Title: Only Human
Disclaimer: I don't own Smallville... WB does... Only original characters and storyline are mine.
Characters: Clark and the gang plus original characters.
Spoilers: Any and ALL Smallville eppies up to Nicodemus and possibly future eppies once they air and I keep up with the story.
ONLY HUMAN: SMALLVILLE FAN FIC
Part 5a- "Serenade..."
Clark ran his fingers through his hair and glanced at his reflection one last time in the mirror. Straightening his shirt, he promptly turned on his heel and left his messy room. He practically skipped down the staircase, seeing his mother and father sitting at the kitchen table. Jonathon had his large hands around a large coffee mug and Clark could still see the steam rolling off the black liquid that had been poured into it. Martha was drinking some iced tea she had made earlier that day. She greeted her son as she took a sip from her glass.
"Hello Clark... how are you feeling." She asked sincerely then flashed a glance at her husband who looked up from the book he was looking through.
"I'm back to normal... for me that is." Clark told her. He stood between them and pulled at the new shirt he was wearing. Another Chloe garment... or at least another garment Chloe had picked out. Clark had actually purchased it today. She had showed it to him a few days ago on one of their trips to the Smallville shopping center and Clark had returned there with his mother after the hospital fiasco.
He smiled at the memory. It had taken a good hour to talk Jonathon into letting Clark leave his sight for the remainder of the weekend but Martha had her methods. She was clearly on Clark's side when it came to doing normal things and her argument had been that if Clark was a normal kid, and had really been hurt, that they would have let Clark go let off some steam. Jonathon had finally backed down and Martha offered to take Clark shopping for some new clothing. She had noticed how attractive Clark looked the other day in the sweater Chloe had purchased and she had told Clark that periodically since he had worn it. She had also noticed that Clark was in desperate need for some new stuff... having started a new growth spurt... the sleeves of his shirts were starting to touch his mid arm... She figured her son would be wearing a double extra large in those frumpy flannels he loved so much... so she offered to take him shopping. With all her praise at the new style of clothing Clark had worn, she secretly hoped that he would allow her to buy him a few more items that would make the girls' heads turn. She wished Clark had a girlfriend... but was uneasy about the conversation her husband had had with her the night before... But she reasoned that if Clark had a girlfriend, he might be able to work out some of his jumbled feelings towards the opposite sex. They went to the Smallville Shopping Center, a make shift mall that had a few of the trendy shops that were the norm at a metro mall. It even had a food court that Clark and her would take advantage of.
It had been just past noon when they left Kent Farm to go on the shopping escapade. Martha had made sure she took the necessary charge cards and such without Jonathon knowing... she figured she buy herself something sexy to get him from being too angry at her over spending... "Clark needs some new clothes..." Would be her argument... and one look at Clark would reinforce her cause. She was a bit giddy at the idea of spending a whole afternoon with her son. It had been a while since they had spent any kind of quality time together. Clark was growing up... a junior in high school... and he'd be 18 in October. She smiled lovingly at her son as he shut the car door and she turned the ignition. When they got to the shopping center, Martha parked the car and grabbed her purse. Clark saw the charge cards and stash of cash his mother was carrying and a smile crept to his lips. He hadn't expected this to be an all out let's buy Clark a new wardrobe trip but from the looks of it, that's what it was going to turn out to be. He knew he needed a few things, sock and underwear being high on the list but he hadn't expected to be getting the royal treatment. He sighed to himself figuring that this probably had something to do with his mother's way of trying to comfort him because of the incident at the game. Usually he would have done the decent thing and not taken advantage of his mother's generosity... but Clark had ulterior motives for wanting some new things to wear. So he swallowed his conscience and was more than ready to give his mom the speal of "But all the cool kids are wearing it..." when he pulled out a pair of Calvin Kline underwear that cost twelve bucks a pop. He smiled smugly when they entered the Structure store next to the Smallville Bath and Body Works, ~Maybe I'll even hit her up for some Tommy Hilefinger socks. ~ He thought as she marched up to the table of folded shirts.
