by Shropshire

Disclaimer: Smallville, its characters, their characters and the words that they say don't belong to me.

I twisted this out of a script written by Greg Walker and transcribed by LLC and tmelange. Much of the original material remains.

Big cuddly thanks to them.

Series: This is the third. The Warped Pilot and Myxomamorphosis precede it, if you're interested.

Notes: Thanks as ever, to the Twoppers out there. You inspire me. Specifically, you inspire me to steal from you.

Warnings: Puns reach a new low in this one. I'm most abjectly sorry, especially for the one about the crow. British slang, innuendo, odd references, overdone references as per. The one from Head is in honour of the episode title.

[The Smallville High football players (who have adopted a bird of evil omen as their namesake for some reason) line up to scrimmage.

We hear heavy breathing. Oh, yeah. This is what scrimmaging is all about.

The players are in red jerseys, with white numbers and a delicate pink fluting at the waist. Rain pours down, which is just stating the obvious.

The opposing team are in little tangerine chiffon numbers and big orange helmets, barely concealed under the chiffon.

The Crows have the ball, which isn't as offensive as it sounds).

Cut to the Crows sideline. We see some players and the coach. They watch the field which we then...

Cut back to. Whitney Fordman stomps about on the poor thing.]

Whitney: For you, Blue! 32! My CooCaChoo! Pi-zza Hut!

[Whitney drops back to make a pass, but none of the players are that appealing. He screws up his eyes to look through the torrential rain. Behind him, a player skids and snaps a collarbone.

Cut to the crowd, which is soggy. They hold runny signs- which in retrospect shouldn't have been done in crayon- with such slogans as "Let's go inside" and "The end of the world is welcome".

We return, depressed, to Whitney, who can't see a bloody thing. He runs into another player, who stomps up and down on him for a bit, then hits him with a shovel and an ice pick.

Normal practice for a Football game.]

Whitney: Hos...pital.

[The crowd, thoroughly bored, start milling. They get a nice, fine flour going, for beginners.]

Coach: Whitney! Get your severely injured ass over here!

[Whitney picks up his ass and carries it over to the coach.]

Coach: Didn't I specifically tell you to do "stuff that makes you win"?

Whitney: Um...

Coach: What does it say on my jacket?

Whitney: "Powerpuff Girls Forever".

Coach (growls) : The bit in biro.

Whitney: Er, "Conch".

Coach (yelling right in his face): That's an "A" boy! You try writing upside down when you're drunk on pina coladas! Now, listen. You don't have to be able to see to play Football. You don't need four working limbs or a sense of direction or a torso. Just use the force, Whitney. It is feeble within you, but it'll have to do.

[Whitney wipes the spit off his face and some unpleasant chunky green stuff, and limps back onto the field.

We see the scoreboard which reads:

Us: Two queens and a pair

Them: 242 for 2 (one wicket remaining)

Cut to the field, which winces.]

Whitney: Hugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew! Staaaarsky and Hutch!

[Whitney closes his eyes, concentrates and flings the ball at random. An opposing player comes over and starts working on him with chisels and a nail file.

Whitney looks up to see his throw being caught and then put down on the ground. Apparently, this is good.

Whitney does a Yay! gesture before losing consciousness under the chisels.]

[Locker room of the Crows. Players burst in the door, like vast overripe zits.

While this is cleared away, the survivors whoop and strut and display their plumage.

The coach pushes a player to the ground to use as a soapbox.]

Players: Whoop! Yeah! We are sooo the best! Buccaw!

Coach: All right, bring it up, bring it up!

Player: Uh...

Alternate Player: We didn't swallow it, sir.

[The Coach glares like a basilisk with toothache.]

Small, Sheepish Player: Uh...sorry, coach.

[He coughs up a small, bedraggled bird which hiccups.)

Coach: Right.put that thing down for god's sakes Well, there is another team eating crow tonight, gentleman.

{We pan across the Football players. Pete Ross is there. Just there, quick, did you see...? Oh. He's gone.]

Players (Cheering): Yeah! Yeah! (Is that good? Don't we only have one crow?) Yeah! Woohoo! Yeah! (Hey, can you actually break a spleen? Because, Ow!).

Coach: I don't have to tell you how important next Friday night's game is. Because I have Whitney, here on this leash.

Whitney: It's more important than sex. It's more important than life. If you were thinking of ducking out to save an entire galaxy and its myriad peoples from hellish doom- Stop! Bad dog! No! This is way more important than that.

[The Players must celebrate. They huddle to form a hive mind.]

Players (Chanting like zombies): Coach Walt. Coach Walt. Coach Walt. Coach Walt.

[They all then roar and jump up and down a bit for some time.]

[The camera hastens through the coach's office, across a "Stone the Crows. Use green rocks for added fun." sign, a poster of the coach yelling, of the coach giving the finger and of the coach demonstrating that the sun does shine wherever he bloody well wants it to.

It's particularly swift when passing that one.

Fade to a wooden door, which helpfully reads "SAUNA". It has an exterior lock that just cries out for naughty misuse.

(Naughty, that is, in the sense of bad or wicked, not in the sense of, say, a bald gentleman and a farmboy, whiling away a pleasant afternoon.

Just to be clear).

A plaque near the HI-I'M-A-SAUNA! reads "Walt's private sweat box, for all Walt's private sweating needs."

This seems not so much a privilege as a hint.

Some pictures are visible, adorning the HI-I'M-A-SAUNA! The camera fears to look too closely, however, in case these should document Walt's Private Sweating.

Cut, God help us, to the inner sauna. Coach Walt is there, ladling some green rocks lovingly. They saute just nicely.

Walt leans forward and inhales the fumes, checking to see if the rocks are done.

He grunts obscenely. We don't need to know why.

The camera flees back to the heater. Green steam issues forth.

With a complete lack of surprise, we note that meteors have insinuated themselves into the proceedings. They glow, smugly.

Back to the coach and his personal hygiene issues. There's someone at the door...there's someone at the door...]

