So. This is all unbeta-ed ridiculousness. I mean, true ridiculousness. I can't even -- *waves hand vaguely* It's almost completely unjustifiable, this ridiculousness.
Except -- it was asked for. And so here it is...because, because I'm a *giver*.
Clark had withstood lightening strikes, bullets, innumerable beatings, several car accidents. He’d been thrown off of buildings and bitten by hundreds of different kinds of wild/mutant animals -- and people, come to think of it. He had been shot by modified missiles and souped up rockets, and the worst that had ever happened to him was a bruise or two, excepting only anything involving kryptonite.
This wasn’t a surprise, as Clark was, in fact, invulnerable. And being invulnerable made a man confident in his health, which was, well, quite frankly perfect.
Clark could see now, though, as he stared down at the red blotches on his arms, that he had been lulled into a false sense of security.
“I’m allergic to…beets?” Clark echoed, staring up at his doctor. “You’re kidding me, right?”
“I’m afraid not,” the man said kindly, as he wrote out a prescription. “This should help bring the itching down.”
“But…*beets*?” Clark whined again, resisting the urge to scratch.
The doctor only nodded. In the corner, Lex had a hand over his mouth and was staring at the ground, but Clark could see his shoulders moving with laughter, and made a mental note to exact a terrible revenge at some later date.
“You’ve been laid low by ghoulash, Clark,” Lex said, voice trembling with barely contained hysterics.
Clark briefly considered lighting him on fire with his eyes, but decided against it. Someone needed to pick up the calamine lotion.
“How…how long will it last? The hives?” Clark asked the doctor, anxiously. “I mean…this is normal, right? To have this many of them?”
“Well, a week before they go away is normal, I”d say,” the doctor responded. “You should be fine with a little anti-histamine of some kind. Don’t worry.”
“But – a *week*?!” Clark squeaked. “I’m…it’s going to itch for a full…that’s *seven days*, you realize that, right?”
Lex doubled over in the corner, and the doctor patted Clark’s shoulder, comfortingly. “You’ll live,” he said before leaving the examination room.
“Are you *sure*?!” Clark called after him, and Lex cackled. Clark turned his head slowly toward Lex, feeling his teeth grind as he clenched his jaw. “Lex, I’m so glad you’re finding this funny.”
“It’s just,” Lex said helplessly as he tried to stop laughing, “you’re…it’s…ghoulash, Clark! If the secret got out – Superman felled by Eastern European cuisine!” He dissolved into giggles.
Clark glared. “I could have you replaced,” he muttered darkly, and Lex just wiped his eyes, straightening.
“No, you couldn’t. You destroyed my father’s cloning lab, remember?” Lex reminded him, running a hand over his head.
“And it seemed like such a good idea at the time,” Clark mused.
“C’mon, blotchy,” Lex said, tugging at Clark’s hand. “Let’s go get you into an oatmeal bath.”
“It’s always about getting my clothes off with you, isn’t it?” Clark groused.
Lex winked at him. “Every chance I get.”
“Okay,” Chloe whispered as she peered around the corner, watching the brown fabric of the janitor’s jacket as he went through the double doors into the gymnasium and out of sight, “we go…*now*, Lana!”
Moving quickly and quietly, the two of them slipped down the hallway and into the music room, slumping with relief against the door when it closed behind them as they caught their breath.
“Did you get it?” Chloe asked, looking over at Lana, who smiled and held up a video tape.
“In my hot little hand,” Lana said, tossing it to Chloe. “Now you can rest easy, knowing that no one else will ever see you singing Livin’ La Vida Loca who hasn’t.”
“So it’s just you, me, and Wendell Dobbs, Captain of the AV crew,” Chloe said, closing her eyes with relief. “Thank *God*.”
Lana giggled. “You really didn’t know the camera was on when you did that?”
“No!” Chloe protested, starting to laugh helplessly, too. “I was just…I’d been singing it all day! And…and…I was in the theater talking to Mrs. Wagner and she stepped out for a second, and – “
“How many espressos had you had?” Lana asked, raising an eyebrow slyly.
“I – several,” Chloe admitted, with a grin, tucking the video tape into her purse.
