For Dyland

On whom I have a crush roughly the size of Asia.

"Red and blue and. . ." Chloe said, trailing her eyes from Clark's chin, over his chest (resting lightly for a moment on his crotch; hell, no harm in looking), and down his huge legs. ". . . Green?"

Martha Kent shook her head as Clark mimed squishing her idea and tossing it into the trash bin. "Red and green," his mother told her matter-of-factly, "are Christmas colors."

She rolled her eyes at Clark, pretending to catch the crumbled idea. "That might be useful for later," she teased good-naturedly. "Okay, so no Christmas colors." She sat back at her desk, thinking. "Well . . . how about . . . purple?"

Her best friend's eyes widened in horror. "No purple, no pink," he told her firmly, without question. "Not to sound like an eleven-year-old, but those are girlie colors. I mean, really, Chlo; can you imagine a superhero swooping in to save the day wearing a nice shade of fuscia?"

"But it goes so pretty with your eyes," she returned easily, batting her eyelashes, and then laughed at his scowl. She turned back to Martha as he reached for the refrigerator door. "So you two are telling me that the third color needs to have absolutely no association with anyone or anything . . . in the history of the world?"

Martha smiled wryly for a moment, and said without looking up, "I know you're about to go get a glass for that milk, Clark."

There was a brief, guilty shuffling of feet before Clark muttered, "Of course, Mom."

Chloe smiled to herself, and had a brief vision of Clark in a super suit, cowering before an older, frailer Martha Kent. "Chloe, close your eyes for a moment." She obeyed Martha's command instantly, and the older woman continued, "Imagine this. You are walking to work. You've brought your wallet with you—sometimes you like to eat at a nearby restaurant. You're dressed to kill . . . trying to impress the man that sits across from you. And wow, Chloe . . . good choice. He's tall, strong, can burn things with his eyes . . ." Chloe's eyes snapped open.

"Mrs. Kent!" She squealed at the same time as Clark yelped, "Mom!"

She waved them away. "All right, all right, I'm sorry. I guess that's just wishful thinking on my part."

Chloe thought: Hm.

"Now, Chloe. You're walking to work in your beautiful Jimmy Choo shoes—"

"That's kind of expensive, Mrs. Kent—"

"You're a big-time journalist now, Chloe, five-thousand dollar shoes aren't even a splurge for you. You're walking to work and then you realize: you're being followed. He's not a very noticeable man, but a little dirty and you're uncomfortable with the looks he's giving you. And then suddenly you feel a sharp, cold, tubular object in your back. 'Come with me,' he says to you gruffly, and leads you into a dark alley . . . you wonder if he's after your purse, but he's after more than your purse."

Chloe shivered.

"He reaches for you, and you scream. You don't really expect results. You know that it's a dog-eat-dog world . . . but just as the gun presses in on you, suddenly there's a crash. You look up—the man who was about to attack you lies discarded to one side. In his place is the concerned face of a handsome alien, one hand on your arm. 'Excuse me, Miss, are you all right?' He asks. And he is clad in blue and red and . . . "

She trailed off expectantly. Chloe's eyes were shut as she said, "Yellow." There was a beat, and she looked at Martha. "Definitely yellow."

Clark pulled up a seat beside her. She was used to the tingle of attraction and nerves when their legs brushed. "Why yellow?" He asked, and handed her a glass of water that she didn't ask for but wanted anyway.

"Yellow is so . . . nice," she explained. "Yellow means sunshine, it means Easter eggs, it means bright walls in bright rooms . . . you can't ever have yellow with a negative connotation." She nodded firmly. "If a concerned alien was going to throw men around for me, I'd want there to be yellow involved."

Martha Kent looked pensive, considering. "Well, Clark, you do look handsome in yellow . . . when you were little, you'd cry if I tried to dress you in anything else. For a little while you looked like a lemon."


She smiled. "Yellow it is," she affirmed then, standing. "And now for a design . . . "

Chloe watched the older woman ascend the stairs, warmly affectionate. "I love your Mom, Clark."

He laughed, brushing a strand of hair off of her neck (sparing a glance to the promising area below; hell, not dead, no reason not to look). "I get that a lot."

Her eyes followed him as he trundled around the little kitchen, displacing things purely for fun, exchanging the sugar for salt, tucking little post-its in hiding spots for his mother to find. It felt almost like a moment, the kind that she usually had to observe from the sidelines. The kind that might almost lead to—

There was a loud bang as Lois threw the door open, arms spread dramatically wide. "I just had the worst experience of my life," she gushed. "I will never look at the color yellow the same again. Bleh. What a nightmare. What happened was . . . "

Clark leaned in, and his breath tickled her ear, even though his eyes stayed fastened with a strange fascination to her cousin (maybe a little lower than they should have been?). "You know, Chlo, I think yellow is going to be just perfect."