know that name. Who's Jimmy?
"I'm not sure, but I think he's the guy she..." He dropped down onto a stool and covered his face with a hand. His voice was muffled. "I think they have a history, Shelby. I mean, I think they've been, you know, together before."
Don't be stupid. I've seen the way The Girl looks at you. There's no way she's interested in another guy.
He didn't seem to agree with that, because he sighed heavily. "Hell, Shelby. I've lost her. I should have made a move on her a long time ago, and now it's too late."
Yeah, yeah, it's always too late, kid. Why do we have to do angst and drama at suppertime? I'm starved.
"But maybe..." He pulled the little box he carries around out of his pocket and sat looking at it. "Maybe I should call her. Talk to her about it."
Yeah, that's a good idea. Talk to her. Right after you feed me.
He opened the box and started punching buttons, then suddenly flipped it closed. "I can't," he said softly. "I just don't have the nerve."
Excuse me, but what part of I'm hungry is your tiny little primate brain failing to understand?
"Oh, hell," he said. He dropped the empty can onto the counter and stood up. "I'm going to go to the barn to think for a while."
Good idea, kid. Because that's solved so many of your problems in the past.
He went toward the door, and I saw my dinner walking out the door with him. I went after him, whining softly. He turned around, dropped to his knees, and put his arms around my neck.
"Good dog, Shelby," he said softly. His voice was oddly choked, almost like he might be crying. I whined and licked his face, and sure enough, there was some salt there. That's another thing humans do that I don't get, but I do know it's not a good sign. I whined again, trying to tell him I was sorry he was so upset.
In a minute, he stood up and patted my head. "Thanks for listening, buddy," he said, and turned toward the door. "I'm going to see if I can figure some stuff out. And maybe I'll give Chloe a call. Just to, you know, talk."
Talking usually seemed to help humans work out their problems. But The Boy talked to The Girl all the time, so I wasn't sure talking was going to solve this particular issue. I cocked my head, watching him head out the door with a determined stride.
Good luck, kid. You're going to need it.
The door closed behind him, and I settled onto the floor with a long sigh, stretching out and closing my eyes.
I sure hope you have better luck with The Girl than I had getting my supper.