"This place looks like it has a good selection." She stated as Clark followed her. Truth was, Clark never shopped at this store... simply because it was a bit trendy... A cross between Abercrombie & Finch and Guess... He figured that he could get flannel shirts at Sears for half the price they would be here. He eyed the selection, picking up a reddish gray stretch t-shirt. "You like that one Clark? You can get it if you want." Martha chimed. She was on a mission and she didn't even care if the shirt cost thirty dollars... Clark could buy six of them if he wanted that day. She was feeling awfully generous. She'd figure out how to pay for them later. For now, she just wanted Clark to fit in with his clothing and more than anything she loved the time they were spending. Perhaps she'd even spring for a new hair cut too. She held the shirt up to Clark and smiled. "This will look wonderful on you Clark...Maybe we could get you one in that hunter green you look so good in... and a slate blue..." She picked up the same shirt in each of those colors. "Now... where's the dressing room." She asked out loud and proceeded towards the part of the store that looked most like a dressing area.
Clark followed her, and his conscience started to eat at him. "But Mom... these shirts cost like thirty dollars ape..." Clark started to protest but Martha shut him up fast.
"Don't start with me Clark... you are getting these shirts and anything else you ask for in the next three hours. No questions asked." She beamed up at her son as she pushed him into an unlocked dressing room handing him the red/gray stretch t-shirt. He felt it pushed into his chest as the door shut behind him.
Clark stripped off his shirt and tried on the one his mother handed him. He came out of the small room and walked over to the three mirrors that were strategically placed to make one like the way an outfit looked. He eyed himself in all directions as Martha looked on appreciatively.
"That shirt looks wonderful on you Clark... I think we should definitely get the blue and green one too." She looked around for a pair of pants as well as some other items. Clark just looked in the mirror. He couldn't believe the difference a shirt made. Gone was the flannel and baggy t-shirt... Clark now wore a red-gray fitted t-shirt that stretched over his chest and defined every muscle there. The sleeves cut off mid bicep and in his opinion made them look twice as big. The way the shirt angled at his waist showed the six-pack of abdominal muscles. Clark pulled at the waist trying to pull the shirt over his jeans waistband but it didn't happen. If Clark reached above his head, he would definitely be showing a bit of midriff. He grinned at the thought. Maybe if he showed Lis a little skin, she'd react. He was a bit embarrassed that his body seemed to betray him and react to her with little effort on her part and she didn't have any kind of tell tale physical traits that would allow him access into how she was feeling. He knew there were physical attributes that would eventually tell him she was reacting to his body or presence that way but he could hardly tell without actually touching her... in places he only fantasized about. A goofy grin plastered itself to his face as he imagined his hand slowly running up her naked inner thigh.
Martha noticed the goofy grin on her son's face and grinned herself. "What are you thinking about Clark? Who's this new girl your father told me about?"
Clark jerked back to reality before his mind saw where his hand had been heading. He looked at his mom and a blush crept from his neck to his ears in record time. "Mawum..." He wined.
"Now Clark... we're having a mother/son moment; don't ruin it. You can tell me anything. You know that." She held up the green shirt to Clark. "Hmmm... This shirt should look killer on you." She paused. "That does it... you're getting all three." She snatched the blue and green shirt and motioned for Clark to take off the red one.
Clark looked at her embarrassed. "I'm not taking off this shirt in front of everyone here in the middle of the store." Clark protested.
One look from his mother and he grabbed the neck of the shirt behind his head and stripped it from his body. "Here." He grumbled and quickly stepped to the dressing room grabbing the baseball jersey he had been wearing. He put his arms through the sleeves and straightened the neck. He only bothered buttoning one middle button, for he knew he'd be taking it off soon enough to try on other things.
Martha took the shirts up to the counter and got the sale's girls attention. Smiling sweetly, the girl walked up to the cash register. "Will this be all for you miss?" She asked.
"Uh... not quite. We are going to be doing a large amount of shopping here... so if you would please hold these behind the check out I'd appreciate it... you know how it is... when you buy a bunch of items, your arms sorta get overwhelmed." The girl smiled as Martha finished her sentence.