Coach: Come on in, the soup's nearly done.

[Principal Kwan opens the door. He's angry and slightly crumpled.]

Coach: Whaaassssssssssuuuuuuuuuuup?

Principal Kwan: Oh, just chilling, having a Bu...Quit it.

[We adjourn to the coach's office. Walt flips through a folder.]

Coach: I like this wavy pattern in Hint-of-Mint... but it doesn't go with the flooring...

Principal: In any case, it's against the enforced primary colour scheme...but that's by the by. Your team is a big fat ball of cheats.

Coach: Ah. Well spotted. Still, a little cheating illegal drug ring there...

Kwan: Sorry?

Coach: What? Who? Hedgehog?

Kwan: Nevermind. The important thing is that we deal with this and we deal with it now. (Slams fist. Breaks fist) Eeowch.

Coach: Listen up, sweetheart. (chews ciggie) I've been here twenty five years. Twenty five years in this rotten dump. I coach a team of players who can barely spell football and sometimes have to be restrained from trying to eat it. I have B.O. so tangible you can converse with it. Sometimes, I do.
Please, at least let me win this game. Gimme a break, here.

Kwan: 'fraid not. I'm a principal with principles.

[A tumbleweed slowly and painfully rolls past.]

Kwan: Sorry.

Coach: ...anyway.
Do you know how many boys have got into colleges because of me? Do you know how hard it is to swipe the keys? And soap doesn't come cheap.

Kwan: I know most people think you walk on water, Coach. That makes me wonder if most people shouldn't be quietly shoveled into asylums. But, I've seen your temper. I've petted it secretly in the dark. Your methods are wrong, Coach.
And, oh, so kinky.
On Monday, I suspend the players.

[Kwan leaves, justice dispensed. Coach Walt is getting aerated. He's having a cow. He's getting royally pissed.]

Coach: Buggerationville.

[Flames suddenly break out all over the desk, as Walt commits some towel abuse. He watches curiously as the deadly flames spread- while making no attempt to flee or anything.

But then he does have that SuperSweat to dowse it.

In the background, the newborn cow watches too, chewing.]

Smallville High School. Ra Ra Ra.

Clark (reading):"Football: Sport or abuse?"

Chloe: Well?

Clark: Well, I pick sport, obviously. Abuse is bad. You don't catch me with that one, Chloe.

Chloe: Thank you, Clark.

Pete: You shouldn't be so hard on Coach Walt.

Chloe: Why not?

Pete: Because...he's watched t.v. in our general vicinity. He must be good.

Chloe: I'll print a retraction immediately.

[We see, belatedly, that they are wandering about in a courtyard.

Some extras sit around; playing basketball, sitting at tables, mouthing "Hi Mum!" and knitting.

Also, some cheerleaders graze nearby.]

Chloe: Anyway, it must be a good story because people are upset enough to send me hate mail. Ten anonymous notes in crayon. And an entire horse's head.
Think of the postage on that!

[Whitney and Lana stand in the distance. Clark, unable to help himself, goes SpyMode.

Lana, all cheerleadered up, is arguing with Whitney, not all cheerleadered up, but possibly considering it.]

Lana: Can't you even seem to care about this? I mean, come on. Fake it. Even Meg Ryan can do that.

Whitney: Meh. That was completely unrealistic.

Lana: You don't think it was a good orgasm? I think it was a good orgasm!

[She storms off, an imaginary teacup girdling her waist.]

Whitney (mutters): I wouldn't call you that qualified...

[Chloe, Clark and Pete watch as Lana keeps on stormin'.]

Chloe: Whoo, a pompom meltdown!

Clark (alert): Meltdown? What? Where? Sideburns! Quick, Chloe, point it out and then, er, look away for a second.

[Chloe and Pete are ignoring Clark. They watch as some football players leave the building, followed by an overweight, spangly-suited guy with blue shoes on.]

Chloe: Ooh! Ooh! Pete! Get a picture of the cheating jockstraps!

Pete: Yuk. Is that like cheating hearts, only more graphic?

Chloe: Point and click, sidekick boy.

Pete (mutters): If I didn't really like you...

[He points and clicks. We shift over to the players and the cheerleaders and the herd of cow, all gathering around Coach Walt.

Clark is watching. It's his thing.]

Coach: I don't want to hear any rumours going around...I came by this cow honestly and rather painfully...

[Cut to Clark. Pointless, really, he's invulnerable.]

Clark: Any idea how they got hold of the midterm?

Chloe (taking pictures): It's still a mystery. Jinkies.

Clark: Gesundheit.

[A football player spots Chloe's suspicious behaviour. She's pointing...something. Something shiny and technologicogal.

A Laser-Zap Beam of Harmfulness!]

Football: Danger! Danger, Coach Robinson!

[He throws a football at Chloe's head.

Just before they get acquainted, Clark snatches the ball rudely out of the air.]

Pete: Nice reflexes, Clark. Almost...too nice. (speculative look) Clark...or should I say- Doctor Fiendish!?

[He attempts dramatic mask ripping. No dice.

Clark watches Pete's attempts to separate his nose from his face with an air of baffled detachment.]

Pete (cough): Oh. Sorry. (shrugs) Shame, though.

[Chloe and Pete walk away, leaving Clark to trail behind them.

Clark gets a spot of the evils and he slings the ball back at the jock so hard it breaches his stomach cavity.]

Football: Wughlch!

[He twitches gently.

The Coach has seen all. He looks over at Clark as he leaves.

Little wheels turn inside his head, powered by little hamsters.]

[The insides of the school. Pete and Clark, walk and smile.]

Clark: Okay, now point your hand that way and sort of look casual and far away. Or- Ok, internally distressed is fine. Though that's more for underwear models. Now, swivel-uh huh- and walk back, left hip, right hip that's it.

Pete: Are you sure male models get all the girls, Clark?

[Coach Walt is nigh.]

Coach: Hey, Kent, I saw your arm out there.

