I Blame The Coffee

by Maveness



I Blame The Coffee

By: Maveness Delight (mavenessdelight@yahoo.com)

Rating: PG-13 for mild cursing, caffinated delusions, and naughty Chloe thoughts

Spoilers: For Shimmer

Disclaimer: I don't own Smallville or any of it's people. DC and WB do. Not me. Cause I'd have Clark and Chloe together soooo fast...

Summary: Never operate heavy machinery or talk to the friend you are obsessively in love with while under the influence of caffeine. There can be life altering consequences.

Chloe POV - The Beanery

You know that point where you haven't had caffeine in way too long? You're really, really tired, kind of achy, grouchy and generally just a scary example of the human race.

I was like that about ten minutes ago. Then I had coffee.

Make that two cups of your basic Colombian blend, a cappuccino, a double-shot of espresso and a handful of chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Now I am a truly frightening example of a sentient being.

I. Am. Hyper.

Scary hyper. Bouncing in my chair hyper. Lack of rational behavior hyper.

Make note of that last one, cause Clark just walked in. And I think I'm about to do something monumentally stupid.

Clark just walked right over and sat down without a word. He's obviously in la-la land. Or is that Lana land? Ooooohh, mentally slapping my own hand for that one.

Well, obviously he isn't going to speak anytime soon, so I'll speak first.

"Quarter for your thoughts."

Clark glanced up, a little surprised.

"What, the going rate on thoughts changed?"

"Inflation."

"Ah, well...it's just..." He's waffling. Oh boy. Definitely Lana land.

"Okay, I'm going to tell you, but you have to keep it a secret."

He's giving me this really intense look now. Kinda sexy. Mental slap. Down girl. Focus. Still with the intense look. Oh, he's waiting for a response.

"Yeah, yeah, secret. Got it. Now talk."

"Okay, well, the other night when I went over to Lana's to work on the blood drive, something happened."

"I'm not going to be an aunt am I?"

Oops, that one just popped right out. Clark looks confused for about five seconds then turns bright red. I just raise an eyebrow. What, I'm supposed to feel guilty? Where's the fun in that!

"Chloe!" Indignant Clark. How cute. And he's trying to glare at me too. I could pinch his cheeks. But I won't. Sit on the hands just to be sure. He's talking again. Better pay attention.

"Lana and I were on her porch talking. You know, about stuff in general, and, I don't know, we were shoulder to shoulder, and things got really intense."

Whoa, wait a minute. Is this heading where I think it's heading? No. Make that "Hell no!"

Clark's eyes just got really big. Oh shit, that was out loud too.

"Um, I just saw Kim Veederman and David Mann making out in front of the hardware store." Nice save Chloe.

Clark just gave me a really odd look that time.

"Anyway," he gritted out. "We were talking, and we started leaning toward each other and...Chloe, I swear, we were about to kiss, and Nell came out."

Mental applause to Aunty Nell. Good timing girlfriend!

"Wow Clark! So, what happened? Did Nell go back in and Lana jump you, or did she run screaming, or, Oh! I've got it! The two of you made a pact never to speak of your illicit love again. No, wait. Nell chased you across the yard with a baseball bat - no, better a pom-pom!" The hands were flying with that one. Wow, I'm surprised I didn't take flight.

Clark is in full-on steely-eyed glare mode now. "Planning on letting me finish anytime soon?"

"Yep, okay, you talk. I'll listen. No more interrupting. I'll zip it. Not say a word. Okay, I'm shutting up now."

Clark's exasperated, I can tell, but he's already started, so he'll go through to the end. I know my Clarky. Clarky?

"We actually just sort of made plans to watch the sunset from the loft."

I raise an eyebrow. Oh, so the Fortress of Solitude is now the Fortress of Luuuuv?

"But when Lana came over, I just couldn't do it. I was prepared to make my move, but I couldn't butt in while she and Whitney are still together. So now, not only are Lana and I still just friends, but she sort of knows how I feel."

He looks so glum while he's saying this. I thank God that I had the foresight to sit in a booth in an unobtrusive corner. I make my move quick. Get out, slide in beside him and throw an arm around his shoulders, then give him a big squeeze. A nice, friendly, comforting hug.

It was Clark's turn to do the raised eyebrow thing. I just smiled. Hey, what could I say? Nothing, I can't talk, remember?

Clark's still looking at me questioningly. We're really close right now. He's got this cute pucker between his eyebrows when he's confused. "What was that for?"

I just grin and point at my mouth. Hey, he was the one who told me to shut it.

Clark looks at my mouth, since that is where I'm pointing, but it looks like being slow on the uptake is extending throughout this warped conversation. Cause instead of telling me I can talk now, he gets this look in his eyes. He glances back up, catches my gaze, then Bam!, the eyes go back to my mouth. And he bites his lip. I have to hold myself back from leaning forward and biting that lip myself.

