Clark down looked at the note again in disgust. "Chloe, there is no way I am giving this note to him. It makes me sound like a seventh grade girl."
"What do you want from me, Shakespeare? At least this way if he says no you can blow it off as a joke." Chloe tried to grab the single sheet of spiral bound college ruled notebook paper from Clark's clutches, only to fail when he crumpled the note into a tiny ball and threw it in the direction of the trashcan.
"It's not a joke to me. What if you're wrong? It would be the most humiliating thing that ever happened to me." Clark looked miserable. There was no way she could resist that face. She would do anything to make him happy.
"Trust me, Clark, I'm not wrong about this." She leveled her best confident gaze at him.
He looked hopeful for a second, then the burgeoning smile was replaced by a playful pout. "I will never forgive you if you tell anyone about this."
Chloe made a cross my heart gesture with her right hand, but held two fingers crossed behind her back. As they walked out of the building she stopped short and reversed course. "I forgot something in the Torch office. I'll meet you at the Talon in an hour."
Chloe says that you like me. Do you like me? I mean I know you like me, but do you like me? It's okay if you do. Or not. What I mean is that I like you, so it would be cool if you felt the same way. But, you know, if you don't then it's okay and we don't have to talk about it. Like ever. We can just pretend that I never said anything, right? So, do you want to be my boyfriend? (Check one.)
Your friend, (Please let's still be friends, okay?)
Lex stared down at the crinkled sheet of paper sitting on his desk. He needed a drink. But he needed to write a response first. He didn't trust himself to do it in the state he hoped to be in shortly. He drafted a quick note, had it sent to the kitchen in a sealed envelope for Clark when he came around for the produce delivery that afternoon, left strict instructions with the staff that he was not to be disturbed for any reason including a certain young farm boy and promptly went about the task of getting inebriated.
I believe Miss Sullivan may have led you astray. I do not know why she would say such a thing. I fear that you have been the victim of a cruel joke. Perhaps she is still bitter over all the attentions that you have paid in the past to the lovely Miss Lang.
What I cannot understand is why you would give any credence to the assertion in the first place. You are at a very impressionable age and I am sorry for any confusion that you may currently be experiencing, however it will pass.
Pete walked up the wooden staircase to Clark's Fortress of Solitude to see Clark huddled in a little ball in the fetal position hugging his knees in front of the ratty couch. Small sobbing noises assaulted Pete's ears and when Clark finally noticed his presence and looked up, he could see tear tracks streaming down his friend's face. A piece of light purple LexCorp stationary was clutched tightly in Clark's left hand.
"Hey, what's the matter?" Pete kneeled down and put a friendly hand on Clark's shoulder to try and calm him.
"Lex." Clark's voice broke and the little tears welled up in his eyes again.
When Clark didn't stop crying after half an hour Pete didn't know what to do, so he went into the kitchen and got Clark's mother. She could fix it. And in the mean time, there was something Pete could do.
The stuffy man who answered the door at Luthor Manor curtly turned him away, saying that Mr. Luthor was indisposed at this time and would not be able to receive guests. Pete pulled his notebook out of his backpack and scribbled a message for Lex and handed it to the pretentious butler guy.
I don't know what the fuck you did to Clark, but I'm going to kick your ass. He has been crying in his loft for three goddamn hours. He doesn't get this upset over Lana! You had better fucking fix it. I didn't think it was possible to stoop so low that Clark would give up on you, but you sure showed me didn't you?
I told him not to trust such a lying sack of shit but he never listens. If you hurt him again I will kill you. Meet me behind the Talon at 3:30 tomorrow.
In the morning Lex woke with a headache and a sick feeling in his stomach. On his breakfast tray sat the morning paper and his messages from the previous evening as always. However, today there was another intricately folded piece of notebook paper. He was filled with dread as he opened it, fearing a repeat of the previous day. It was worse.
Lex formulated a reply on his way to his office. He sat down at the desk, opened his laptop and sent off the e-mail as quickly as possible.
