by Valentine Michel Smith

I needed something short and light.
Dedicated to those of like mind.

Valentine Michel Smith

He didn't think it could happen. He told his father as much, that alcohol had no effect. Even when he'd powered down the can of beer at the Met U. wake, back at a moment he'd entertained gridiron dreams, he felt absolutely nothing. Yet, here he was, at Granville Community College, in a room about half the size of Lex's study, feeling like something wasn't quite right.

He'd matched the frat boys cup for cup of the amber liquid, chugging the sudsy brew with the industriousness of factory equipment. He'd watched his "competition" drop like bowling pins, teetering before toppling over. But when he stood up, he knew he wasn't exactly sober.

Question was, was he drunk?

Stumbling around, Clark found himself landing inappropriately, and smiling so apologetically so frequently, his face ached. Luckily, he discovered that impaired aliens were apparently very good at avoiding people's feet. No worries about stepping on any of the tiny, tiny girls at the party.

Why were girls so tiny? It was one of those things that Clark didn't think about - ever. Except for now.

Clark tried to stand up straight. He cranked head high, poked his chest out. Instantly, he realized he was overdoing it (who the hell stands like a pompous statue anyway?), but made a mental note the pose might be useful someday. He curled back down and stumbled out of room, as rubber boned as any ordinary wobbly boozehound.

Given the difficulty with walking a straight line, Clark grew more convinced that he'd been slipped mutated beer. Ok, maybe the beer itself hadn't mutated, but who's to say the hops were mutation free, hmm? Hmmmm. The "mmm" tickled Clark 's tongue. Or... Or maybe there was a "magic beer" factory, a place where spells were cast because he was completely under the influence. Yeah, some incantation made sure of Clark Kent, son of Martha and Jonathan, former farmboy and current magically affected alien, would get drunk.

Jesus, he was drunk. He had to be. He never said "Jesus."

Leaning against a mailbox, Clark paused. He'd never been drunk. He wasn't sure what he was supposed to do. Did drunk humans think about what to do too?

Oh, he was definitely drunk, definitely an alien, and definitely falling over.

The mailbox didn't stand a chance.

It wouldn't've been so bad if Clark hadn't pitched sideways, grabbing for the letter holder as he went down. He landed on top of it, breaking steel as he struggled to remain upright and lost his fight with gravity. Which made no sense. Hello, Clark Kent. Boy who can lift tractors, see through walls - and fly.

Clark sighed as the mailbox contents drifted around him. Destroying federal property, mail tampering... Sounded like federal offenses. Not as bad as bank robbery, but.

Pushing the remains of the cell phone package away from his teeth (how'd his mouth get there anyway, hmmm? "Ummmmm."), Clark giggled. Somewhere his brain registered giggling? Just wrong. As wrong as "Jesus."

Clark giggled again.

He wasn't sure how he managed it, but by the time the beat cop arrived to investigate the ruckus, Smallville's latest export was standing in the alley. At least, he'd started in the alley, and wound up...

In another bar. Ay, carumba!

Clark looked around. He hadn't come through the back door. From the looks of things, he'd made his own. Ok, that? Worse than the mailbox. As wrong as giggling and Jesus.

Quick like a bunny (which, in retrospect, at this moment wasn't very quick at all), he wiped brick dust off of his tshirt and jeans. The shirt held up fairly well; the jeans had a rip just above the knee. Lucky day! It so could've been worse. No one in the bar seemed to notice, and no one'd been standing there when Clark 's body accidentally made like a freight train.

Clark shook his head, dislodging bits of concrete from his curls. He stumbled toward the bar, and sat on a stool, thinking maybe if he just put his head down very gently on the bar...

The crack clued him in. His head did not understand the meaning of "gently."

Twisting his neck as he lifted his head, Clark peered from one eye. "Me noggin cracked the marble."

"What can I get you?" The bartender, a pretty, pretty, tiny wee girl with wide eyes and one, two, three, four colored hair smiled. There was a name for four-colored hair in Kryptonian. Sadly, the name escaped Clark.

"Beeer," he said to make up for the sadness the loss of the Kryptonian word caused. "No, no. Not. No beer. Coffee." Clark nodded and listened as his brain sloshed about.

"We've got 10 beers on tap," the one, two, three, four-colored hair lady said. "And the coffee's crap."

"Can't drink crap," said Clark. "Beer it is then."

Clark reached into his pocket for money. Sliding from the bar stool, he realized, darkness was his friend.


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