[Clark does a quick count]

Clark: Not mine, sir. I'm fully stocked.

Coach: Listen, I'm increasingly sure that you're perfect for the team.

Clark: Oh. But my dad needs me on the farm. I do most of the chores. Except milking the cows for some reason...

Coach: Well, son, your school needs you on that football field. You have to see that that's more important than your family's livelihood.

Clark: Possibly...

Coach: Your dad's Jonathon Kent, right? Tall, aggressive, pull-string at the back? (mimes tug) "You never know until you try." (tug) "Life is like a field of cowpats. You never know where you're goin' ta step".

Clark: Oh, right! I've always wondered.

Coach: He doesn't like to talk about it. Anyway. You want in? I need you. My team is full of talentless wimps like Ross here.

Pete: Um...

Clark: Well, you do make a good case...

Coach (snaps fingers): Hey, Fordman!

[Whitney and Lana come to heel]

Coach: How'd'ya rate Kent's chances on the field?

Whitney: Moderate to fair, with a following wind.

Coach: How can you refuse?

Clark: Well, you just shake your head politely and if they still won't listen, then you beat them round the head with a tyre iron, yelling, "Double" (whap!) "glaze" (whap!) "this!" (Wallop!)

Sorry, Pete. Role playing.

Pete: ...glug.

Coach: Welcome to the team, son.

Clark: Oh. Thanks?

[Lana rolls her eyes about in the background. She's trying to get one in the corner pocket, but...dang. Missed again.]

Coach: See you at three.

[Walt, Whitman and Lana melt away into the night. Or morning. Or chocolate soup.]

Pete: What did your dad say last time you asked him to play? get to the other side?

Pete: What?

Clark: Er...shark-infested custard?
Wait, I know Englishman, an Irishman and a Superman walk into a bar...

Pete: He said no, Clark. Because he's a big weird control freak. You're going down, boy.

[They part. Hair and makeup are falling down on the job.]

[Whitney and Lana walk.]

Whitney: So, are we okay?

Lana: This isn't about us. It's about me.

Whitney: Look, the guys made a mistake. They're friends of mine. I support them.

Lana: Well, tough. I'm trying to find myself here. I want to find something that I'm great at. Shouldn't be too tricky. I want people to worship me and flutter around me like doomed, doomed moths.


Whitney: Melp.


Jonathon is fiddling with something while talking with Clark.]

Jonathon: "So, why the long face?"
...I don't get it, Clark.

Clark: Well, I'll never be a comedian. Guess I'll just have to take up Football. Thanks, Dad.

Jonathon: Whoa, there, hossy. I mean, son. A man gets confused sometimes.

Clark: Please, Dad, pretty, pretty, double-sugar-please with ice cream?

[skips about a bit]

Jonathon: Clark, are those...ribbons in your hair?

Clark: Dad. I'll be careful, you can trust me.

Jonathon: It's not that I don't trust you, son, it's just... Okay, that actually is it. I really need to work on my prevaricating.

[Clark glares]

Jonathon: Look, Clark, you're very strong and easily distracted. It's all fun and games until someone loses a major organ.

Clark: Gah.
All my life it's been the same.

"Sorry, Clark, ballet's too dangerous. And figure skating."

"Don't run with scissors, Clark."

"Don't fling that cow, Clark."

Jonathon: I'm still not signing that permission slip. And you can put those scissors down as well, young man.

Clark: Well, I'm playing anyway. Stick that up your jumper and smoke it.

[The Creepy Cobwebbed Castle.

Inside, three men wait impatiently, soon to be rewarded with a glimpse of Lex. He's been working out and has a lucky, lucky towel lovingly curled around his neck.]

Lex (nodding politely): Drone one. Drone two. Dominic.

[Lex swishes over to a table and proceeds to tease a bottle of water. The drones dissolve away into carpet lint. Dominic battles bravely, but his train of thought rapidly disintegrates.]

Dominic: Woo*f*.
I mean, um, you're running late for our meeting. Would you like a Polo? Er...

Lex: No thank you, Dominic. And I cancelled the meeting.


Dominic: Your Father uncancelled it.
Please don't do that with your tongue.

Lex: I think I will have that Polo, Dominic.

[Lex inhales the mint and proceeds to thoroughly freshen his mouth with it]

Dominic: Guh.

[Lex walks around, with Dominic playing follow-my-leader (only with a lot less hip action). Finally, Lex stops at the pool table and plays with his stick.]

Dominic (trying hard): Numbers...bad.

Lex (sucking gently): Mm. Twenty percent down. Tsk. Naughty Lex.

Dominic: Your Dad...take...action...lots of action. Swivel action.

[Lex smiles sweetly and chalks his stick.]

Lex: I plan to increase my workforce. I'm a firm believer in expansion.

[Dominic is seconding the motion, somewhat against his will. And his trousers.]

Dominic: Come on Lex. Gimme a break. Or a blo...

Lex: You have to spend money to make money, Dominic. It was in my morning fortune cookie.

{He sends a ball into a corner pocket]

Dominic: Your father sent you here because he got sick of the innuen...I mean, to turn the plant around. Into a better plant that is. Not into a south-facing one.

Lex: My father sent me here because I gave him a gift pack of Head and Shoulders and a comb.

Dominic: Really? I mean...I'm telling on you.

Lex: Okay then, goodbye.

[Dominic turns, stiffly, to leave]

Lex(lounging with intent): By the way, Dominic...tell your sister I said "hi". And your brother, too.

And Mittens.

[Dominic shuffles out]

[House of Pain and Marshmallow.

Lana folds her cheerleading uniform, neatly and into a swan. Nell walks in.]

Nell: Lana, you're home early. I thought I was rid of you for at leas...I mean, gosh, did they cancel cheerleading?

Lana: Sort of. I quit.

Nell: In what way is that like them cancelling it?

Lana (shrugs): Well, I quit. Why bother carrying on with the cheerleading? Their pompoms may be willing, but the cheers will be empty.

[Nell is horrorstruck at the thought of more time with Lana.]

