by Celli Lane
Coffee coffee coffee.
Java java java. Who said that? Brendan Fraser. Mmm. Good muscled. Pretty hair. Dark eyes. Coffee-colored eyes.
Brendan Fraser does not deliver coffee. Sigh.
Kitchens have coffee. Ooh.
Thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump down the stairs.
Kitchen. Coffeepot. Coffee cupboard.
Hurry to living room. Jump in front of History Channel. "You forgot to get coffee!"
"Oh, I'm sorry, sweetie." Sorry? "I'll get more tomorrow." Tomorrow?
"Where are you going?"
Keys. "Out." Wallet. "For coffee." Slam.
Ponder guilt between house and car. Dad works hard. Harder since, well, since.
Apologize tomorrow. Coffee tonight.
Drive to town through sticky air. Kansas humidity surrounds the car, fighting the best efforts of the air conditioning to push it back.
Slow at the Talon. Lights are on, cars are out front. Coffee is inside. "Meet your friends here," Lana's sign says.
Keep driving. Don't look over. Ponder options: grocery store closed. Restaurants closed. Drugstore closed.
SuperGas on Route 8. Heavy heat outside; too-cold air inside. Brr.
One small can of instant left. Tomorrow's coffee. Dad will appreciate.
Lots of sludge left in pot; pour out needed amount, cover with sugar.
Pay. Smile. Avoid conversation.
Mmm. Coffee. Even sweet and sticky, still. Coffee.
Home has Dad and the History Channel. But home will have Lana soon.
Drive by Luthor Manor. No lights. No cars. No Luthors.
Lionel sits in a Metropolis tower. Daily phone calls to Dad, trying to influence LexCorp. Lots of shouting. Poor Dad.
Weekly phone calls to house, chatting about the Planet and insinuating about Clark and never mentioning Lex.
Bastard. Bastard bastard bastard.
Don't cry. Drive.
Drive by Hickory Lane. No one goes down there. Only Mr. Kent comes out. Lana's tried, Pete's tried, Dad's tried. He does deliveries and goes home. He never talks.
Drive past Pete's house. Slow down. Wonder. Will Pete talk about what happened? Or pretend again he can't explain anything?
Home is dark. Tiptoe in. Keys on table; coffee in cupboard. Check on Dad. Turn off History Channel. Remember to set alarm. He can't be late tomorrow.
Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap up the stairs. Pass Lana's door. Pause; listen. No crying tonight. Yet.
Sneak into room. Ease door shut. Coffee on desk, still half-full.
Look at bed. Look at desk.
Who needs sleep?
Boot up computer. Pick up coffee. Open search engine. Type one-handed.
Who needs sleep? There's always coffee.
Also, why not join
Level Three, the Smallville all-fic list?