Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Back to School

Clark/Chloe friendship
Season 9
Rating: G
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Cap from Oxoniensis.
Written for Day 1 of Chlark 24/7: Back to School.

He was too old to go back to school.

He'd said so, weakly, but she'd tut-tutted his protests.

"You're never going to get out of the basement of the Planet if you don't finish getting your degree," she'd said briskly. "And you deserve to be upstairs, Clark. I read your article on corruption in the Metropolis police force. It was great."

"But Chlo, if I can already write--"

"There's still plenty for you to learn," she said, frowning at him. "Are you serious about being a journalist, or aren't you?"

He'd sighed, because really, there was no arguing with her. She was right. He needed to finish up his bachelor's degree if he wanted to be taken seriously as a journalist, and he knew it. She'd done it, graduating from Met U over the summer, and now she was writing a well-respected news blog, while simultaneously working as Watchtower for the Justice League.

"Just because you can cope with an insane work load..." he grumbled.

"Oh, please. If I could finish up my degree in night school, you can certainly do it. I'm not even superpowered."

"That's your opinion."

She smiled, and he could tell she was pleased by the respect in his voice. He was glad, because after all the missteps he'd made in their friendship lately, he was grateful to be getting things back on an even footing. He liked seeing her smile. He'd seen far too few of her smiles lately.

He was grateful for her friendship. Almost losing it had made him value it more than ever.

"Okay," he said gruffly. "I'll go back. But to Central Kansas, not Met U."

"Met U wouldn't let you in anyway," she said perkily.

He growled.

She chuckled at his indignant glower. "I'm serious, Clark. You haven't been in school in three years, and you only finished one semester of college. You really do need to get a few credits under your belt before you approach Met U again. Unless you want to play on the football team, anyway."

He rolled his eyes at the suggestion. "I guess you're right. I mean, I had decent SAT scores, but that was a while ago now."

"Don't worry about it," she advised. "Central Kansas will do for a start. The important thing is that you get back to school."

And so here he sat, on the first day of school, in a journalistic ethics class crowded with kids three or four years younger than he was. Since he'd been working as a reporter for a year, he figured a lot of this was going to be old news for him.

But who knew? He might learn something.

Hell, he might learn a lot. Skills learned on the job were valuable, but so was college. There was a reason the Planet required its journalists to have a bachelors degree before they became full reporters, after all. College wasn't just about getting a degree so you could get promoted. It was about learning to see beyond your own experience and the confines of your own life.

He remembered her words: There's still plenty for you to learn. And he admitted to himself that it was true.

He opened his notebook to the first page, and blinked in surprise. Rather than the blank page he'd expected, he saw her loopy handwriting:

The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. To a degree, people read the press to inform themselves--and the better the teacher, the better the student body. - Warren Buffett

He studied the words and nodded to himself, knowing she was right. For the first time, he admitted to himself that he was happy to be back in college, and excited about the challenge it presented.

Going back to school, he thought, was the right path for him to take.

He smiled, picked up his pen, and got ready to learn.

-The End-

6 comments:

chloista4ever said...

This ficly was wonderful, and that's how they should have handle it in the show. But can you expect of such a fail writers? :-/

I love the journalistic perspective you give it to it, hopefully you can write a sequel to this wonderful little peace.

DeeDee said...

Yay, I can comment again! :-D

This is what the show needs to get Clark to do, not wear campy villain gear with high-heeled boots!

This is sweet, Elly. I love the quote Chloe wrote in his notebook for him.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

That's your opinion.

Loved it! What a motivator for the beginning of the school year.

Sarah

Anonymous said...

Ha! Great little ficlet and fits the theme so well.

Mariko said...

Oh I loved it! What a smart little ficlet! I will DIE of happiness if Chloe and Clark go back to school.

BkWurm1 said...

That is the Clark Kent that I can believe in. It was soo satisfying for him to be taking steps to be both a better reporter and maybe a better man. This felt true to Smallville's origins and where Clark should be going.