Title: The Princess Dress
Author: Lint
Email: CrashDarby@aol.com
Disclaimer: All Smallville folk belong to their respected copyright holders.
Pairing: Clark/Chloe
Rating: PG
Summary: Dances aren't always a ball.

***

I wanted to look pretty for you.

I wasted all that time at the hair place, all that time at the store looking for this dress, the untold hours in front of my mirror. All of the seconds of preening and primping were so completely wasted. I was surprised when you asked me. Honestly I was. It was the last thing I ever expected to come out of your mouth.

"Chloe, will you go to the dance with me?"

It still sounds strange when I repeat it inside my head. But when you said it, I didn't care how strange it sounded. I've seen enough weird around this town already. But I guess that something inside of me just wanted to take this particular odd occurrence in stride. Clark Kent asking Chloe Sullivan to a dance? Someone stop the presses. I didn't know exactly what it meant at the time. My inquisitive brain just seemed to halt when you asked. I thought you really wanted to go with me. I can't believe how naive I could be. Me of all people. I know you wouldn't intentionally hurt me Clark. You're too good of a person to do something so painful without realizing it.

I sit here in my ridiculously lavish and expensive costume, looking like a little fairy princess who finally made her way to the ball, and what am I doing? I'm sitting on the bleachers watching you watching her.

It's not fair.

I don't deserve this.

I'm a perfectly nice girl, and okay, boys aren't exactly knocking down my door, or when they do they turn out to be the X-Files version of a Frosty the Snowman, but so what? Does that mean I have to go through this? Does that mean I had to waste my time and energy for this? I know you have a thing for her Clark. An unexplainable, disgusting, typical boyhood thing. I just can't figure out why. I know she's pretty. That is pretty much a "duh" comment about her. I know she's nice and smart and is kind to the elderly. But it just doesn't click in my head. Some reporter I turned out to be huh? I can find the littlest details in the most random form oddball things that happen in this little town of ours. My wall of weird is living, breathing proof of that. I don't want to waste my time with those details now because they have nothing to do with what I'm feeling at the moment.

And what exactly am I feeling?

If you would even notice me for two seconds, let alone ask something that profound about me, I don't know if I could answer. Because I'm not exactly sure myself. We've been friends along time now haven't we? Much longer than this "thing" you have for her. I don't understand where it could come from. You've lived so close to each other for so long and never even been good friends. I mean you turn into a klutz whenever you get within five feet of her. Pete and I have a little bet going on, and yes, I am aware how mean that might seem. But right now I don't care. I should have come with Pete again; we had a lot of fun at the last dance. But him being on the football team, girls magically seemed to notice him more. He has a date. A date that looks like she's having a good time with him on the dance floor.

Aren't you even going to ask me to dance?

I see her down there, smiling and laughing. I don't think she's waiting for you to cut in Clark. Whitney looks like he's doing a pretty good job of twirling her around the dance floor. She is happy with him, why can't you see that? Why can't you see how unhappy I am? I don't appreciate this. I'm bored. I think I could be having more fun in the Torch office instead of here. I think I could be having more fun on Mars instead of here.

Dances are supposed to be fun damn it!

I'm supposed to be having a good time.

Yes Clark, I'd love some punch.

Yes Clark, I'd love to dance.

Why thank you Clark, it is a lovely dress. I remember when I first saw it in the window of the shop downtown. Its pull on me was almost magnetic. I knew that if anything about me would finally get your attention, this was it. My mother nearly died at the price but I thought it was perfect don't you?

This is the conversation we should be having.

Those are the questions you should be asking.

But no, we're just sitting here watching someone else's good time.

I bet if I got up to get my own punch you wouldn't even notice. I bet you wouldn't turn your head. I'd test my theory, it might even make for a little fun, but I won't. I'm your faithful little friend standing by watching you in your own little world filled with nothing but Lana Lang.

I want to hate her.

I wish I could.

But I'm smart enough to know that it's not her fault. She didn't seduce you in any way. Or anyway that I know of and don't even want to continue thinking about. You did it Clark. It was all you.

Did you see that? Someone just asked me to dance. Some other pathetic soul that showed up stag assumed I had too. He couldn't tell the difference. How could he? You aren't even sitting on the same bench as me. You're hunched over with your head in your hands staring, staring away.

Why do you waste so much time on her?

You do know she sees you as nothing more than a friend, and most likely never will. Hmm, that's kind of funny. I guess I should be following that line of thinking, but I can't. My reasons are the same as yours. You can't help how you feel for her. I know that, honestly I do. Because I can't help the same thing about you.

I wanted you to notice me tonight. I wanted a compliment more than "you look nice" when you walked through my doorway to pick me up. I have the feeling I could have been wearing a potato sack and you would have said the same thing. For a guy with such great eyesight you can be so painfully blind. And yes, it does hurt a little. How would you feel if the one thing you wanted was for me to ask you huh? How would you feel if all I did the whole time was sit and stare at Whitney?

I know you ask yourself why she's with him. I know that you've even been stupid enough to ask her. She gave you an answer. A pretty solid answer from what I've heard. But you just can't seem to get over that hump. And I don't understand any of it. I want to, believe me I do. Maybe it would help me understand my own feelings. Maybe it would help me realize just how pointless this thing called love really is. You want her and can't have her. I want you and can't have you.

Once, when my mom and dad were in a really horrible fight. You know how bad my parents get into it sometimes. You were my shoulder to cry on for the longest time. Well, this one time they were ready for blood and my dad left for a few days to cool off, or to think of never coming back or whatever. I don't like to think about it too much. It's a memory that still seems to sting somewhere deep inside. It was one of the many times I ran to you for comfort and maybe that's when this whole disgusting thing for you happened. Anyway, my mom was drinking pretty hard the few days he was gone, a nasty little habit she only seems to form when she's really depressed. She looked me straight in the eye, whiskey glass in her hand, alcohol rank on her breath, and told me something I'd never forget.

"The only thing we'll ever be is all alone."

I hope you remember that night. When I came crying to your window and you let me in the house. You made me cocoa and wiped away my tears. You were so sweet that night Clark. You helped me more than you ever knew. But I guess that it what you do isn't it? Help people. Anyway, she said that to me and I never ever wanted to understand it. It was something she said out of drunken sadness, a heat of the moment kind of thing. She probably doesn't remember ever saying it to me, because Dad came back and everything was fine again. For a little while longer at least.

But that phrase never left my mind. I never wanted to know what it truly meant. But now, sitting here virtually by myself, watching you watching her. I know what it means. I know that it's true. You have to believe me when I say I never wanted to.

I wanted to look pretty for you Clark. I wanted you to finally notice me. In a way I've never really admitted to myself that I wanted you to. Well I'm admitting it now. I like you Clark. More than friends. Funny how my total self-discovering declaration falls on deaf ears.

I sit here in this pink fluffy candy dress, watching everyone all dressed up under spinning lights, and know that it'll never happen. You and I will never happen.

Just like Lana noticing you, in the way you want her to, will never happen.

I want to hate her. I want to hate you.

But I can't.

I should have known that this dance didn't mean anything.

I should have known that this dress wouldn't have made a difference.

It's the same cold rain that falls on you and me and everyone.