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Before and After

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Before and After

Before and After

by Meret

Subject: [glass_onion] (SV) FIC: Before and After Date: Friday, June 07, 2002 5:09 PM

Title: Before and After
Author: Meret
Summary: Whitney makes some decisions.
Category: Drama, Tempest Fic
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Pilot, Kinetic, Reaper, Tempest Web Page:

Email: Feedback is pasted on the walls and gazed at in adoration at

Thank you to Elrond50 for the football information, and a big thank you to Wendi for her wonderful beta job.

Before and After by Meret

Before, he would have just asked his buddies to keep an eye on Lana, and if Kent got to close, they'd simply beat the crap out of him. Before. Before Clark had helped keep him out of jail. Before he convinced him to spend time with his dad while he still could. Before he talked Lex Luthor into letting him play with the Sharks. Whitney stopped and stretched for a moment. His dad had said that was the best day he'd ever had.

He still wasn't sure why Clark had done all those things. Not after the stunt he and the others had pulled at Homecoming. If anyone had done that to him . . . . He shook his head, beads of sweat flicking off onto the grass, and started up again. One mile to go. He'd wondered why he kept training so hard after the season ended. There wasn't a lot of need for running the 40 in 4.6 managing a store. It certainly didn't help him do inventory any faster. Now he figured he could get through basic training easy enough. Another example of how this was meant to be.

He didn't understand why Lana didn't see that. Especially after opening the Talon. After his father . . . . The whole world changed after that. He understood Lana so much better now. She needed that connection with her parents the Talon provided. Why didn't she see joining the Marines was giving him the same thing with his dad? This decision made him feel focused, feel totally real, for the first time in months. And if she truly understood that, she'd be willing to wait for him. He could come home on leave, and once he knew where he'd be stationed, she could apply to a nearby college. So why wouldn't she promise to wait?

His feet pounded the path rhythmically, keeping time with his thoughts. Lana was the only bright spot in this horrible year, and he didn't know how he would have gotten through it without her. Just thinking about not having her in his life anymore made him ache all over. He still had one more shot at getting her to agree when he took her to dance in the gym before the prom started. He didn't know what to do if she didn't say yes then. Try again at the bus stop, maybe?

The morning breeze brought the first, faint smell of the fertilizer plant, and Whitney turned to his left, heading back toward town. He abandoned the puzzle of female behavior for something he maybe could figure out - what to do about Clark. Lana had said he was going to the dance with Chloe, but that didn't mean anything. He'd seen the way Clark and Lana looked at each other. The way things stood right now, he wouldn't have a girlfriend by the time he finished training.

Okay, he'd just tell him to stay away from Lana. No, he'd ask Clark to stay away from her. And Clark would laugh in his face. Why shouldn't he after being strung up like some Wizard of Oz messiah? How the hell had that ever gotten started anyway? Whitney had never stopped to think about it before. So, he'd apologize to Clark first. He'd been meaning to do that for a while anyway. Then what?

He needed to figure Clark out. What would make him stay away from Lana like the Smallville Sheriff's Office from an honest day's work? What did he want? Besides Lana, of course. Clark . . . Clark liked to help people. Look at all the guy had done for him, and they weren't even friends. Seemed like whenever anyone was in trouble, he always managed to show up to help. Some sort of hero syndrome or something. So if he asked him to do it as a favor - sure. Could you please not hit on my girl as soon as I leave town? That'd work. Not.

Whitney frowned as he completed the turn back to his truck. But he could - what if he asked him to do it as a favor? Not for him so much, but for Lana. Say he was worried about her, and would Clark look out for her while he wasn't there to do it. Man, he'd eat that up faster than the football team forced to go on a week long fast. He could even get Clark to swear to it. A promise just between guys. If he could sell that junk in the store, he could certainly sell that.

He sprinted the last hundred yards to his truck. Grabbing the water bottle off of the seat, he poured some over his head, before taking several long swallows. He climbed in the truck and gunned the engine, turning the air conditioning on high. Yeah, he'd do that before he left town. After he danced with Lana.


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