Nell: You loved being on the squad! The pink, the frills, the mindless adoration! What happened?

Lana: Oh, Nasty Aunt Nell. So shallow. There's more to life than shaking pompoms. For example there's pompom manufacture and pompom science... You know, I've waved countless pompoms over the years without truly knowing; Why did they come to be? How are they made? What makes them wiggle so...flumpily?

Nell: I see. You found a puddle and mistook it for a depth.

Lana: And some of the Football players were caught...C-H-E-E-T-ing. Whitney said that people aren't perfect. I took that as a personal slight.

Nell: You can't let a few rotten apples spoil the broth. Add more tomato to drown the flavour. Now, get on back to your team, Sport. (chin chuck) Stay a few extra hours to make up for this is you like. I won't mind.

Lana: Evil Nell, I don't want to go back. I want to try different things.

Nell: Different things. Different things... out of the house?

Lana: Maybe I'll get a job. Earn some extra money so that I can travel far far away.

Nell: Oh, sweet merciful lord, yes!
I mean, I support you fully in this endeavour.

Lana: Thanks, but I don't need help.
I want to do this on my own. Or with the help of a handsome rich benefactor, if that doesn't work out.

[The locker rooms disgorge what looks like an entire football team.

Clark is there, in a red practice jersey (it's hoping to be a real jersey soon) with the number 89. Should really be 69.

Clark smiles around at the field, which needs cheering up. He sees some cheerleaders. They leap and whirl and pompom.

He goes over to Pete.]

Clark: Lana's not here.

Pete: It's not all good. Your dad is here.

[Jonathon is on some bleachers. He is none too pleased when Clarks strolls over to halt his chemical fun.]

Clark: Dad! I'm so glad you're supporting me. And that those people with the squeezy bottle are supporting you. And...what are they doing to you?

Jonathon: I'm just here to indulge a fetish. And to see that nobody gets hurt. Because if I'm here...they'll still get hurt. But then I can say "I told you so" straight out, no waiting.

[Jonathon turns, as Clark turns, as the world turns.

Clark walks back to the field, mildly dizzy.]

Coach: Kent! Here, boy! Gotta kryptosnack! Beg, beg...Good Kent.

[Clark goes onto the field, wagging slightly.]

Whitney: Scooby Doo! Where are you? Forty two! Deeeeep Thought!

[Whitney gets the ball. He is stunned. He thrusts it at Clark, who is immediately jumped on.

Unfortunately the players don't want him for his body. They punch him for a bit and steal his ball.]

Clark: Da-ad. The big kids were mean to me.

[Jonathon's not looking. He has bleach in his eye.]

Coach: Kent! Your dad's not the coach, I am!

Clark: Oh. I thought that said 'conch'.

Coach: Just go and play football or I'll stick this biro through your sponge-like skull.

[The players get ready to go again. They have tubes fitted into their uniforms.

The play is repeated but this time Clarkz got skillz.

He soars like an eagle! He ploughs like a plough!

He ducks! He dives! He wheeler-deals!

He places a ball onto a particular spot on the ground!

The crowd goes wild!

Jonathon, the killjoy, hmphs a bit and leaves.

This brings down the good cheer level for Clark. Violins sneak onto the pitch, sensing that they might be needed.]

[Coach Walt is in his office watching a videotape of Greg Arkin camcorder classics (now banned).

Principal Kwan comes in and Walt switches it off quickly.]

Coach: My Man. Principal Kwan.

Principal: I'm really upset with you, young man. You helped those football players to cheat. And you stuck this "kiosk me" sign on my back. I got followed around all day by a newspaper vendor.

Coach (sighing): "Kick me" goddamit, kick me. It's a classic, for chrissakes!
So, who squealed?

Kwan: Not telling.

Coach: What if I give you money? (Kwan shakes his head)Cookies?(nuh-uh) Head? (vigorous shake) My immortal soul?

Kwan: Does it come in lime?

Coach: It's more of a murky brown with specks.

Kwan: Then, no.

Coach: Anyway, what's the word of one boy against the legend that is Mumra! The Ever-Living!

Kwan: <blink>

Coach: I meant me but 'the legend that is Walt' just lacks something.

Kwan: Maybe so, but I plan to get all of the boys to testify against you and then you'll be sorry. Still, better not try and stop me or anything, eh?

Coach: Grr. I am really, really annoyed.

[The television bursts into decorative flame. There is an uncomfortable pause. Coach Walt whistles "Camptown Races." He's fooling no-one.]

Prinipal Kwan: ...on second thoughts, Coach, I think that the boy must be mistaken. And I'd also like to congratulate you on your trim figure, ready wit and excellent penmanship. Doody doo, off to build a shrine, now...G'bye then.

[Kwan is outta there.

Coach stares at the TV. Now, lets see. He hadn't left it on the porn channel had he?

Nope. It was his- hitherto unsuspected- pyrokinetic ability. Well, there's a useful trick. Toasters Go Home.

We see Kwan getting into his car. Coach Walt sees, too.

Coach Walt sees all.

Cross his palm with silver and he'll lend you his x-ray spex (absolutely guaranteed, no boy should be without them).

Coach gives Kwan a two for style and a solid ten for bumping-self-in-head-while-opening-the-door.]

Coach: I'll bet he was lying about that shrine.

[He concentrates. He makes wavy motions with his hands, in case that helps.

Bam. Kwan's car is crispy fried automobile.

Clark and Pete happen past, as they discuss the moon and June and their favourite cartoon.]

Pete: So why not She-Woman? Does that mean she's actually a "Ra"? Or... a drag queen?

[Screaming issues from a big ole burning car.]

Clark: Go get help!

Pete: Why can't you...?

[Clark is running towards the car. He smashes it up a bit and then drags Kwan out, pausing only to toast and eat a sandwich.

He's done this before. He knows the drill.

As soon as they reach safety, the car is free to blow up all over the place.]

[The Kent house at night.