"Would you like some help finding anything?" The girl offered.
"Well, probably... you see, my son is sorta fashion illiterate and I myself have been out of high school for a brief number of years...if you could point us in the vicinity of the newest fashion items... we would be grateful."
"I think I can manage that." The girl said straying away from the checkout. "I'll get you a larger dressing room started and clear a space for you at the counter."
"Well, I thank you kindly...I'm Martha and that tall gorgeous nervous looking young man over there is my son Clark." Martha chimed.
The girl's eyes grew wide. "I know Clark... from school." She smiled as her eyes ran over Clark's body. She saw him just as he had started to put on his jersey and got a good look at Clark's stomach. "He is very hot." The girl said without thinking then her face turned red and she quickly apologized to Martha. "Oh I'm sorry...you must think me an incredible flirt."
"No not at all... I am a woman and I do have eyes. I know he's attractive. Tell me... do all girls at your school find him that way... attractive?"
"Only the one's that aren't vision impaired." The girl smiled. "I'm Melissa... Melissa Cooper. I'm a senior and I have Clark in my trig class. It's funny... he seems so oblivious of his looks." Melissa shook her head. "He's smart too isn't he? He definitely irritates Mr. Cooper the teacher."
"Yes... Mr. Cooper is my uncle." Melissa shrugged. "We better get over there and get Clark some clothing before he turns on the fire sprinklers."
Martha laughed. ~SO the girls do like Clark... I wonder why he doesn't ask any of them out. ~ Martha thought as she and Melissa made their way to Clark. He was busy buttoning the middle button on his jersey when he looked up and saw his mother and Melissa.
"Hi Mel..." Clark greeted his classmate.
"Hey there yourself Clark. I hear you are in dire need of some new clothing?" Melissa replied.
"I dunno... I guess. My mother thinks so." Clark shrugged.
"There's plenty here to look at." Melissa offered. "You probably ought to take off the jersey though... you're going to be removing it an awful lot if you don't."
"But then I'm half naked in the middle of the store." Clark argued.
"Yes... but no one will care. In fact... it would probably be good for business."
Clark arched an eyebrow. "Hugh?"
"Anyone ever told you that you should model men's underwear Clark? With those abs... shesh... I wish my boyfriend had a body like you do."
Clark winced at her openness and blushed immediately when he realized his mother was standing right next to them. He glanced at her nervously and saw the laughter in her eyes. "What?" Clark questioned as his mother went into a full fit of giggles.
"Nothing Clark... Nothing at all."
"Ok... now I am confused." Clark said but closed his mouth quickly and allowed them to honor of dressing him. He stood there, and let them hand him several sweaters, shirts and pants... a few cargo style jeans, a few fitted jeans some khakis, a few pairs of cargo shorts and a some other things Clark couldn't decide what they were. He entered the dressing room and tried everything on. Clark started to protest after what he felt was the hundredth shirt he'd tried on... "I feel like a paper doll here... can we please just pick out a few and leave it at that. I don't need all these new shirts... I have to have a few things that I can wear doing my chores and helping out dad." Clark insisted.
Martha blinked. She had forgotten about that. Maybe Clark did need some new flannel shirts and regular fitting t-shirts. She shook her head and looked over at Mel. "I think this is all we will take in the way of shirts." She said. "Now we have to decide on the pants though." The laugh was evident in her voice as she heard Clark's heavy sigh from behind the closed dressing room doors. She couldn't help herself from wondering why Clark wouldn't just let her enter the dressing room to get the garments they were going to buy... it wasn't like she hadn't seen him in his underwear before. She waited patiently for Clark to hand her the shirts he wanted over the top of the dressing room door. She in turn handed them to Melissa who took them up behind the cash wrap with the other three shirts that Clark had tried on.
