babydee1: (Chlark - Hand!Back by Miranda)
[personal profile] babydee1
After all the angst I've been churning out, I figured it was time for something a little more light-hearted.  So here's the next chapter of All The Way - in which Jonathan Kent gets the pleasure of meeting Hurricane Chloe. :-)

Enjoy! Awesome banner by [livejournal.com profile] summerstar882.



Title:              All The Way
Author:         [livejournal.com profile] babydee1
Pairing:          Chlark
Rating:           PG13 (for now)
Warnings:     None
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. :)


Read previous chapter here.
Read story from the beginning here.


Chapter 13
Meeting Dad


Apparently, bringing a girl home was a big deal.  Clark knew this, because his mom had gone all out with lunch, and even baked an extra pie for Chloe to sample. 

She helped him set the table with crockery and napkins, and when all the dishes had been brought out, they eagerly took their seats.  His mother said grace, and they all began to eat. 

Chloe had a healthy appetite.  She put away a decent quantity of steak and potatoes, and still had enough room left for two hearty slices of homemade pie.  Unfortunately, her table manners could to with some refining.  She chatted all the way through dinner, which wasn’t too bad in and of itself; but she tended to talk around her food, and that was something mother was sure to notice. 

“Clark wasn’t kidding,” Chloe mumbled around her mouthful of pie and custard.  “You really do make the best pies in Kansas, Mrs Kent.  This is extremely good.” 

His mother smiled.  “You know, I’d probably have a better chance of hearing what you’re saying if you swallowed the food in your mouth first,” she said gently. 

Chloe blushed deep red and finished chewing on the morsel before repeating her statement.  After that, Clark noticed that she always finished chewing her food before attempting to speak, which was obviously what his mother had intended. 

***

“Can I help you with the dishes, Mrs Kent?” Chloe offered.  “It’s the least I can do after that wonderful lunch.” 

“Well, Clark usually does them, but I’m sure he’d appreciate an extra hand,” his mother replied with a smile. 

Clark grinned.  “Thanks, Chloe.  I’ll show you where all the plates go.”

“Oh, and when you’re done, Clark, please go out to the back forty and get your father in,” his mother added.  “He hasn’t had a bite to eat since breakfast.” 

“I will.” 

She glanced at her watch.  “Right, I have a few things to take care of now, so I have to get going.  Chloe - it was a pleasure to finally meet you.” 

Chloe flashed her trademark wide smile.  “You too, Mrs Kent, and thanks again for lunch; I really enjoyed it,” she replied shyly. 

He waited for his mother to head upstairs, and then took her hand.  “Come on - I’ll wash, you dry.” 

“Your Mom’s really nice,” Chloe said as they worked side by side.  “Pretty, too.  And its official - her pies are the best I’ve ever tasted.” 

“Told you,” he said smugly.  “Thanks, it always makes her happy to hear that.  And she’s got dozens more recipes for you to try.” 

“I shall have to come over for lunch more often, then,” she replied with a knowing wink.

He grinned.  “Great!  She’ll love it.”  He’d love it, too. “Right, we’re almost done here; just two more dishes, then it’s out to the back forty.” 

She frowned.  “The back forty?”

“Acres,” he explained as he passed her a plate.  “The ground there isn’t particularly productive, so Dad’s been mulching and devising a specific crop rotation to get the best out of it.” 

“Uh…yeah, I have no idea what any of that means,” she said ruefully as she took the plate out of his hands and dried it with a tea towel. 

He patiently explained all about farming techniques as they finished up, and when the last dish was washed, dried, and put away, he led Chloe outside.  They walked through a small field of corn for about half a mile until they got to a wide expanse of land that stretched out almost as far as the eye could see. 

This is the back forty,” Clark announced proudly. 

“Well, there’s definitely a lot of it,” she replied impressed.  “You must have loads of picnics and stuff over the summer.” 

“Well, I never really had that many friends,” he replied ruefully.  “Just Pete, and as you’ve seen, he’s not really the picnic-y type.” 

She grinned.  “True.” 

He twiddled his thumbs nervously.  “Are you the picnic-y type?” he asked. 

Her smile widened.  “I could be.  Especially if you’re bringing the pie.”  She pointed to a man in a tractor in the distance.  “Who’s that?  One of the farm hands?” 

He grinned.  “No, that’s Jonathan Kent.”   

Her eyes widened.  “That’s your dad?”

“Mmm-hmm.  Would you like to meet him?”

She smiled brightly and took his hand again.  “Absolutely!” 

