Sully's Notes: OK, I felt inspired tonight. This is what fell out of my brain. This is my first time in about a million years writing strictly from Clark's point of view. Let me know if it works. I didn't have this beta'ed yet, and I'm sure y'all can tell! Feedback is necessary for my existence as a fanfic writer. Please help to keep me alive.
Spoilers: For "Obscura."
Summary: It's two stories for the price of one! The first one is when Clark meets Chloe for the first time. The second story is about what possessed Clark to finally freakin' ask the girl to the Spring Formal. The title of this story is stolen from the song playing in the Clark and Chloe scene in the barn in "Obscura." The artist performing it is John Mayer. His CD "Room For Squares" is good. You should buy it and put it on repeat on your CD player like I do. I promise the WB or John's record label did not pay me any money to say that.
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine. And for once, neither is the story. I just thought I'd elaborate a bit for my own fun and for yours, too, I hope.
"No Such Thing"
by Sullivan Lane
Clark could probably clean the barn in a matter of minutes, but today he felt like taking his time. The first signs of spring were peeking out at him in the form of warmer days, sunlight and melted snow, and it felt good to work wearing just his T-shirt, jeans and work gloves.
It had been an eventful week. Lana had been saved from the deranged Deputy Watts, and she was now at home resting. Chloe, too, was unwillingly home from school today, although her story would grace the cover of both the Torch and the Ledger next week. She had written her story late last night in her bedroom, with Clark copy editing over her shoulder. Clark had the feeling she really didn't want to go to sleep. It was almost three in the morning before Chloe was satisfied with her article and e-mailed it to the Ledger.
As Clark lazily did his chores in the barn, he thought of what a great team he and Chloe made, despite the short amount of time they had become friends. When they had first met, he wouldn't have dreamed that they'd be as close as they were. Especially since the first real conversation they had, just fifteen feet above him in his loft a little over a year ago, was more like an argument.
Chloe Sullivan walked around the loft, examining the books on the shelf and the knick-knacks on the desk. While she did this, Clark studied her. She was a petite girl with blonde hair that went every which way and a voice that cut through the air with honesty and bite. Every moment she made was deliberate and exaggerated, and Clark got tired just watching her. She seemed to have an endless amount of energy. The entire day when he showed her around school she had talked, and Clark had listened. And she still wasn't losing any steam.
"Thanks for helping me appease my Daily Planet fixation today." She took a book off the shelf, flipped through it and put it back. "Now I know where to buy them."
"And thanks for giving me the grand tour of your family's farm. I'm glad to hear that you have electricity and running water." Clark frowned but when he saw Chloe's face, he could see that she was teasing him. His face relaxed until Chloe peered through the telescope at the window, turned around and raised an eyebrow at him.
"Is there anything juicy happening at your neighbors' house?" she asked pointedly. "Do they have soap-opera-style fights or something?"
Clark shook his head guiltily. "No. It's just Lana Lang and her aunt living there."
"Ah. The perky violet-eyed cheerleader who was in my gym class," Chloe said, nodding knowingly. "With long dark hair and all the boys drooling when she ran by in her very short gym shorts." She sat down on the couch and crossed her legs. She looked strangely out of place, with her trendy patterned pants, fancy blouse and city boots that were now muddied with farm soil, against the backdrop of the old red Native American blanket that covered the worn couch.
"That's her," Clark confirmed.
"So you're all about the astronomy geek angle," Chloe said, indicating the telescope and the star chart on the wall. Her tone of voice made it seem like a cross between a statement and a question.
"I like looking at the stars and the planets, if that's what you're asking," Clark said, leaning against his desk.
"You want to go into astronomy? Work for NASA and stuff?" Chloe's eyes narrowed as she studied his face.
Clark shrugged. "I don't know."
"What do you mean, you don't know?" Chloe asked, a bit irritated. "Don't you know what you want to do with your life?"
Clark shrugged again and shook his head nonchalantly. "All I want is to live a normal life with a normal family in a normal house. The details aren't all that important to me."
"Welcome to the real world, Clark," Chloe told him. "There's no such thing as normal. So you better start refiguring out what you want."
"Do you know what you want?" Clark challenged her.
Chloe nodded immediately. "I'm going to go to college for journalism and then work at the Daily Planet as an investigative journalist. Then I'm going to win a Pulitzer. Maybe two — one for the novel I'm going to write, too."
"What about a family?"
Chloe shrugged. "Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? A family might just get in the way of my other dreams."
Clark studied her facial expression and saw that she truly believed every word she was saying. "Could you be more cynical?" he asked.
Chloe shrugged and grinned. "I feel my inherent optimism takes up the slack for my cynicism. But yeah, I probably can get more cynical if I tried hard enough." She patted the seat next to her. "Sit by me."
