by Tha Wrecka
They're not friends, but they could be. Lana thinks this as she paints her toenails, the polish shiny and pink. It goes on thick and a little bit smudges on her toe, but she scrapes it away with a long, pink fingernail. The air smells strongly of acetone as she applies a second coat. She wrinkles her nose and tries to ignore the smell.
She plugs in her hair dryer and flicks it on, running the warm air over her feet. As her nails slowly dry, she flicks through the beauty pages of Cosmo Girl. The celebrities in the magazine are bright and glossy, sporting hairstyles and outfits she wishes she had the daring - or money - to wear.
She wonders what Chloe might make of her magazines. Lana thinks Chloe might make fun of the articles, point out flaws in the stars captured on paper. Lana suspects, though, that Chloe secretly flicks through them in doctors' offices and newsagents.
When her nails are completely dry, Lana brushes her hair quickly and thinks about changing her clothes. The pink suit was fine for school but now Chloe's coming over and that calls for something special. Maybe she should wear the pink sweater that clings to her figure and a nice pair of jeans. She's not sure if that would be trying too hard, or why she wants to impress Chloe, but she'll go with it.
Lana changes quickly and puts on black high-heels. Her toenails glisten pink against the black of the shoes and she worries about looking too girly. She shrugs off the concern and skips downstairs.
She meets Nell in the kitchen. Nell is quickly making coffee and eating a sandwich. She doesn't notice Lana until she starts drinking.
"Lana, you look pretty. Are you going out?" Nell asks. "I thought Chloe was coming over to help you study."
"Oh, she is," Lana says.
"Then why are you all dressed up, sweetie?" Nell asks.
"I just wanted to look nice. There's nothing wrong with that," Lana replies.
"Of course not. I've got to go out tonight. I've got business," Nell says.
Lana smirks knowingly.
"You can take care of your dinner, right?" Nell asks.
"Sure. I'll just microwave something."
Nell smiles and finishes her coffee. She carries her cup to the sink and brushes breadcrumbs from her chocolate-brown suit.
"Have a good night, sweetie," Nell says, kissing Lana's cheek lightly so as not to smudge her lipstick.
As soon as Nell leaves Lana runs into the living room, turning on the TV. She needs something to distract her until Chloe's comes so she settles for a cartoon, something bright and silly.
After a little time the doorbell rings and Lana runs to answer it. She stops before the door and pauses, taking a deep breath. When she opens the door Chloe stands in front of her, bright against the fading afternoon.
"Hey," Chloe says, pulling a stray piece of blonde hair behind her ear.
"Hi," Lana replies, a little breathless.
"Can I come in?" Chloe questions.
"Oh, sorry," Lana giggles, stepping to the side.
As Chloe brushes past Lana catches the scent of apples, maybe from her shampoo. Lana shuts the door and follows Chloe into the living room where she spreads her books across the couch. She looks at the TV, smirks, and then looks up at Lana.
"You were watching Powerpuff Girls," Chloe accuses.
"No, I, it was just... on," Lana sputters.
"It's okay. Pete watches it too," Chloe says. "Though don't tell him I told you that."
Lana smiles and sits down on the other end of the couch.
"Let me guess, you like the pink one," Chloe says.
"They're all good," Lana says.
She turns to the textbooks laid between them.
"Do you have any more clue about this assignment than I do?"
Chloe laughs, and the sound is strong and feminine.
They study for a while and Chloe's eyes are vibrant as she explains. Lana nods pleasantly throughout.
"I'm about studied out," Chloe complains.
"Do you want something to eat? We've got choc-chip ice cream," Lana offers.
Chloe nods and Lana jumps up, leading them to the kitchen.
As Lana gets the ice cream from the freezer, Chloe asks, "Do you have coffee?"
"Only instant," Lana replies, setting the ice cream down on the counter.
She gets out two bowls and two spoons and scoops out big, curling chunks. By the time she puts away the ice cream Chloe is sitting at the counter, sipping her coffee. Lana sits next to her, tucking into her ice cream enthusiastically.
"Strange. I would have thought you'd have, like, frozen yoghurt or something," Chloe says.
"I do have some indulgences," Lana says, waving her spoon around.
With a laugh Chloe goes back to her ice cream, sucking the spoon into her mouth. As she pulls it back out a little ice cream dribbles out onto her lip, a small white smear on Chloe's lip-gloss.
The gloss on her lips is subtle, a light sheen, nicely emphasising the shape. She wears so much less than Lana. Lana thinks that sometimes Clark wears more lip-gloss than Chloe.
Lana leans over and licks the ice cream from Chloe's lip. Chloe's lips are warm and taste sweet, ice cream and coffee with the slick layer of gloss underneath. Lana draws back.
"Um," she utters, looking down at her ice cream.
"That was unexpected," Chloe says.
"You had a little ice cream on your lip," Lana explains.
"So you decided to lick it off?"
"It made sense at the time."
The silence stretches between them. Chloe drinks her coffee then exhales deeply. Lana finishes her ice cream.
"Chloe," Lana says. "Can we be friends?"
The sound of a doorbell startles them.
"It's my dad," Chloe says.
Both girls run into the living room, Lana helping to pick up Chloe's books. They rush to the door, Chloe opening it to see her father.
"See you at school tomorrow?" Chloe asks, tentatively.
"Sure," Lana says, smiling.
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