Clark rolled his eyes at the memory. He was now wearing the red/gray fitted t-shirt with a dark green color cargo shorts and a pair of sandals that Melissa told Martha was totally in at the moment. Clark didn't like the idea; he so wanted to wear his work boots. However there he was, in the Kent kitchen, standing next to his parents in what he thought was the most uncomfortable outfit he'd ever put on his body. He yanked at the shirt once more to emphasize his point. His mother just smiled at him and ran a hand through his hair.
"You best go Clark. Chloe and Pete are waiting." She said digging in her purse. Her hand grasped her car keys and pulled them out of the pocket. She suddenly threw them at Clark catching him off guard.
"Wha... What's this?" Clark asked.
"She's letting you drive the Mercedes." Jonathon said his coffee mug placed to his lips ready to take a drink.
Clark blinked. The car had been a 20th anniversary present to his mom from Jonathon that he had given her a week early and he knew how much she loved it... and how much his father was working to pay for it. Clark blinked again. "Are... are you sure???"
"Go now Clark before I change my mind and you're stuck with the pick up." Martha said.
Clark didn't question them any further. He was out the door and in the car before his luck changed.
Martha and Jonathon watched him go. "You spoiled him today... you know that." Jonathon replied.
"Yes." She sighed. "But I'm not going to be able to spoil him much longer. He's no longer a boy."
Jonathon smiled. "What makes you say that?"
"The way he looked at that nurse at the clinic this afternoon."
"You saw that too?" Jonathon asked.
"How could you miss it?"
"I didn't miss the way she bailed him out either." Jonathon observed.
"I saw that too."
"Perhaps she's the lucky girl."
Martha took a deep breath. "Perhaps..."
"You still want to take that trip to Metropolis next weekend?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
"I don't know. I figured you would want to keep an eye on Clark."
"As I said... He's no longer a boy. He can handle the farm for a weekend."
"You sure he's ready for that?"
Martha shrugged. "He has to be."
Clark pulled up to Pete's house at about seven-thirty. He parked the car in the driveway and proceeded towards the front door.
Pete met him at the door. He looked a bit upset and Clark figured he must be late. Clark stepped onto the porch and greeted his friend.
"Hi Pete... are you ready? I know I'm a few minutes late but I'm sure Chloe isn't even ready yet."
"I can't go." Pete's voice was raspy and he looked a bit tired.
"What do you mean you can't go?" Clark questioned.
"I have strep throat. I can barely speak." Pete explained.
"Bummer." Clark responded.
"Yah... I'll see ya Monday in class." Pete turned to go inside.
Clark walked away slightly then looked back at the house. Pete had already gone inside. He got back into his car and started the engine. He hoped Chloe was ready at least.
He got to Chloe's house and had the same reaction. She was sick too. Clark pulled up to the Talon apprehensively and debated whether or not to go in. He wasn't sure if he should go in alone. Lis had said Lex would be there... and the place looked packed. He parked the car deciding he would go in for a minute and check out the scene.
Clark entered the Talon nervously. He felt even more out of place because of what he was wearing. Strolling in the doorway he saw Lex immediately. He was standing on the stage talking to someone who Clark thought must be in charge of music. Clark had to laugh when Lex scratched his head and smiled nervously at the crowd.
"Day after day I'm more confused... yet I look for the light through the pourin rain..." Clark heard Lex start singing and winced at his voice. He chuckled a bit knowing that part of the fun of karaoke was how bad you sang but Lex was practically awful.
"Give me the beat boys and free my soul... I wanna get lost in your rockin roll and drift away." Lex was getting into the song and Clark shook his head laughing out loud.
Lis looking around spotted the tall young Kent from where she was standing in the corner. Her heart skipped a little in her chest and she turned to the girl she was talking to and excused herself. She made her way through the crowd and was pulling on Clark's arm before he could see whom it was.
Clark looked confused for a second at the tug on his arm. He then saw Lis and smiled. "Hello." He managed to say.
She smiled back at him. "How are you feeling? I see you kept the bandage on... tell me... do you really need it now?"
Clark didn't know how to answer that. On one hand she had helped him, she had also seen his strength... He searched for a way to answer her.
Lis saw his eyes start to cloud over. "I'll take that as a no. I figured as much." She guided Clark through the crowd over to a table she and Lex had reserved. "Where are your friends?"
