Once again, I apologise for the long wait. But here's the next chapter of All The Way, in which Chloe and Lana exchange words for the first time.
Enjoy! Lovely banner by summerstar882 . Thanks again! :-)
Title: All The Way
Rating: PG13 (for now)
Timeline: All Seasons. Works as a sequel to Daisychain.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to the CW & DC comics.
Summary: Chlark: as they were, are and ever should be.
Feedback: …makes me squee. :)
Author’s note: written for ellyfanfiction, the greatest Chlark author in fandom :)
The Other Girl
Chloe settled into life in Smallville with considerable ease.
Most of her afternoons were spent in the Torch, and Clark had wasted no time in making adjustments to his chore schedule to ensure that he spent those afternoons with her. He smiled as he observed her putting the finishing touches to one of her articles; fingers flying over the keyboard, lower lip between her teeth, her brow furrowed in concentration…completely in her element.
Academically, none were her equal. Unfortunately that didn’t go very far in getting her any new friends, as the girls were threatened by her intelligence whilst the boys felt intimidated. As a result, her friendship with him and Pete strengthened daily.
“You know, I never really see Lana with any close friends,” he commented suddenly as he helped her map the layout for the following morning’s edition. “Maybe you should see if she wants to go for a coffee sometime.”
“Which is really code for: you want me to get close to her so that you can get close to her,” she replied airily, winking at him as she walked past. “Thanks, but I’ll pass. Cheerleader-types and I don’t get along, never have. Besides, I’ve just written up a scathing article mocking the ever shrinking hemlines of their raa-raa skirts, and I don’t think they’ll be too pleased with me once it goes live.”
“The short skirts are for health & safety reasons, Chloe,” Clark defended. “Studies show that if they’re any longer, they could pose a tripping hazard.”
Chloe peered out the window and grinned. “Looks to me like they’re already a pretty effective tripping hazard,” she giggled. Clark joined her at the window just in time to see a nerd with his eyes trained on a passing cheerleader’s swaying rear end stride headfirst into a lamppost.
Chloe shook her head pityingly. “Let me guess: the skirt designer is a leery old perv who has “written evidence” to back up his support of miniskirts.”
“I take it you’re not a fan?” Clark asked, and Chloe gave a most unladylike snort.
“Understatement of the year. You wouldn’t catch me dead in one of those things,” she mused as she bent over her mock-up board. Clark glanced at her rear, and sighed in disappointment. That was a shame. She had such a nicely rounded posterior that would look amazing in a short skirt.
She turned to look at him, and he immediately shifted his hungry gaze in a different direction. If she caught him looking, he’d be in serious trouble. He was lucky to have gotten away with it when they’d gone tree-climbing. He ambled over to the mock-up board and feigned interest in one of the placed articles.
“You’re a fan though, from what I’ve heard,” she said, her eyes glittering with amusement.
His brows went up, and he looked up from the article. “And what have you heard?”
“Only that you swoon like a Victorian woman in a corset anytime Lana Lang swans past in her Crows getup,” she smirked. “And that was before they hacked an inch-and-a-half off the hemline. What are you gonna do from now on – faint?”
He folded his arms and scowled. “It’s not funny, Chloe.”
“Yeah, it is,” she mocked. “I should make a headline out of it: ‘Clark Kent Faints at a Flash of Panties—’
“I’ve heard enough,” he growled, and stalked off towards the door.
“I was only kidding!” she yelled gleefully after him. He opened his mouth to reply, but suddenly his blood chilled and his limbs went all trembly and weak. A surge of pain seized his muscles, and before he could stop himself he was falling, heading for the floor.
Chloe heard the thump just beyond the door and stuck her head out to investigate. What she saw made her sporfle with laughter.
Clark Kent was lying prone on the floor, staring right up Lana Lang’s tiny, tiny cheerleading skirt.
“Well, I thought I was kidding, but it seems my theory rings true,” she chuckled. She bent to retrieve Lana’s books at the same time Lana did, which resulted in them bumping heads.
“Ow!” they both said, rubbing the sore spots, and laughed.
“I haven’t officially met you yet; I’m Lana,” the other girl said smoothly, extending a slim hand. “And you’re Chloe Sullivan, aren’t you?”
“I see my reputation precedes me,” Chloe murmured with a smile as she shook Lana’s proffered hand. “It’s nice to finally meet you, Lana. I’ve heard…nice things about you. And no need to be coy and say ‘likewise,’ because I know that isn’t true,” she finished with a smile.
“Actually, I heard you’ve already made a name for yourself as a bit of an activist, and I came to ask for your help about something,” Lana replied shyly. “Can we talk inside?”
“Of course we can…and Clark, will you get off the floor?” she exclaimed, shaking her head. “Sorry about that, Lana, I can’t take him anywhere. Just step over him, he’ll pick himself up off the floor when he’s recovered from the---” she stopped herself lest she cause offence, but Lana simply smiled.
