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30 May 2015 @ 03:37 pm
By: jlvsclrk
Username of the requester: futurescribbler
The prompt: Chloe rules scrabble
Title: Scrabble
Pairing: Clark/Chloe
Type of fill: Fic
Rating: G
Summary: Clark and Chloe survive their first day of high school and celebrate with a little game of scrabble. (pre-Pilot)
For the svsunkenships challenge.

Chloe stared down at the Scrabble board and growled, audibly. “You’re just being lucky,” she grumbled.

Clark simply smiled at her and Chloe flushed. She knew luck had little to do with scoring 90 points after being stuck with three ‘I’s, a ‘U’, a ‘Y’, a ‘T’ and an ‘N ’[i].

“Sorry,” she mumbled. “I’m just not used to losing. At Scrabble at least.” She seldom had, not even as a young girl playing with her parents, in those hazy days before mom deserted them. Chloe lived for words and played with them the way some girls played with Barbie.

“Pete warned you, didn’t he?” Clark looked a little worried as he handed her the bag so she could pick a new set of tiles for him. Apparently it was an old Kent tradition, dating back to when he’d found it too hard to pick out the tiles himself. He’d gone on to win his first game at 8 and had never looked back. It said something about Clark that Pete never resented him for that – Clark was a good winner.

Chloe handed him 7 new tiles and sighed when she accidentally spotted the Z. This was getting serious. She fiddled with her own letters for several minutes, knowing she had to score big to stay in the game. Then it hit her. “Spandex! With the X on triple, so that’s 24, plus 7, so 31. And there’s a double word score so that’s 62. Plus 50 for the bonus. And 11 more for hanging the ‘S’ off your ‘Griddle’. So that’s, umm….”

“123,” Clark finished for her, having already written it down. “You’re now ahead by 6. Only a few rounds left now.” He smiled at her and started shuffling through his own letters.

Chloe checked his face for any sign of resentment but he seemed genuinely happy for her. “How’d you get so good at Scrabble, Clark? I took you for the outdoors-y type.” She gestured with her arms at the barn in which they were playing.

“And farm boys don’t read?” he teased.

She flushed. “I thought you guys were always busy – we barely saw each other all summer long! And most of the guys around here only care about football – they can barely spell their own names! Why’d you turn out so different?”

Clark was silent and Chloe’s flush deepened. She’d done it again. Found something odd, got too excited, pushed too hard, and alienated another friend. She started to apologize.

“No, it’s okay,” said Clark. “It’s just… You know I’m an orphan, right?” At Chloe’s nod, he resumed, “When I was first adopted, I didn’t speak much – just babble really. And as time went by, I spoke less and less. Mom and dad were really worried and talked about taking me for tests but… I seemed happy enough. Ate plenty, ran around all day, seemed to understand them well enough. So they started using flash cards, and I picked it up really fast and quickly moved on to books. I must have read the Velveteen Rabbit a hundred times – mom had to buy three copies. And I’ve never stopped really.” He grinned and leaned forward. “It’s a secret though,” he whispered. “Don’t tell any of the jocks.”

Chloe rolled her eyes but silently acknowledged the wisdom of Clark lying low. The football and basketball teams – not to mention the junior varsity and practice squads and the cheerleaders – ruled Smallville High with a pigskin fist. She sighed.

“This place drives me crazy. Am I the only one thinking about getting into university on good old academic merit?”

“Probably.” Clark’s grin was blinding.

“Humph. Makes sense though. Fat chance of getting a scholarship with the lack of extra-curriculars here. Not even a debate team.” Chloe tried to keep her tone light but she was genuinely peeved.

Clark’s smile dimmed. “Yeah, it’s a kinda frustrating. Mom’s doing her best with the PTA, but she says it’s like herding cats. They lost a lot of teachers over the past years and the new ones seem intimidated by Coach Arnold and his supporters, so they’re lying low.”

Chloe sighed glumly. “The cult of football reigns supreme.”

She sighed again when Clark played the word ‘exorcize’ for 125 points, putting the game out of reach. “Well, that was fun.” She noticed a worried look on Clark’s face and hastened to add, “No, really. I don’t like losing but… It’s fun to be able to play your best and not have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings.”

Clark’s expression cleared. “I know what you mean. Pete’s a good sport but…”

“Yeah. We need to find something that all three of us can do together. And no, I’m not going to work on my jump shot!”

Clark laughed. “You know, I was thinking… Mom knows Mrs. Gunderson pretty well.” Mrs. Gunderson had been teaching at Smallville High for nearly 30 years, and her AP English classes were equally feared and admired. “I’ll bet mom could convince her to take us on.”

“You mean?” Chloe hardly dared hope.

“They shut down the student newspaper a couple of years back for lack of interest. But if mom can get Mrs. Gunderson on our side…”

Chloe tried to control her enthusiasm but failed. “Do you really think it’ll work?”

“I don’t see why not. I’ve been delivering pies to Mrs. Gunderson for years now. She’s a really generous lady despite her reputation at the school. I’m betting she’ll sign on once she sees your enthusiasm. It won’t exactly be the Daily Planet, but you’re right. There’s not much for the geeks to do at school.”

Chloe mock-scowled. “You calling me a geek, Kent?”

“Yup. You’re smart and you’re not going to pretend you’re not. If something excites you, you let the whole world know it. That makes you a geek, and that makes you my friend.”

Chloe swallowed an unexpected lump in her throat. “Why, Clark Kent, you do say the nicest things.”

She gave him a quick hug, then grabbed his arm to lead him out the barn door. “Come on, Clark. We need to get cracking, or I’m never going to get to sleep tonight. We need to talk to your mom, like, now. I’ve got a newspaper to run!”

[i] Clark's word was 'iniquity', using Chloe's Q, and landing on a double word score.
Lisameridian_rose on May 31st, 2015 09:33 am (UTC)
Very enjoyable. I like the idea that Clark's mom maybe helped restart the newspaper, another nice link between Chloe and the Kent family :)
Jen: Cheers! by lieslchenjlvsclrk on June 2nd, 2015 03:48 am (UTC)
Thank you! I always had trouble figuring out how a freshman got to be the editor of the school newspaper after less than a month, then figured the Torch must have been shut down before she revived it. She could have done it by herself by pestering the staff at school: in this story, Martha just makes it easier by providing the right introductions.
tasabiantasabian on June 2nd, 2015 03:05 am (UTC)
aw, that's very cute & seems very true to the characters in S1 and their friendship.
Jen: Cheers! by lieslchenjlvsclrk on June 2nd, 2015 03:56 am (UTC)
Awww, thank you. I adore young Clark and Choe together.

I thought about writing an 'R" rated version where Chloe kept handing Clark combinations that spelled words like 'breasts' and 'seducing'. Clark gets more and more flustered until Chloe relents and gives him a quick kiss that turns into something more. But I suck at writing even moderately sexy scenes. *sigh*
futurescribblerfuturescribbler on June 2nd, 2015 05:52 pm (UTC)
That story was so sweet. Thank-you. I love that Chloe respects him for playing his best and Clark telling her how he got into reading so much. I also loved how we found out about the opening of The Torch etc. So brilliant. But Martha you don't herd cats, you put an open can of tuna on the floor and wait for them to come to you. :D

Brilliant story! I'm so glad that you chose to to do this prompt.