We have cameras running live, every second from dusk to dawn, charting the nocturnal habits of these strange and elusive creatures.

Currently, Clark and Jonathon are stuffing, while Martha, who cooks but doesn't actually consume, is on the phone.]

Martha: Okay, thanks. Who am I? Oh, the name's J.R.Hartley.

[She goes back to the boys]

Martha: Principal Kwan's going to be in hospital over the weekend. And his favourite colour is green.

Clark: Is he gonna live?

Martha: Well, yes. For a bit.

Jonathon: Did anybody see you, son? And take pictures and/ or video footage?

Clark: Nobody saw me. Except possibly a few people who were mooching around nearby. And, Pete, because he didn't go straight for help like I told him to. And there was a puppy...

Jonathon: Was it a suspicious looking puppy?

Clark: It had floppy ears.

Jonathon: Hmm. Okay then.

Clark: Of course, if you'd given me a ride home like you were s'posed to, I wouldn't have risked my secret. And Principal Kwan would be all crispy and tasty, like a barbequed sausage. But nevermind.

Jonathon: Look, I was there. I saw...bits. To be honest, there was a burning pain in my eye for the most of it.

Clark: Well, I was great! I stormed the Bastille! I rocked the house! I scored a try! Or is that rugby?

Jonathon: You could have hurt someone. If you'd tried a little harder.

[Jonathon looks at Clark. Clark looks at Jonathon. Martha looks at Clark; Clark to Jonathon; Over to Martha; Clark; Martha; And she scores! She scores!]

Clark: Well. I'll go throw myself a pity party shall I? With cake.

[He leaves, plotting the icing.]

Jonathon: How'd he get to be so stubborn?

Martha: He sent away for a pamphlet.

Jonathon: Huh.

Martha: Listen, Clark's been abnormal and freakish his whole life. But he's old enough to deal with it now without pureeing anyone.

Jonathon: With power comes great responsibility.

Martha (mutters): One day I'll get that string removed...

[Clark, Chloe, Pete and Ringo walking down the street. They get the funniest looks from. Everyone they meet.]

Chloe: It doesn't make sense. Cars don't spontaneously combust. Only people and shrimp.

Clark: Cops said it was faulty wiring. Or a pyrokinetic attack from assailants unknown.

Chloe: I've got my headline. "Jockstrap slowly saves Principal from burning car"

Pete: Will you lay off with the "jockstraps"? Unless it's mine...

[They enter The Beanery, an International House of Legumes]

Chloe: I still can't believe Clark's been blinded by the light. Dressed up like a douche...

Clark: Hey. Flannel is the new Armani.

Chloe: I mean you joined the Football team. Scary.

Clark: It's just a sport.
A sport in which I follow the teachings of our leader Coach Walt and I pledge all of my material possessions unto him.

[Lana is sneaking up behind Chloe. Her stalking is betrayed by the vibrant green apron she wears.]

Chloe: Yeah, Clark, and next I'm going to join the Pompom brigade.

Lana: Is that when you put out fires by stifling them with balls?

[No comment.]

Clark: Lana, what are you doing here?

Lana: Slumming.

Chloe: Wait, you waitress here? Really? And it still has customers?

Lana: I got a name tag. It says "Lana".

Clark: Where's your necklace? For no particular reason.

Lana: Strict dress code. No mutagens, no sandals. Nose-bones are out, too.

Clark: You look like a waitress. Waitressing. Waitressly.

Lana: Now, if I could only tell the difference between a non-fat latte and a word meaning delayed or deceased.

Chloe: I'm sure that's a problem for many of us. Regular coffee, please.

Pete: Cod and chips twice.

[Chloe and Pete sit down, but a tray occupies their space. Next, Poland, and then...The World! And also Berkshire.

Clark returns the tray to Lana.]

Clark: Lana, you forgot this. And the screws at your neck are a little loose.

Lana: Oh. I'm supposed to collect these?

Clark: Yup.
Never mind, first times are always rough. Then the sweet, smooth arms of ecstasy uplift you and start rubbing.

Lana: I quit cheerleading, you know. I lead cheers no more. They can go get lost for all I care.

Clark: Yeah, I heard. Why did you do that?

Lana: My mom cheer-led, my aunt cheer-led and my grandma and my uncle Sally. (shrugs)I can't keep repeating the past over and over and over again. And over and over...

[Clark pokes Lana sharply on the nose]

Lana: Why'd you do that?

Clark: Changing the channel.
You know, it's like a miracle. I mean, coincidence. I join the team and you quit the squad.

Lana: But you'll see me at The Beanery. Four shifts a week.

Clark: Hoopla.

Head Waitress: Oi, Princess! Table Three have been waiting for their drinks for five hours. One of them has died of thirst. We'll probably have to give them a discount.

Lana: Oopsie.

[She goes A'Waitressin']

Chloe: Clark Kent is a waitress and Lana Lang is a football player.

Pete: Sorry?

Chloe: Note to self...must fantasize with your mouth closed.

[Trevor, a football player, enters the shop and is drawn to a herd of other football players.

Just because he's never said nothing worth saying not ever.

Doesn't mean he's not clever.

Clever Trevor.]

Trevor: Coach needs us on the field. Bring wellies.

[The players swarm off.]

Chloe: What's with your fallen brethren?

Pete: It's not fallen. I just thought of dead kittens by mistake.

[Chloe leaps up and leaves, understandably. On the way out, the wind of her passing distracts Lana, who thwacks full into a customer.

Molten coffee sprays everywhere, as customers laugh and sustain second degree burns.]

The Football field. The school. The velvety shroud of night.

We see the sprinkler system, sprinkling.

Coach Walt has gathered his flock to him and he preaches, interrupted occasionally by a light mooing.]

Coach: Congratulations.
You won The Most Stupendously Stupidist Stupidheads of the Year Award (group category).

Player: Yay!Awards.

Coach: Buttercup, graze that boy.
Now, which one of you talked? Come on, own up. I'll only slightly maim you.