I'm having trouble breathing. I swear, my caffeine-addled brain can't handle the overload. Clark is looking at me like he might kiss me. Me! Not Lana (although I have the overwhelming urge to check and make sure Nell is nowhere around to interrupt us).

His eyes have gotten really smoky...and huge. Of course that might be because our faces are closer together. I can actually feel his breath on my face. I think my heart is going to explode out of my chest.

I suddenly realize my lips are dry, so logic dictates I lick my lips. And Clark's eyes go back to my lips and I actually hear him gasp.

And as would have to happen, since I have the luck of a squirrel on the New Jersey Turnpike during rush hour, instead of a mind-numbing kiss, I get "So, you guys haven't been waiting long for me, have you?"

Clark practically jumped to the other side of the bench seat of the booth as Pete plopped his sorry butt into the other side. Clark's eyes are large as saucers and he's staring at his hands, where he's systematically taken up shredding a napkin.

I have to figure out what just happened here. From the look on Pete's face, he knows exactly what he just interrupted. Bastard. Jerk. Grrrrrrr.

Okay, gotta get out of here before, in a caffeine and hormone induced rage, I tear one of my best friends limb from limb. I barely take the time to grab my purse as I leap from the table. I probably got about two steps before Pete says, "Bye Chloe," in this smarmy way that grates on my nerves. Glancing back, I shoot him a death glare, and as I glance at Clark's bent head one last time, I see on the table a bent, mangled coffee spoon. Curious.

But self-preservation skills being what they are, I'm hightailing it out of here it as fast as I can. I don't want to be around when Clark comes to his senses and realizes that he almost made the biggest mistake of his life. Cause why would Clark Kent want to kiss me, Chloe Sullivan?

End Chloe's POV


Pete's POV, The Beanery

Late to meet Clark and Chloe for coffee again. Okay, just run in; place my order, dash to the table and hope Chloe is nice with the jokes about tardiness today.

While I'm waiting to be waited on, I look for my friends. Currently, Clark and Chloe are sitting near the back in a booth. They haven't noticed me yet. Probably has something to do with the really intense look Clark has on his face. My guess is Lana trouble. The boy has many patented looks, and this is the Lana trouble look.

Now Chloe, she's...I swear, she's actually vibrating! Bouncing in her seat. On her hands. Why is she sitting on her hands?

"What can I get you?"

Jeez. I shoot a dirty look at the waitress. Did she have to be so loud? And so jarring?

"Um, coffee, black."

Okay, back to the waiting. You would think a cup of black coffee would be quick. Nothing, I repeat nothing, in Smallville is ever quick.

I glance toward Chloe and Clark just in time to see her leap from her side of the table to Clark's side. Well, well, well, what have we here?

The waitress FINALLY brings me my coffee and I'm free to join my friends. As I'm winding my way through the crowd of after school patrons, I get the shock of my life. Chloe and Clark, my two best friends, are centimeters - make that millimeters - away from a serious PDA. They're about to kiss.

Now, if I know Clark, and believe me I do, he's gonna freak out when he realizes what's going on. Maybe during the kiss, maybe after. I don't know which, but either way, Chloe's gonna get hurt.

Now, Clark's my man, my best friend. And I love him like a brother. But (and I'll deny this to my dying day) I love Chloe more. You know, in that whole sisterly, wholesome way. And I know it's up to me to help her save face.

"So, you guys haven't been waiting long for me, have you?"

Chloe's giving me this completely shocked look as I'm sitting down, and I swear Clark is trying to squeeze through the side of the booth. And then Chloe's shock becomes somewhat evil.

And all I can think is "Mommy."

Okay, maybe if I smile at her, she won't hurt me. Uh oh, nope. It's only a matter of time till I die.

Chloe is now grabbing her stuff and running for the door. I throw a "Bye Chloe" after her, which earns me another evil look. I think that one actually burned me. As soon as she's out of sight I turn to Clark, whom I think has actually stopped breathing.

"Clark, you okay?"

He blinks really hard and just looks at me for a moment.

"Gotta go," he says, jumping to his feet. And then he's gone too.

Well, this was fun. I manage to keep my two best friends from really hurting each other and yet I'm the one left alone. Figures.

Something catches my eye from across the table. A bent, mangled spoon. I pick it up and study it for a second. You know, I could swear there are finger impressions in the metal.

I play with it for a moment, then slip it into my pocket.

Remind me never to be late again.

End Pete's POV


Lex's POV - An unobtrusive table at The Beanery

Never let it be said that teenagers can't be entertaining. Because right now, watching this fascinating dance between Clark and Chloe is far more amusing than an afternoon spent humiliating my father's lackeys.