“Flash of cheerleader panties?” Lana finished, and grimaced. “I told the review board that the hemlines were too short, but they didn’t listen to me. Said it was a---”
“Health and safety issue?” Chloe chimed.
“Yeah, that….and they said it would make us stand out from the crowd,” Lana said. “But I think we should be noticed for our cheerleading ability rather than our lithe limbs and wiggling bottoms.”
“My sentiments exactly, although I must confess I thought they were one and the same,” Chloe admitted.
“Oh, no; there’s a lot more to us than skimpy outfits,” Lana protested, and sighed. “See, this is exactly the type of mindset I was hoping to steer us away from.”
Chloe tilted her head and regarded the pretty teenager with a smile. Lana Lang up close was very different from what she’d expected; quite smart, and she’d have to admit, a lot nicer, too.
“So there are some of you that aren’t pleased with the new skirts?” Chloe asked.
“Just the one of us, I’m afraid,” she said regretfully. “But I have a voice, and I want to make my opinion known. That’s where you come in. I was hoping you might put my side of the story in the next edition of the Torch, and see what the rest of the school has to say about it.”
Chloe beamed. “Perfect timing,” she said, leading Lana over to the mock-up board. “I was just about to send this article off to print, but I think it’ll be a lot more well-rounded with your views.” She paused, and rolled her eyes. “And I suppose I should also interview someone with a popular opinion to make it fair,” she added with a grimace.
“Then you’ll be wanting Dawn Styles,” Lana mused. “I’ll get her to come see you once you’ve interviewed me.”
“Or I could ask Clark to go get her,” Chloe offered, and turned towards the door. “Clark, could you---Clark?” she blinked. Her best friend was nowhere to be seen.
“He scrambled off the floor and left a while ago, I’m afraid,” Lana said regretfully. “He does that a lot around me; I wish I knew why.” She frowned, and then to Chloe’s surprise raised her elbow and attempted to sniff her own armpit.
“No, it’s not that!” she laughed, giggling harder when Lana breathed into her hand to see if her breath smelled. “And it’s not that, either, he…” she took a deep breath. “Lana, he likes you.”
Lana’s eyes widened. “He likes me?” she echoed. “As in, likes me, likes me?”
“I’m surprised you never noticed; according to Pete, he’s liked you for years,” Chloe replied dryly. “I’ve been here less than a month, and even I’ve seen how he gets when he’s around you.”
“I see,” she said, still surprised. “But I, um…I have a boyfriend…”
“The quarterback, I know,” Chloe said gently. “Look…I’m not saying you should dump him and go steady with Clark, or anything like that, just…smile and say hello to the boy every now and then.” As opposed to floating by like Cleopatra on a gilded cloud, she added silently in her head. And why the heck was she urging Lana to go after Clark, anyway?
“Oh. Okay, I…I guess I could do that,” the brunette said after a brief pause. “But I thought…maybe you and he were…”
Chloe snorted and waved her hand. “What? Nah, we’re not like that, we’re…we’re just buddies,” she said with a too-bright smile. “Really good buddies, but that’s about it.”
“So you said,” Lana replied with a smile. “Okay, I’ll say hello next time he goes by.”
“Good,” Chloe said wistfully. “He’ll like that.”
Lana tapped on her books with her fingers for a few seconds before speaking again. “Listen, I, um…I have cheerleading practice in about twenty minutes, so…”
“I’ll get started on that interview,” Chloe said. She supposed it couldn’t be bad to get a cheerleader’s opinion on the new skirts, especially when that view mirrored hers.
And Lana wasn’t so bad. Maybe the rest of the squad would be tolerable.
Unfortunately, they weren’t.
Dawn Stiles swanned into the Torch after cheerleading practice flanked by and entourage of pom-pom wielding clones and proceeded to spout about spirit-this, and spirit-that until Chloe was tempted to plant a fist in her mouth to shut her up. By the time Chloe finally got a word in edgeways about the skirt-length, Dawn and her posse gave her a filthy look.
“Well, what did you expect, fat girl?” she said rudely. “Choir robes?”
The posse snickered like fillies in a stable, swung on their heels and trotted out of the torch, flashing their undies with every step.
“I am not fat!” Chloe yelled after them, scowling. They didn’t bother with an answer, and within minutes she saw them through the window as they headed into the first of the school buses with members of the football team.
And that was when she remembered.
On her first day at Smallville High, she had made a decision to right the injustice of the preferential treatment given to jocks and cheerleaders when it came to school transportation; she was yet to make good on that promise. Now that she thought about it, this would make a much better front-page headline than cheerleader hemlines. Oh, she’d still write a solid by-line on that, but she had bigger ambitions to nurture. Messing with the Cool Kids was sure to ruffle more than a few feathers, and she was ready for the inevitable fallout.
Grinning, she sat down at her computer and began to type, her fingers flying over the keyboard at breakneck speed. If she was really fast, she could get it to the printers in time for inclusion in tomorrow morning’s edition.