UnCleverTrevor: Well, no college is going to look at us with cheating on our records. Unless we bribe them. Er, I mean... D'oh.

Coach: Trevor. Trevor, Trevor, Trevor.

[Coach Walt belts him one. The sprinklers get reset to "Flame".

The Footballers become one giant Keanu Reeves.]

Players: Whoa! No way, dude! Wyld Stallions etc.

Coach: Nothing- nothing, I tell you!- will stand between me and my quest for world domination through sports! Now, go home and keep schtum about the whole fire thing, okay?

Players: Okay! Totally!,Station! etc.

[The Coach leaves, secret safe. Unless some meddling kid with a camera and hair of flippiness should happen to have been hiding nearby...]

[Luthor residence. Lionel storms in, fur bristling.]

Lionel: Congratulations, Lex. You won the crossword competition.

[He drops a paper onto Lex's desk.]

Lex: Well. And I could have sworn 'Patricide' was wrong. Two Across.

Lionel: And while I was basking in your reflected success, I discovered that you are actually increasing your workforce.

Lex: I told Dominic that I would.

Lionel: Yes, but he was acting so oddly, I'd just assumed it was heatstroke. I had to get him a cold flannel.

Lex: So, now you know. Close the door on your way out.

Lionel: You should have used the proper procedure, son. Paperwork makes the world go round. That, or cosmic donkeys.

Lex: Dad, is it too late to get adopted?

[Lionel glares and reaches over to touch Lex. Lex shies away like a wounded coconut.]

Lionel: You know perfectly well how I feel about you, Lex. Now, come and sit on Daddy's lap.

Lex: You've made it clear how you feel. "Say it with fertiliser plants". Not very catchy, Dad.

Lionel: Did you know that the Caesars would send their sons to the furthest corners of the empire so that they could get an appreciation of how the world works?

Lex: Whatever sends you to sleep at nights.

Lionel: Okay, son. The usual deal. We'll wave point*e*d sticks at each other.

Lex: Can't I use a raspberry?

Lionel: No.(shudders) Never again.

[Lionel and Lex fence in fencing costume. Sadly, no hats with big feathers in them.

Lionel slides down a bannister. Lex slashes at some candles and then blows on them.

Some fruit is injured.]

Lionel: Lex. Get down from the chandelier. It's cliched.

Lex: Hey, I'm not critiquing your flamboyant gestures.

Lionel: Lex, Lexity, Lex. You've always hated critics.

[He disarms Lex and pokes his sword into his throat.

Look, lots of things are phallic. Pencils, sauages, the Eiffel Tower. It means nothing. Honest.

Y'know the whiteness and that little tag that holds the fencing jacket on under the, er, tackle makes it look a little reminiscent of a straitjacket.

Is that a record in reaching for foreshadowing?]

Lionel: And that can be a fatal flaw.

[He backs Lex into a chair. They pant for a bit.]

Lionel: I win! I win! Tralalalala!
I want those workers gone by noon tomorrow. And I want you to fire them, while wearing a cute pink bunny suit.

[He leaves, skipping. Lex is annoyed. And alarmed. And still panting.]

[Back to KentWatch.

One of the little creatures is snuffling around in the barn loft.

It's Clark, trying on his Football gear and humming "I Feel Pretty".

Martha comes up.]

Clark: How do I look?

Martha: As handsome as your father.

Clark: But my father's probably a heap of dust on some far distant planet.

Martha:...actually, Clark...

Clark: Or an oozy corpse. Depends how long I've been gone. With the space travel and all.

Martha: Clark, I meant...

Clark: Or they could have a really, really long life span. But that would still make Dad probably all really old and wrinkly like a shriveled prune. With no teeth.

Martha: How many prunes do have teeth, Clark?

Clark: Smallville, Mom.

Martha: Good point. The Banana Custard Affair is not something I wish to repeat. Clark, I just came to say...we trust you. Well, I trust you and...well, I'd like to trust you know, Jonathon thinks about it occasionally.

Clark: Um. Thanks?

[Pep rally. Rallying for pep.

We see bonfires, cheerleaders, cheerleaders on fire, a giant Crow mascot eating giant Grub mascots.

Chloe walks up the steps. Clever Trevor lounges nervously nearby.]

Trevor: What do you want? Why did you call me? What did the actress say to the Bishop?

Chloe: I want to know if Coach Walt supplied the players with the tests.

Trevor: Don't be silly. That wouldn't make sense at all.

Chloe: You can talk to me now. Or later's fine. Whichever's good for you.

[She shows Trevor her camera display screen depicting Coach Potter and the Sprinklers of Fire.]

Trevor: It's blurry. And the composition's awful.

[He rushes away, aesthetically distressed.

Cut to Trevor in the parking lot. Coach Walt sneaks up behind him and gives him a Chinese Burn. With extra Burn.]

Trevor: Aargh!

Coach: Talking to the school newspaper, Trevor? Please don't tell me it talked back. I couldn't handle sentient ink.

Trevor: I didn't say anything. She had a picture box which recorded images. She's got you by the sprinklers.

Coach: Hm. Okay. Better stagger along home, boy.

Chloe is working on her Football expose, in the Torch office.

Coach Walt lingers nearby, watching through a glass door and cackling. He concentrates. He chants "Izzy Wizzy, Let's get busy".

Chloe is confronted by a faceful of fire.

Soon, her entire office resembles a Public Service Ad on 'What Not To Do With Chip Pans'.

We cut from this dramatic moment to enjoy a light supper with cheese.

And to go over to Clark and Pete at the pep rally. Wow, Pete is in this a lot.]

Pete: Hey, Man, seen Chloe?

Clark: Yes, Pete. She's about (gestures) this high and bouncy.

Pete: Have you seen her around, Clark?

Clark: Oh. No. (double takes) Hey! She must be in mortal peril!

[He looks around wildly and sees Chloe tapping at the Torch window and making big "Help, I'm Burning to Death", "Get a Bloody Move On" and "A Hose. A Hose. My Editorship For A Hose." signs."