For the past few minutes, I've been watching Clark and Chloe have a rather animated discussion. Well, Chloe is animated. Clark just looks irritated.

They didn't notice me when they each came in. I had tucked myself back in a corner so I could people watch. There's so much you can learn just by watching. But I digress.

From my vantagepoint, I can see Clark clearly, and the back of Chloe's head. She's been bouncing in her seat for the past five minutes. Probably all that coffee she's had. Maybe she should have an IV hooked up. A straight shot to the system.

I can tell that whatever they're talking about has Clark pretty, well, I guess bummed would be the best term. Three guesses what's bummed him out. And the first two don't count. Can that boy look any more pitiful?

Ah, now Chloe's hands are fluttering about. A sign of the truly hyper. I take back what I said about the IV. Chloe and caffeine are a dangerous combination.

Clark is looking more irritated by the moment. It's cute. He looks like a pissed off puppy - not intimidating in the least. Especially not to Chloe.

And there she went. I knew she wouldn't be able to sit still for long. She's off to the...other side of the booth. You know, I would have thought the bathroom. That girl must have an iron bladder. Maybe it's those meteor rocks. Good side effect.

Ah, Clark gets a hug from the cute, bubbly blonde. Let me amend that. In that top, she's a cute, bubbly, busty blonde. Chloe, Chloe, where have you been hiding?

You know, Clark is so lucky to have friends like that. Willing to give you a br...I mean shoulder, to cry on. Mind out of the gutter, Lex. Maybe I should give up coffee too.

Now Clark looks confused. If I were standing behind him, I would smack him. Come on, you can't be that dense. She's being a good friend. A friendly hug. A comforting gesture. Somebody get the boy a clue.

And apparently Chloe is giving him one. She's pointing at her mouth. What am I missing here? Because that was highly suggestive.

I'd say Clark agrees with my assessment. He just went from confused to hungry in 2.6 seconds. Chloe appears to have caught on too. I can feel the heat all the way over here. Maybe I better just loosen my tie.

I think I'm going to have to ask the waitress to throw some ice water on those two, or the after school clientele will be getting an up close and personal sex education. Or at least a lesson in make-out techniques.

A movement out of the corner of my eye pulls me away from Clark and Chloe. It looks like it's going to be Pete Ross who breaks up this little party.

Oh God. I just blew hot coffee out of my nose. That hurt. But that was so funny. When Pete sat down across from them, Clark literally jumped to the other side of the bench. I'm surprised he didn't make a dent in the wall. And Chloe. That look is hot enough to singe every hair on my head. You know. If I had hair. Which I don't.

Maybe I should ask the waitress to get a body bag instead.

Luckily for Pete, Chloe is getting out of here fast. Clark is catatonic. I don't think he's moved since that initial leap. He looks up suddenly with that choirboy caught in the headlights look, then runs for the exit himself. That leaves poor Mr. Ross all by himself.

Ah, another interesting installment from As Smallville Turns has come to an end. People watching is definitely educational. Maybe I need to rethink my matchmaking.

End Lex's POV


Clark POV - On the street outside the Beanery

My week had better get better, cause it certainly can't get worse. I have to say, being a teenager sucks. It really does. All the posturing that guys do, plus crazy hormones, then add in girls, and it all goes haywire.

Right now, I am confused. Very confused. Like I walked into the middle of a play and don't know my lines confused. Girls will do that to you. Oh, why not admit it. Lana will do that to you. Or at least to me.

I just noticed the time. Here I am walking aimlessly down the street, and I'm supposed to be meeting Chloe and Pete for coffee. If I don't hurry, Chloe will have drunk a gallon of coffee by the time I get there. Pete I don't have to worry about. He's always late. But Chloe. Let's just say Chloe and caffeine have a tempestuous love affair that often ends with a third party being the unwitting victim.

Ah, the Beanery. As I'm walking through the door, I catch sight of some poor waitress dumping coffee on a customer. Which brings me full circle back to Lana. And her failed waitressing job, which gives her lots of time to plan things, like blood drives. And then...

"Quarter for your thoughts."

Okay, somehow, in the middle of all my thoughts of Lana, I made it over to the booth where Chloe is sitting. She caught me by surprise there.

"What, the going rate on thoughts changed?"

"Inflation."

"Ah, well...it's just..." To tell her or not to tell her, that is the question. Rely on Chloe for moral support or spill my guts and supply fuel to the Clark's-crush-on-Lana fire. Ah, the dilemma.

"Okay, I'm going to tell you, but you have to keep it a secret."

I give her a stern look in the hopes that it will convey the seriousness of the situation. Maybe I should make her take a blood oath to not tease me. Wait, is she even paying attention?