"Sick... both of them." Clark replied.
"You're more than welcome to hang out with us... if you like." Lis offered.
Lex finally finished his song and was greeted with loud cheers through out the place. Lis laughed. Lex looked down from the stage and saw her standing next to Clark and smiled wickedly. "Hey everyone!" He cried through the microphone. "If you think I'm bad... you should hear my sister." Lex arched an eyebrow.
Lis was just about to comment on Clark's wardrobe when she heard her brother's voice. She turned to glare at him. Clark stood with a goofy grin on his face. He was beginning to be glad he had decided to come in. "No Lex... I am not going to sing." She cried.
"Come on sis... have a little fun." Lex argued and reached an arm out to grab her.
Lis gave Clark a look that said save me... but he didn't get it. He was too busy staring at her dress. She was wearing a striking green sundress made from crepe material. Purple flowers adored it with an empire waist. He glanced down at her shoes and saw a pair of sandals and he didn't feel so out of place. He came back to reality when he felt Lex pull her away from him and he looked up at the stage. He saw her glare at him and then clear her throat. Lex stepped down from his perch on the stage and stand next to him.
"Hey Clark... when did you get here?" He asked.
"A few minutes ago." Clark answered.
"Then you saw me up there?" Lex asked a bit embarrassed.
"Yeah." Clark said a giggle in his voice.
"Go ahead... laugh it up... Where are Pete and Chloe?"
"Home sick." Clark replied.
"Too bad... they are missing a fun night."
"I can see that. Do you do that often?"
"Only in the shower." Lex teased.
"Tell me that's not the only thing you do in the shower." Clark joked.
Lex arched an eyebrow. He got the hidden meaning behind Clark's words. Maybe it was time to spend some quality time talking. "What are you doing later tonight?" Lex asked nonchalantly.
"I'm supposed to be staying at Pete's but now I guess I'm going home." Clark answered with a shrug.
"Why don't you come home with me... it'll give us time to catch up on what's been going on in our lives. We haven't been able to talk for a while."
Clark nodded his head as Lis walked up to the mic. "I haven't done this in a while so bare with me... hopefully I am not as colorful as my brother was." She winked in Clark's direction and he blinked. His mind wandered a bit wondering if it was meant for him or Lex.
The music started playing and Lis waited for her que. It was a song Clark had heard a few times and he relaxed waiting to hear Lis sing.
"You're a song... written by the hands of God... don't get me wrong... for this might sound to you a bit odd...But you are the place... where all my thoughts go hiding...right under your clothes... is where I'll find them..."
Clark felt the heat start to rise in his skin as he stared at Lis... She looked right at him as if singing to him. He closed his eyes and tried to imagine that they weren't in a room filled with people. His mind took him back to the night before and her hands running up his leg. He stood there, and let the words creep into his mind. Yes... maybe she was singing to him.
"Underneath your clothes...there's an endless story... there's the man I chose... there's my territory... and all the things I deserve... for being such a good girl honey...
Lis took a deep breath and closed her eyes; she started singing the second verse.
Lex nudged Clark to get his attention. "You're drooling you know." He said
Clark blinked hard and looked at Lex. "Why do you say that..."
"Because you are." Lex took his thumb and wiped Clark's chin. "See."
Clark bit his lip. "Must have been a good day dream."
"About my sister?" Lex's brow arched as he looked at Clark.
""Why do you say that?" Clark asked nervously stumbling on his words.
Lex rolled his eyes. "You don't hide it very well... and with the absence of Lana... I just thought your eye might be doing a little wandering."
"My eye is not wandering." Clark insisted.
Lex laughed and watched Clark watch his sister. "If you say so..."
"When the party's over... we will still belong... to each other... Underneath your clothes...there's an endless story... there's the man I chose... there's my territory... and all the things I deserve... for being such a good girl honey...Underneath your clothes...there's an endless story... there's the man I chose... there's my territory... and all the things I deserve... for being such a good girl honey...