Inside the office.

Chloe is making valiant attempts to escape, but only succeeds in burning her coat to the ground.

Who will save her now?]

Chloe: Oh God!

[Not bloody likely.]

Clark (in doorway): Chloe!

[Coach Walt gives up in disgust. Clark runs through into the room and hugs Chloe.]

Chloe: Clark...too tight...smoke inhalation...

[Clark happily hugs away.]

[We're still in the Torch but the fire has passed on.]

Clark: So. The Torched, torched.

[Chloe slaps him around the face with a wet kipper.]

Clark: I deserved that. But where the hell did you get the kipper?

Chloe: Never mind that now, Clark.
Circumstantial evidence leads me to assume that Coach Walt is guilty of a. supplying the test papers and b. possessing a weird mental power over fire and using it to attempt to assassinate Principal Kwan and me.

[She takes a deep breath.]

Clark: Oh. Well, you're usually right. But how can we prove it?

Chloe: Trevor Chappell.

Clark: And how do we do that?

Chloe: Trevor the Football player, Clark. Trevor with the I.Q. of, well, of a farmboy.

Clark: Oh, him.

Chloe: I'm sure he's the nark who spilled the beans on Walt's operation. But he's scared of me. I think because I threatened him with pliers one time. He was bugging me.

Clark: So you want me to talk to him?

[Inside The Beanery (today's special: 'Runner').

Lex sits and strokes some paperwork. He sighs a little. So does the paperwork.

Lana shows up to take his order.]

Lex: Lana. Did Nell put you to work on the street? Let me rephrase that...

Lana: I decided to join the little people.

Lex: I'm sure you'll be employee of the month. Oh, look, the Devil just placed a want ad for earmuffs.

Lana (proud): I already hold the record for 'most cups broken in a single day'. If I go on like this, I'll have to get another display shelf.

Lex: Right. Better bring my cappucino in the hands of another waitress, then.

[Lana laughs. Lex so funny. She goes to get some sort of drink for him.

Clark walks in, still wearing his football jersey. he's currently forgotten the complex series of moves required to take it off.

But, hey, Lex is just over there.]

Clark: Hey, Lana have you seen Trevor?

Lana: Is that the show about the psychiatrist?

Clark: Nevermind. How are you doing?

Lana: Today is one of those days I just want to scream and scream until I'm sick. But I'll save it for later when I'm nearer a bucket.

Clark: Great. Get me a coffee, would you?

[Clark scampers over to Lex.]

Lex: Rumour has it Clark Kent joined the football team. And then there's that jersey. Big visual clue.

Clark: Wow, Lex. I love it when you go all Sherlock Hose on me.

Lex: Uh, Clark, that was a porn film.

Clark: I know.

Lex (smirks): Well. Congratulations. I'm sure your dad is thrilled.

Clark: Actually, no. He got mad and then he did this thing with bleach...He's always saying I should make my own decisions but I'm just not that good with papier mache.

Lex: Uh huh. And you're out late so you can avoid the uncomfortable silence that awaits you at home.

Clark: How did you know?

Lex: Luthors wrote the book on uncomfortable silences. It was about the only joint thing we ever did. Made the bestseller lists.

Clark: So, what are you working on?

Lex: Pin the pink slip on the employee. My father wants me to cut twenty percent of my workforce. And there's costumery involved, but let's not get into that.

Clark: Any way around it?

Lex: My fathers tough to turn around. It's uncanny, he's like a mule in gucci shoes.

[Lana appears, to shoehorn herself into the conversation.]

Lana: If it makes you feel better you should have seen the look on my aunt's face when I took this job. It was all happy and glowy.

Clark: I guess we're all in the same boat. And the food supply's running low. One of us will have to be eaten.

[He eyes Lana speculatively.]

Lex: Well, I have to admit, you both stood your ground and got what you wanted. I caved in like a mining disaster.

Clark: Yeah, we're real rebels. Kicking a ball around. Pouring coffee. Over people, in many cases.

[He indicates a burn unit that has been set up in the back of the shop due to demand.]

Lex: Cheers.

[He drinks. Whipped cream clings to his lips and won't let go.

Clark thinks he might be able to persuade it.]

Lana: How's your drink?

Lex: Perfect.

Lana: Smug Mode.

[She drifts off.]

Clark: Is that what you ordered?

Lex: It's not even coffee. I'm actually scared to drink more.

Clark: Well, er. Let me help you decide what it is.

[He leans over and removes Lex's moustache with his tongue.

He has to go over it a few times to make sure it's all quite, quite gone.]

[Trevor's house in the springtime.

We are in a basement. Clark, politeness personified, just strolls right in.]

Clark: Trevor? It's Clark Kent, mild mannered schoolboy. Can we talk?

Trevor: Just leave or the Coach will be back.

Clark: What does he do to you?

Trevor: He rides us pretty hard. He's pretty heavy, you know. I wouldn't mind, but the spurs really sting.

Clark: Why didn't you tell anyone? Or club together and get him a horse?

Trevor: He said he'd throw me off the team! Social disaster!

Clark: Did he help you cheat?

Trevor: Yep. And there's this drug ring he operates but I think they're actually herbs...

Clark: I can help you.

Trevor: Principal Kwan said that too. Now he's full of toasty goodness.

Clark: What happened to your arm?

Trevor: Coach Walt burned me with his creepy hands of flame. When this is over with I'm selling my story to the Inquisitor.

[Cut to the Sauna. It's happy to see us. Give it a wave.

Coach Walt is inside, sweating like a poison toad.

Clark, forgetting his manners again, barges in.]

Coach: Kent. Why aren't you getting ready?

Clark: I'm not walking out on that field...and neither are yuo! Dum!

Coach: Dum ?

Clark: Musical sting.

Coach: Look, I don't know what your problem is, but there are special schools which can help.

[Cut to the rocks in the sauna. They glow. Now that we've been reminded of their existence, Clark can look sick.

He watches his trusty meteor canary hand as it goes lairy.]

