Sunday, January 14, 2007
A Kiss is Just a Kiss
Season 6, missing scene in "Hydro"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.
And when two lovers woo
They still say, "I love you."
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by.
-Louis Armstrong, "As Time Goes By"
"So how come you stuck your tongue down my girlfriend's throat?"
As I expected, Clark Kent looked down at the barn floor, refusing to meet my eyes. His cheeks turned a brilliant shade of crimson. "Uh," he said. "Listen, Ollie, I just sort of..."
I was amused by his reaction, but I did my best to hide it. Clark is a funny mixture of naive Kansas farmboy and superpowered hero. Right now it was definitely the naive farmboy staring at the straw and nervously shuffling his feet.
"I mean, we had a plan," I said, doing my best to sound stern. "You were supposed to impersonate the Green Arrow and protect my identity from Lois... but you were not supposed to kiss her. Not like that, anyway."
"I know that." His voice sounded strained, like he really wanted to sink through the floor and fade away, or maybe just do that disappearing whoosh thing he does every now and then. "I'm really sorry, Ollie. I just..."
I stalked around him in a circle. "So was I right about you guys after all? Do you have a thing for her?"
His head jerked up, so fast his overlong dark hair flew, and he stared at me, looking dismayed. "A thing? For Lois? Are you kidding me?"
I could barely restrain my laughter. I knew perfectly well Clark didn't have a thing for Lois. When I'd first met him, I'd worried maybe he did-- I mean, they'd lived under the same roof for most of a year, and Lois is a gorgeous woman. At least I think so, obviously, or I wouldn't be dating her. Okay, so "dating" is putting it mildly.
But I digress. It was obvious to me that for whatever reason, Clark just wasn't all that interested in her.
And honestly, I knew the reason. Or reasons. The first and most obvious was that Clark and Lois just couldn't get along. At all. They liked each other, in a friendly kind of way, but they were constantly at each other's throats. Put them alone together in the same room, and they'd argue. About anything. Politics, religion, music, clothes. These two people had never met a subject they couldn't argue about.
And the other reason... well, the other reason was blonde.
"That was a hell of a kiss," I said, still trying to sound stern.
"I'm sorry, Ollie." He sounded like he was near tears, and I instantly felt like the world's biggest jerk. I felt like a big bully, picking on a poor innocent farm kid. Which was silly, because if he wanted to, Clark could squash me with a single swat, the way anyone else might carelessly squish a mosquito, and I knew it.
But I also knew he never would. By now we'd been through enough together that I was certain of that.
"Forget it," I said. I wanted to pat the kid on the shoulder, but instead I sat down on the stairs and looked at him. He'd been doing farm chores-- a colossal waste of this guy's incredible strength and speed, but once his father died, it had become his responsibility, and Clark didn't shirk his responsibilities-- and he picked up his pitchfork and started tossing fresh straw into a stall.
"It wasn't Lois," he muttered, glancing up at me. His hair is pretty long and unkempt-- not surprising, since apparently even his hair is invulnerable, which meant trips to the barber shop are out-- and I could hardly see his eyes through the bangs. "I mean, it wasn't about Lois. It was just... a kiss. Does that make any sense?"
I thought about it for a minute. Since I've met him, the kid's seemed pretty lonely. I mean, he has friends-- me, Lois, and Chloe Sullivan, the aforementioned blonde-- but he hasn't had anything approximating a girlfriend since the day we met.
So yeah, I could definitely understand what he was talking about. Guys get lonely. Even superpowered guys. Or maybe especially superpowered guys. Even though I'm rich, famous, and (I'm told) reasonably good-looking, I've had many days when I felt all alone in the world. But I had a feeling I couldn't even begin to fathom the depths of Clark's loneliness. He's so different from everyone else-- how could he not be lonely?
Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss. And sometimes a guy gets lonely enough that he'll respond to a kiss from any girl. I figured Clark had finally reached that point.
"When was the last time you kissed a girl, Clark?"
His cheeks went red again, and he started pitching hay into the stall so fast that the pitchfork seemed to blur. "Six months ago, maybe."
"And the girl you kissed would have been..."
"Doesn't matter." The pitchfork moved still faster. "It wasn't all that important."