I didn't do anything to Clark and I will certainly not be meeting you behind the Talon today. I suggest that you take the matter up with Miss Sullivan as she instigated the unfortunate situation. As Clark's friend I am truly sorry for whatever distress he is experiencing, however it is not in my power to alleviate the pain of having a practical joke played on him by one of his closest friends. Suffice it to say that I am appalled by her behavior and I am aggrieved to have played a part in her machinations.
Pete checked his e-mail during second period study hall and almost yelled out right there in the computer lab. He was so going to beat the crap out of that prick. But first he needed to know if what he said had any merit. He passed a quick note to Chloe written on the corner of the trig exam he had gotten back in first period.
What's going on with Clark??? Mrs. Kent says he was up crying in the barn all night. Why isn't he here today? Lex says it's because you played a practical joke on him. Not that I trust that slippery bastard further than I can throw him, but he seemed pretty adamant. WTF did you do? Can't you ever just leave anything alone? I know that you're pissed at Clark for something, but whatever it was you did really hurt him. You need to go over there and fix it. I'll ride over with you. Maybe there'll be pie…
Matt handed the Chloe the tiny piece of paper under the table so Mr. Callahan wouldn't see. She unfolded the itty bitty scrap and read the accusation written there in smeared graphite. She felt indignant for a moment and then gave in to her well spring of guilt. This was all her fault. She hastily penned another note in bright green ink on the back of her history midterm.
I didn't do anything to him! I in no way played any kind of joke on Clark. It's possible that I may have given him some bad information and inadvertently caused this, but I was sure I was right about this. I know I'm right! I just don't understand what went wrong. Damn it, it's not my fault that Lex didn't go along with the plan. What am I supposed to do about it??? The only one who can make Clark feel better is Lex and I just don't see that happening.
Meet me after class. I'll drive.
After Pete and Chloe left the farm sated with pie, but unable to perk her son up, Martha decided it was time to break out the big guns. She simply could not let the situation continue this way. It simply went without saying that if her boy needed something besides the love of his mother and a slice of pie, she would get it for him. She slipped a handwritten note in with the produce delivery she would obviously be making for Clark today.
Be a dear and come by the house for dinner tonight. Clark is very upset about something and he won't eat. I am worried about him. Spending time with you always cheers him up and I'm afraid I have made entirely too much food for just the three of us the way his appetite has been the past couple of days. We are having fried chicken with mashed potatoes and fresh cut corn. I might even be persuaded to make pie if I thought there would be someone here to eat it. We'd love to have you.
Lex was shocked. There was simply no way that Mrs. Kent understood what exactly the situation was. But he couldn't refuse an invitation to dine with the finest family in Smallville. His stomach rumbled dangerously at the thought of pie. Nothing in the world tasted better than Martha Kent's pies; not even his extremely well paid chef could reproduce the effect. He had once had diagnostic tests run on it to see what the secret ingredient was, but to no avail. Yet another Kent mystery.
The sliver Porsche pulled up the long drive to the yellow farmhouse and stopped near the barn. Lex slid out and surveyed his options. On the one hand he could just get it over with and confront Clark in the loft right away. On the other he could hide out with Martha in the house and maybe make it through until after dessert before he did stupid to kill his appetite first. Upon reflection as he hauled himself up the solid stairs in the barn he realized that he never quite managed to make the right choice.
Clark was waiting when he reached the top. "What are you doing here?"
"Your mother invited me to dinner." Lex felt awkward and silly justifying his presence in this place he had never needed an invitation to enter before. He stood much further away from Clark than he normally would, steeling himself.
Clark groaned. "I'm sorry. I'll tell her you're sick or busy or something."
"I wanted to come." Lex gave up on collecting himself and moved directly into Clark's personal space just as he always did. Only this time it wasn't just like always.
"Why," Clark whispered miserably as Lex moved in even closer.
"Chloe is a perceptive girl," Lex murmured as he leaned in to kiss lips that tasted like cherry pie.