Clark: I know what you did last summer.

Coach: Had a barbeque?

[Clark groans and stumbles and expresses unwellitude.

Walt punches him, for fun, and throws him into the sauna wall. Little green rocks spill out and dance with glee at getting screen time.]

Coach: Excuse me, Clark. I've got a game to win. Or to watch some other people winning because I'll fry them alive with my hex vision if I don't. Come, Mr. Flibble.

[He has acquired a penguin hand puppet from somewhere. It sneers.]

Come, Buttercup.

Buttercup: Moo.

[Coach and his menagerie leave, locking the sauna door.

Told you so.

Clarks flops around on the sauna floor like a stranded halibut.]

[We're back at the football field. coach Walt watches. Pete is in the background where he feels most comfortable.

Whitney is about to make a play. Romeo and Gillette-the story of one man's forbidden love for his shaving products.]

Whitney: Ibble obble, black bobble, ibble obble out!

[Martha and Jonathon walk through the stands, sightseeing, remembering old times. Mostly under the stands.]

Martha: Chloe!

Chloe: Hi, Mrs. Kent! Bo Kent!

Jonathon: Why do people keep calling me that? And where's Clark?

Chloe: I thought he was with you.

Jonathon: He must be in mortal peril!

[ They all crane their necks and go Clark spotting.]

[On the field, players are playing another play.

Jonathon runs up to Pete.]

Jonathon: Hey, Pete...have you seen Clark?

Pete: No. It's like our roles have been reversed.

[Coach Walt comes over]

Coach: Get off my sidelines, Kent. You're scuffing them.

Jonathon: I'm looking for Clark.

Coach: Well, I have absolutely nothing to do with his mysterious disappearance. So, scurry along there.

[Coach Walt walks off hiding his nervousness under his glove puppet.

Jonathon walks back to Chloe.]

Jonathon: Nobody's seen him.

Chloe: I think the Coach is lying. Just because.

Jonathon: Okay. I'll check the locker room. You check the school.

Chloe(mutters): Why do I get the biggest surface area to search?

[They walk off. Coach Walt sees and leaves the game to follow them.]

[We're back in the sauna and we're all hot and sweaty

Clark is throwing rocks at the glass.
He breaks it, but is overcome by the excitement and goes to sleep.

Jonathon walks into the locker room.]

Jonathon: Clark! Clark? (mutters) Sound like a chicken...

[He spots the sauna, which is signalling frantically, and the broken glass.]

Jonathon: Clark! Clark! Clark!

[He pauses to peck some corn.

Then he kicks his way into the sauna and drags Clark outta there.]

Clark: Meteor rocks... bit me.

[ Coach Walts sneaks up on Jonathon. it's kind of a running theme.

He wallops Jonathon with a fire extinguisher.]

Jonathon: Ow.

[Clark and Jonathon fall to the ground, but look! Clark's hand is back to normal!

Seeing this, Clark gets up and flings Walt through a wall. That's got to smart.]

Clark: Coach, you need help. Because, ouch. Right through a wall.

Coach: Must... win... game...

[ He sets the room on fire. Clark remains untoasted. He is as untouched by the flames as a dog in a disaster film.]

Coach: How did you do that?

Clark: It's in the genes.

Coach: What, are we in a Levi's ad?

Clark: You've lost, Coach. Surrender. Even though that would lead to some awkward questions about me...hmm.

[Walt tries to punch him and Clark flings him through another wall. It's addictive.

The Coach gets all stressed and bursts out in flames. Acne sufferers note, it could actually be worse.

All that is left, is a mispelled jacket and a small, sad pile of beefburgers.]

[The Castle.

Lionel waltzes into Lex's office. He's not bad for a wrinklie.

Lex goes over to meet him and they waltz together for a moment. It's touching.]

Lex: Two trips in one week, dad. Those pills can mess up your head.

Lionel: What is this?

[He thrusts some paper at Lex.]

Lex: It's a piece of paper dad. It's formed from tree remains and used for writing on.

Lionel: I told you to cut your workforce.

Lex: I worked out to cut the operating budget instead. Do I get a cookie?

Lionel: But...the bunny suit? I had a camera and everything.

Lex: You could always try a rematch. I have this epee right here, for emergencies.

Lionel: You get one.

Lex: One what?

Lionel: One cookie. But not the hazelnut choc chip.

Lex: Darn. They're my favourite.

Lionel: It's cherry and raisin, or nothing.

[Outside of the school building.

Emergency services mill around and do stuff, have cups of tea.]

Jonathon: Sorry you didn't get to play.

Clark: Really? But you hated the idea and snarled at me and everything.

Jonathon: Well, yes. I was just trying to make you feel better. Clark, part of me's always going to be a little afraid. But that's just the monsters under the bed. They shake a man.

Clark: Thanks dad.

[They hug and walk off into the sunset, all reconciled.]

[But of course we can't end it with this sweet moment. The Lana counter is short this episode.

So back to the football field.

Clark walks around a bit. Lana sneaks up on him. She's getting better with practice.]

Lana: Quiet, isn't it? George. Michael. Dolenz.

Clark: I'm sorry?

Lana: Hang on (shakes head a little) Something got loose. Sorry.

Clark: i thought you were working?

Lana: I got fired. From a cannon. Everyone cheered. I always thought it was metaphorical.

Clark: What did your aunt say?

Lana: She sobbed and put way these travel brochures she was reading. Antarctica featured heavily.

Clark: Parents, eh. Or substitutes for same.

Lana: So, that Coach thing was pretty weird. You gonna play next year?

Clark: I dunno. I mean my dad played, my uncle played, my grandpa and my aunt Colin. I don't want to repeat the past.

Lana: Hey, that's just like what I said earlier only different.

Clark: Gosh. Really?

Lana: We should scream. I have that bucket now.

Clark: Screaming really seems like a good idea right now.

[They do so. we cut mercifully, before the bucket is employed.]

And that's all, folks.

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Shropshire

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