Lis started to feel the penetrating eyes coming from Clark. It was her turn to become flushed and she stopped the song there. She smiled sweetly at the crowd as they all started to applaud her performance...
"Why'd she quit?" Clark questioned almost breathless.
"I don't know Clark... maybe it was that look you were giving her." Lex teased.
"I wasn't giving her any look." Clark demanded then shrunk back from being so defensive. "Well I wasn't looking at her any more than any other guy in this room." Clark turned to face Lex and gathered most of his courage before he spoke his next sentence. He grinned big... ~ Yes Lex likes that. Err wait a second... what if he likes it too much... better tone it down. Think Clark think... ~ "Face it Lex... your sister's hot."
Lex forced a cocky grin. He had figured Clark was sweet on his sister long before Clark had. He took a deep breath. There was just something not right with Lis moving to Smallville. His gutt remained uneasy as Lis finally walked towards them.
"Hey guys..." She greeted the two with a pair of daggers for eyes when she looked at Lex. "Payback's a bitch brother dear and I'm the one with a grudge."
"Look... I lost my hair I'm so scared!" Lex cried then burst into a fit of laughter. Lis hit him playfully on the shoulder and drew back rather quickly grabbing her wrist. Clark saw it... the pain in her eyes as her left wrist hit Lex's shoulder. She tried to play it off, like she had just gotten a bruise. Clark blinked first then tried his x-ray vision on her wrist but she wouldn't hold still. He did see a few calcium deposits on her bones though... too many to count even. She must have been a clumsy child. He debated on asking her... but then he'd have to explain how he knew that. So he kept his mouth shut and wondered how her wrist was.
He settled for asking her if she was all right... but he wanted to do it in a way that wouldn't make Lex uncomfortable. He got the feeling that there was something she wasn't telling him... He wondered if that was why she helped him today... ~Yes that's it ... She understands what it is to keep a secret. Maybe she'll tell me hers... if I tell her all of mine. ~ "Ouch... that looked like it hurt..." Clark said trying to sound nonchalant about it. Although he wanted more than anything for her to hold her damn hand still. It was like she knew he could see through her skin to her bone... but that wasn't possible... the only gift she'd seen was his strength and maybe his heart. That is if she could see though the innocent farm boy façade.
"It's alright." Lis said... and Clark could tell it was through clenched teeth but she put on a hell of a front. She smiled brilliantly at both of them. "What... no one gonna even compliment me on my singing? I mean come on brother dearest... I sound so much better than a spotted hyena."
Lex faked a hurt look. "Yes... I got the brains and good looks and she got the hair and singing voice."
Lis patted her hair. "You're jealousy is unbecoming a future billionaire tycoon. You should rethink your tactics."
Lex rolled his eyes. "Damn I can't even be a big brother to my sister without getting that crap. Come on... we all have our vices. Mine just happens to be teasing my little sister."
"We do?" Clark asked.
"Why yes we do... and yours is saving everyone in Smallville." Lex shrugged then turned to Lis. "What are your plans for the rest of the night?"
"I was going to go with the girls from the clinic... why do you have anything better planned?" She answered.
"Nope... just wanted to know if you were going to be home sometime tonight."
"I guarantee I'll be home before you are."
"Don't bet on it. Clark and I were just about to blow this place."
"And go where."
"Back to the mansion... I figure he'd be more comfortable watching movies and eating cheetos. I'll leave you the jag though." Lex quickly handed Lis his keys.
Clark nodded his head affirmatively. "I would definitely like to get out of these shoes... they are killing my feet."
Lis tried to hide the disappointment she felt that Clark was leaving. She didn't want to ask him to stay either. Well maybe she did, but she didn't know how too. So she watched them leave. In the distance she heard the Disc changer start the music for Jewel's Standing Still. She crossed her arms paying close attention to her injured wrist and watched intently as she saw Clark and Lex get into Clark's mom's car and pull away from the curb. She couldn't help but see the irony of the situation. Cause there she was, standing still and her questions in her head were the same as the song... Do you need me... like I need you... or am I standing still...
To Be Continued…
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