Chloe just snapped to and said, "Yeah, yeah, secret. Got it. Now talk."

"Okay, well, the other night when I went over to Lana's to work on the blood drive, something happened."

Deep breath for the next part.

"I'm not going to be an aunt am I?"

Huh? What is she...oh! It hit me like a ton of bricks. Sex. With Lana. Lana naked. Thoughts I quickly shied away from, but which led to other thoughts of other naked people. Like Chloe.

I slam a mental door on that imagery. With Victoria Hardwick as my only contact with a naked female, the image of Chloe has some definite...attributes. My face feels like it's on fire. Okay, think sisterly thoughts. Friendly, innocuous, chummy, Chloe thoughts.

Of course then she raises an eyebrow at me like she knows what I was thinking.

"Chloe!"

I focus my best glare on her. What's with her today? I've barely started my story and she's already riding my case.

And did she just sit on her hands?!?

Shake it off Clark, just keep on talking.

"Lana and I were on her porch talking. You know, about stuff in general, and, I don't know, we were shoulder to shoulder, and things got really intense."

"Hell no!"

What? Did someone replace Chloe with an alien? Strike that. Make that a really weird clone. Or something.

"Um, I just saw Kim Veederman and David Mann making out in front of the hardware store."

Yep, really weird clone. Who is irritating at this moment. Can't I get through one story without being interrupted?

"Anyway," I grit out. "We were talking, and we started leaning toward each other and...Chloe, I swear, we were about to kiss, and Nell came out."

A whole sentence. The second to most important sentence that will be said in this entire conversation. I can practically see the sarcastic comment forming in her brain before it comes out.

"Wow Clark! So, what happened? Did Nell go back in and Lana jump you, or did she run screaming, or, Oh! I've got it! The two of you made a pact never to speak of your illicit love again. No, wait. Nell chased you across the yard with a baseball bat - no, better a pom-pom!"

I'm taking Chloe to Coffeeaholics Anonymous tomorrow. We'll have an intervention. Something. Because this is ridiculous. My god, she almost swiped the table clean she was gesturing so hard.

"Planning on letting me finish anytime soon?"

"Yep, okay, you talk. I'll listen. No more interrupting. I'll zip it. Not say a word. Okay, I'm shutting up now."

She doesn't even look sheepish. Just hyper. And bouncy. Nice shirt. Okay, it's official. I have gone insane, right along with Chloe. I did not just ogle one of my friends. I better finish my story before I do something I'll regret.

"We actually just sort of made plans to watch the sunset from the loft. But when Lana came over, I just couldn't do it. I was prepared to make my move, but I couldn't butt in while she and Whitney are still together. So now, not only are Lana and I still just friends, but she sort of knows how I feel."

By the time I've finished, I'm back to being upset about Lana and away from naughty Chloe thoughts. Well, mostly.

And Chloe just slid in beside me. I didn't even see her get up. Who has the superspeed? But now she's sitting beside me with her arm around my shoulder, squeezing me and grinning like an idiot.

I raise an eyebrow in question. "What was that for?"

And of course her response is to point to her mouth. Oh yeah, she shut up. She's not talking. But her mouth is...

And right then my thoughts go back to naughty Chloe territory. I try tearing my eyes from her mouth. And catch the look in her eyes, which seems to be mirroring my own. Which makes me look again at her lips. I bite my lip, trying to bring myself back to reality.

This is nothing like when Lana and I almost kissed. That was a buzz. This is a full-on adrenaline rush. I can't help it. I grab what feels like a spoon so I don't grab Chloe.

I swear, I can hear her heart beating. And I can feel her breath on my face.

And then she licks her lips. I can't help it. My gasp probably was heard by the old man who always sits at the counter. Who cares. I'm about 5 seconds away from making out with Chloe in the high school's afternoon hotspot.

"So, you guys haven't been waiting long for me, have you?"

Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I think I cracked the wall when I hit it. Pete is now sitting across from us, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. I grab a napkin and start shredding so I won't reach over and punch him. Putting your friend in a coma is not a good thing.

I think Chloe just growled. Sexy. I have got to stop thinking like this! I mean, it's Chloe! One of my best friends since 8th grade. She's a buddy. A friend. Who would probably freak out if she knew the thoughts going through my head. We're friends. Friends don't have these kinds of thoughts about other friends.

"Clark, you okay?"

Okay, Chloe's gone and Pete looks worried. This is not the best place to do serious soul-searching, or more importantly, serious repression.

"Gotta go."

And I'm outta here. This is just...too much. I mean...Chloe. I just can't deal with this. It's too much. Way too much. I'll concentrate on Lana instead. Nice, safe Lana. I'll pretend that what almost happened with Chloe didn't. Denial is a great state to live in. Now if only I didn't have to go to school tomorrow.

THE END



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