It's Not Easy Being. . .Uh. . .

by Celli Lane

Author's Note: I don't know where this came from, and I don't want to know. g Thanks, as usual, to the Horsechicks for late night story questions and for being amused by me. Tiny spoilers for "X-Ray," nothing else.

"Clark!" his mother called.

Clark rolled over and groaned. "'mup!" he yelled--or groaned, which was the same thing, really.

"No, you're not!"

Clark groaned again. He buried his head under his pillow. If she had to come all the way up here to get him, it would be an extra twenty seconds. He started to drift off again...


When she started multi-syllabizing his name, it was never good. He gave up and rolled out of bed with a muffled thump.

Okay. School. He could do this. Clothes. 'Kay. He pulled yesterday's jeans out of the top of the hamper and gave them an experimental sniff. Not too bad. He made the supreme sacrifice of crossing the room to get a shirt from the closet, then stumbled off to the bathroom.

Clark's eyes were at least halfway open by the time he got out of the shower. He propped one hand against the wall and reached for the toothbrush. Then he looked in the mirror.

The sound that exited the bathroom next could best be described as a very loud, fairly girly scream.


"Maybe it's a cold or something," Jonathan said helpfully as Martha scrubbed at Clark's face with a wet washcloth.

"Clark doesn't get sick," Martha reminded him unnecessarily.

"A side effect? Son, have you been around any meteor fragments lately?"

"Not that I remember." Clark looked down at his hand. It wasn't very veiny, but it was green.

Of course, so was the rest of his skin.

"I feel fine," Clark said, looking up at his parents. "Just..."

"," his father finished.

A horn honked outside. The three Kents stared at each other with wide eyes.

"Ah...I think you'd better take the day off from school, Clark," Martha said. "Jonathan, why don't you call in for him?"

"What do I say? 'I'm sorry, but my son has turned into Mr. Spock and won't be in today?'" he muttered as he walked out the door.

Clark looked up at his mother helplessly. "Mom?"

"Maybe it's just temporary. Or maybe it's like...the X-ray vision thing. Maybe you can control it."

Clark stared down at his hand and concentrated hard. No, still green. In fact-- "I think it's getting brighter," he said with horror.

"Okay, okay," Martha said hastily. "Why don't you just go back to bed for a while. A nap won't hurt anyway. When you wake up, we'll think of something."

"Maybe it always was a weird coincidence that I looked human," Clark said. "Maybe on my planet, people turn colors when they get older."

"Sleep," Martha said firmly and led him to his room.

Sleep didn't help. Scrubbing didn't help. His mother's foundation ("What?" Clark yelped when they suggested it) didn't cover it.

"On the bright side, it really brings out your eyes."


Jonathan snickered behind them. Clark turned around to glare at his dad.

They were sitting in the kitchen (Clark having been coaxed out of his room with the promise of non-green food) when they heard a car pulling up outside. The Kents stared at each other again. They were getting rather good at the deer-in-the-headlights imitation. Then Clark zipped upstairs at superspeed.

He flung the covers around his shoulders, tried to shrink down into the bed as much as possible, and strained to hear what was going on beneath him.

"Mr. and Mrs. Kent."

"Oh, no!" Clark whispered. What was Lex doing here?

"I ran into Chloe and Pete at the Beanery, and they said Clark wasn't in school today."

"We were worried about him," came a second voice. Chloe's.

"Yeah, Clark's never sick," said a third. Pete. Oh no...

"We just thought we'd come out and visit him," Lex said.

No. No, no, Clark thought frantically. His parents were stalling, but this was Lex and Chloe they were talking to. Maybe if he jumped out the window? No, his room faced the same side of the house as the kitchen. They'd see him. His closet wasn't big enough to hide in...the bathroom!

He jumped out of bed, but as he took his first step, his door opened. His friends walked in. He could see his parents looking helpless in the background.

"Ah...hi, guys," Clark said. "How was school?"

"...doctors from Metropolis..." That would be Lex.

"...amazing! Can I take a picture for my wall?" Chloe.

", all over all over?"

Clark pushed his pillow aside. "Pete!"

"You know," Pete said, completely serious, "Clark's too tall."

Everyone stared at him. "What?" Chloe finally asked.

"It's supposed to be little green men," Pete said reasonably. "Didn't you see that episode--"

"Pete!" everyone yelled at once.

Clark flopped back on his pillow, listening idly to the footsteps coming up the stairs. Then he sat straight up again. Everyone was in the room. Who--

"Hello?" Lana appeared in the doorway. "I heard--"

"Oh, God," Clark gasped.

Time stood still as Lana stared at Clark, one hand over her heart. Then she opened her mouth. "I--you--"


Clark shot bolt upright in bed, staring around his room. It was empty. And it was morning. "Huh?"

"Clark, get up!" he heard from downstairs. "You're going to be late again!"

He stared blankly down at his hand, then dashed into the bathroom.

Martha found her son there ten minutes later, staring into the mirror and muttering something that sounded like "Thank God" under his breath.

"Clark, what's going on? You really are going to be late this time. You're not even dressed!" She pointed at his Kermit the Frog boxer shorts. "I don't think that's the impression you want to make at school."

Clark laughed weakly as his mother walked away. Then he glared down. "I am never wearing you again," he told his underwear.

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