Uh-huh. Sure. The furious blush heating his cheeks was a dead giveaway that it had been all that important.
"Chloe," I guessed.
The pitchfork suddenly stopped, and his head jerked up. He stared at me with big green eyes. "How'd you know that?"
"I'm not totally stupid, Clark. Any idiot could see you're in love with her."
"In love? With Chloe?" He blinked, looking shell-shocked. "She's got a boyfriend, Ollie."
"So what? That doesn't change the way you feel about her, does it?"
"Um..." He looked down, as if hoping to avoid my gaze, but he was all out of straw. He glanced back up again. "Chloe and I are just friends. Always have been."
"Which is why you kissed her six months ago."
He scowled. "I was kind of under stress that night."
He bristled at the sarcasm in my voice, and his hand tightened around the pitchfork's handle. It broke in two with a loud snap, which made me wonder if baiting a guy who could break me like a toothpick was really such a great idea.
But hell, it was Clark. Just because he could snap me like a twig didn't mean he would. The man has an incredible respect for life. And he's totally loyal to his friends, even when they're annoying the hell out of him.
And a good thing, too. Otherwise I'm pretty sure he would have killed Lois a long time ago.
"I was stressed," he growled, sounding less like the naive Kansas teenager, and a lot more like the tough guy I'd seen emerge a time or two in fights. "She was stressed. It didn't mean a damn thing to either of us."
"I guess not," I agreed. "Otherwise she wouldn't have run out and started dating another guy, would she?"
He'd shifted the pitchfork to his other hand, and the splintered remnants of the handle instantly snapped. I winced, feeling a little nervous but trying not to show it.
He glared at me. "I. Am. Not. In. Love. With. Chloe."
"So you're saying kissing Lois didn't remind you of kissing Chloe? You just kissed Lois that way because you have a thing for Lois?"
I had him on the ropes, and I could tell he knew it. He turned his head and stared into the shadows of the barn, looking hunted. "I'm just... just a little lonely, Ollie. That's all."
"Clark." I decided it was time to quit teasing the poor kid. "We both know you want Chloe. She's the reason you're so lonely. How come you don't tell her how you feel?"
"I told you." His head was still turned, and he was staring into the impenetrable shadows-- well, impenetrable for those of us without freakishly acute vision, anyway. But I don't think he was trying to see anything. He was just trying to avoid my gaze. "She has a boyfriend."
"Come on, Clark. Jimmy Olsen doesn't mean nearly as much to her as you do."
His head turned abruptly, and he stared at me, looking hopeful. "You think?"
"Yeah, I think. You guys have been friends for a long time, and she's only been dating Jimmy for a few months. And every time I see her, she's looking at you like you're the world to her. She doesn't look at Jimmy that way, you know. Just you."
"Really. Lois says she talks about you all the time, too."
His eyes practically lit up. "No kidding."
"No kidding." I grinned up at him. "So why don't you go kiss someone besides my girlfriend?"
He stared at me for a long minute, then there was a whoosh, and he was gone. The pitchfork slowly fell through the air and clattered against the wooden floor with a clang.
So my work here was done. I got up, stretched, and headed for my car, parked out on the Kents' dirt driveway. Damn, I was good. Maybe I'd give up the hero business and start an advice column.
But first, I was going to stop by the Talon and give Lois a nice long kiss, just to make sure she forgot all about "Green Arrow."
Yeah, sometimes a kiss is just a kiss. But when it came to Lois, I felt the same way about her Clark felt about Chloe. Only I'm not a naive Kansas farmboy, and I hadn't had any trouble telling her how I felt... and I intended to keep telling her. Every day.
And when I pulled up outside the Talon, I saw that Clark had apparently finally managed to tell Chloe how he felt, too. Because the two of them were outside on the sidewalk in the rain, wrapped around together, their mouths in a liplock that made Clark and Lois' kiss look pretty damn G-rated by comparison.
Damn, I'm good.
I went upstairs to find Lois, and kiss the hell out of her. Not because I was seriously worried she might still be thinking about Clark. But because she deserves to be kissed by a guy who loves her, the way Clark was kissing Chloe in the rain. And because I wanted to kiss her that way, over and over again.
Because sometimes a kiss is just a kiss. But sometimes... it's a whole lot more.
Posted by Meg at 5:35 PM