Clark reluctantly sat next to the girl. "Why'd you ask to come here anyway? You'll have plenty of time to see about a hundred farms in Smallville. There's not much to do around here, you know," he added.
"I have no doubt about that," she said, rolling her eyes. "But my outlook on life is to find out everything I can about everything around me as soon as possible. I can't stand not knowing what's going on. You never know when it's your turn to go. I want to live life without regrets."
"OK," Clark said, somewhat in awe. "I don't think that's true. And I don't think that's very optimistic of you, thinking about death all the time."
Chloe sighed. "My theory on life, Clark, is that you have to attack it. Find things that make life worth living. Instead of spying through your telescope observing other people's lives, you should do something that's … uh … worth being spied on, I guess." The space between Chloe's eyebrows wrinkled slightly when she stumbled over her words, and Clark thought she was cute, even though he suspected that she was a little bit insane.
Clark smiled at her, and before he knew what was happening, she leaned over and planted a long, hard kiss on his lips, closing her eyes in sheer joy. Her tongue tickled his upper and lower lips teasingly and her hand reached back to grip the back of his neck firmly.
To his surprise, he closed his eyes and kissed back.
Their kiss was interrupted by the sound of the barn door below opening and closing. Chloe pushed him back slightly and leaned back against the couch, her cheeks flushed and a smile playing at her lips. Clark was shocked.
"Hey, Clark!" Pete's voice floated up toward them. "Did you see that cute new blonde in –" His voice broke off when he saw Chloe and Clark sitting on the couch together. "Uh. I mean, hi. I just wanted to borrow your copy of 'Romeo and Juliet' for Honors English."
It was silent for an uncomfortable moment. All Clark could think about was that he had just had his first kiss and he didn't even get to prepare for it. He didn't even get to decide whether or not it happened. It felt nice and all, but … Who did this girl think she is? He came back to his senses when he saw the expectant look on Pete's face.
"Pete, this is Chloe Sullivan. She just moved here from Metropolis. Chloe, this is my best friendPete Ross."
The two shook hands and Chloe stood up. "I better go. My dad's probably waiting for me at home."
Pete searched the titles on the bookshelf while Clark followed Chloe down the stairs.
"What did you do that for?" Clark whispered to her. There was no anger in his voice, to Clark's own surprise. Only curiosity and wonder.
Chloe grinned mischievously. "I knew you were thinking about doing that all day. I figured we should just get it over with and be friends." She paused, as if trying to think of something else to say. "And at least for today, you could say that if that violet-eyed Lana Lang were spying on you with her telescope, at least there was something interesting for her to spy on."
"You're crazy!" Clark called out to her as she flounced down the path to the main road.
"You need a little craziness in your life, Clark Kent," she called back to him. "All that normalcy is going to make you boring. Should I come by for you in the morning or do you want to meet me at the bus stop?"
Clark shook his head, still amazed at this spitfire of a girl. They would be great friends.
The memory still lay fresh in Clark's mind, as if it had happened yesterday and not almost a year and a half ago. Chloe, with her impulsive streak and limitless supply of energy, remained the constant in his life. He had finally realized it and told her. And her reliability was, in a way, his link to normalcy, whether either of them knew it or not. The idea of Chloe contributing to normalcy was laughable, really, considering the theories she was coming up with all the time and her penchant for the green rocks that were lethal to him. It only proved Chloe's theory that there was no such thing as normal.
She deserved so much more than being constantly pushed to back-up friend, second place. She was worthy of center stage, first place all the time. Was he worthy of her?
He thought about this as he methodically scrubbed down the stalls and swept. He dwelled in the happiness that Chloe made him feel whenever she was around and when he knew she was safe, like right now. He realized how dark his life was when she was forcibly lifted out of it.
All this time Clark had been holding out for the perfect love, the one that would make him happy. But could Clark make Lana happy? He wasn't sure. But he knew that he could make Chloe happy, and she certainly did the same for him. With Lana, love was about angst and unfulfilled dreams; with Chloe, it was about reality and normalcy, or as normal as an alien from another planet and his meteor-obsessed best friend could be.
Chloe was what he had been looking for all this time.
He smiled as he came to this revelation, and there was a giddy feeling inside of him as he finished sweeping hay into a corner.
He heard footsteps behind him. "Your mom told me you'd be here." It was Chloe. Not just Chloe, but Chloe with her trademark too-wide grin and bounce in her step.
Clark remembered the first time she had kissed him, the first time he had ever witnessed that grin, and knowing that she was still a little bit insane.
He wouldn't have it any other way.
- Fin – 05.17.2002