***

“Hello, Clark,” his father greeted as they came near.  “Who’s your friend?” 

“This is Chloe, Dad; Chloe Sullivan,” he replied.  “I told you about her, remember?” 

“Ah, yes…you moved to Smallville not too long ago, and my son had to show you around,” he said with a smile, reaching down to shake her hand.  “Pleased to meet you, Chloe.  I’ve met your father, he’s a nice man.” 

“Thank you, sir; it’s nice to meet you, too,” she replied.  “Clark’s been telling me all about crop rotations, and he mentioned that you only do organic farming.”

Jonathan nodded.  “That’s correct.” 

“I understand the benefits of organic produce to the consumer, but doesn’t that make production more expensive for you?” she queried. 

Jonathan blinked in surprise at the direct question, and Clark grinned at the surprise on his face.  “She runs the school paper, Dad,” he explained. 

His father smiled.  “I see.  Well, to answer your question, you’re right; farming organically does increase our overheads, and because ours is a fairly small farm, we don’t produce enough volume to actually make a sizeable profit.  I suppose we could pass those costs on to the consumers, but that would mean superlatively inflating our prices, and we’re not in the business of ripping people off.” 

Chloe frowned.  “You could always make use of fertilisers; they make crops grow, don’t they?” she asked. 

“They do, but there’s no telling the effect of a chemical fertiliser on the growth of a plant,” he explained.  “CDC and health companies swear that they’re safe, but I can’t take that chance.  We won’t compromise and poison our crops just to make them grow faster or look greener.  There’s already enough strangeness in this town without fertiliser compounding the problems.”   

Chloe gnawed on her bottom lip as she mulled his words over.  “So what’s the benefit to you, then, Mr Kent?” she eventually asked. 

He shrugged.  “Just the joy of farming, and knowing that I’ve done the right thing, even though it isn’t always easy,” he replied. 

“A farmer with integrity, I like it,” Chloe said with a smile.  “America needs more men like you, if you ask me.” 

He smiled.  “Thank you.  I like to think so.” 

“Can I write an article about this, sir?” she asked.  “I’d like to find out if people would be willing to pay more for their groceries if they knew for sure that the crops had been organically grown to the highest standards.” 

“I suppose it couldn’t hurt,” he replied with a smile.  “Let us know how it turns out.” 

“I will; thank you.” 

“Oh, Dad - Mom said to call you in for your meal,” Clark interjected. 

“Best not keep her waiting, then,” he replied.  “You two wanna hop on up and get a ride back?” 

“Cool!” Chloe exclaimed.  “I’ve never ridden a tractor before.” 

“Well, there’s a first time for everything,” his father said.  Chloe turned to Clark and grinned, and they both climbed up into the passenger seats of the tractor. 

***

“So?” Clark asked as he walked in the door after having seen Chloe off.  “What do you think?” 

“I think she’s delightful, Clark,” his mother said with a wide smile.  “You’ve obviously become very close in a short while.” 

“We have,” he confirmed.  “I feel like I can tell her anything...you know?”  He paused expectantly, and his father regarded him with a stern look. 

“I know where this is going, Clark, and the answer is still no,” he replied shortly.

Clark’s shoulders fell.  “But—”

“She’s a nice girl, I agree; but I am not ready to put you at risk by entrusting your secret to someone outside of this family.” 

“But I hate lying to her!” he complained.  “I trust her, Dad; she can keep a secret.”

His father’s raised a cynical brow.  “She’s the head of the school paper.”

“But she’d never betray me!” 

“Wouldn’t she?” his father challenged.  “What happens if you have a big fight, huh?  What then?”

Clark shrugged.  “We sulk a little bit, then we make up,” he replied.  “That’s what we always do.” 

“And if you get a new best friend, or you have a real falling out?”

“I don’t think we will.”

“Well, I can’t take that chance,” his father said gently but firmly.  “Your secret is off-limits to everyone, son; Chloe most especially.” 

He turned to his mother.  “Mom?” he pleaded. 

Her eyes were sympathetic, but she shook her head.  “Your father’s right, Clark,” she said softly.  “Knowing your secret is a huge responsibility, and you can’t trust that she’ll keep it to herself, especially since it’s in her nature to publish exclusive information.”

He sighed.  “I hate lying to my friends,” he whispered sadly.  “I just…wish I could share my true self with someone, you know?” 

“We know, son,” his father said, squeezing his shoulder.  “But you have to trust us when we say we only want what’s best for you, and for now, your secret remains within this family.” 

***

Chapter 14…


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