“It’s a good thing Wendall said something, or else that would have ended up – “ Lana began, but Chloe cut her off.
“I can’t even think about that,” she moaned. “I mean – I do the little dance and everything, Lana!”
“I know,” Lana laughed. “I’ve seen you do it!” She shook her head from side to side, and waved her arms in the air, as her hips scooted from side to side on the floor, mimicking Chloe’s dance.
Chloe pressed a hand ot her mouth, trying to suppress hysterical laughter. “Do I really look like *that*?”
“You really do,” Lana admitted between giggles. “And you do purse your lips to the side – it’s – it’s ---“
Chloe clutched her purse closer, face pinkening. “Oh God,” she murmured, in distress. “I…it’s a good thing I got this.”
“It really is,” Lana said, still laughing.
“Hey,” Chloe said, poking Lana lightly in the thigh. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” Lana told her, with a sweet smile. “It was fun.”
“It was. Besides, Black Ops Lana is something I didn’t think I’d ever get to see,” Chloe said, grinning.
“First time for everything,” Lana said cheerfully.
Nifra was standing on the bridge of the watch tower, staring at her reflection in the glass.
“My hair,” she said, “ is long and scarlet.”
“It’s short and dark brown,” said a rough voice from behind her, dismissively.
“My hair,” she repeated more forcefully, ignoring Batman,“is *long* and *scarlet*. With waves. Lots and lots of waves.”
Nifra rolled her eyes, and continued. “And my eyes are a bright, bright green. Like…grass. Or emeralds.”
“Your eyes,” Batman corrected coming up to stand beside her at the bridge, “are brown. Just like your hair.”
“You know,” Nifra said, turning to him. “It’s bad enough that it’s just you and me on the ship tonight. Couldn’t you, maybe, be somewhere else? I’m trying to – I’m trying to *work*, here.”
“This is *work*?” Batman asked, voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Yes,” Nifra bit off, crossing her arms. “It’s…I’m…I’m working on my…misdirection technique. For when we get invaded by space creatures.”
“You mean aliens.”
Nifra sighed heavily, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. “Yes, fine, aliens. Okay? Aliens. I’m practicing my misdirection techniques so that if, like, crazy cucumber shaped aliens board the watchtower and I’m all alone and they want to know where you are, I can, you know, *misdirect* them.”
Batman narrowed his eyes. “Into thinking you have red hair and green eyes?”
Nifra threw up her hands in despair and stomped her foot. “No! Into thinking that you’re in Tahiti or something, rather than being in Gotham or wherever you happen to be doing whatever psychotic thing you happen to be doing at the time you – you – you galoot!”
“Galoot?” Batman echoed, tiliting his head to the side.
“It’s ah…it’s a perfectly good word,” Nifra said, tilting her chin at a defensive angle. “A *fine* word, in fact, and I – don’t you have something to be *doing*? Isn’t there someone out there with a hangnail or something that you can go harass? Or, hey, how about you go flirt with your crazy cat girlfriend?”
“You realize that many aliens are psychic,” Batman said, ignoring Nifra’s outburst. “So any…misdirection…would probably be fruitless.”
“Well at least I’ll go down trying,” Nifra said, walking over to her desk. “That’s me. I give 110%.”
“You haven’t filed anything in weeks,” Batman shot back, gesturing at the precarious stacks of paper on her desk. “I’d hardly even call that 40%.”
“I,” Nifra told him primly, “have been trying a new system.”
“That system being to leave everything on your desk where it could easily be lost?” Batman asked.
Nifra shook her head, a haughty expression on her face. “I’m sure it’s too complicated to explain to you.”
“Try me,” Batman said with a sharp grin.
“There are maybe five hundred other rooms in this ship!” Nifra practically yelled. “Five hundred other rooms and *this* is the one you have to be in? Why? Wouldn’t you rather be…trying to navigate the gym by echolocation or something?!”
Batman said nothing, merely standing there, cape hanging down over his shoulders. Nifra stared at him for a moment, before shaking her head in disgust. “You’re so annoying.”
And then Batman did something truly terrifying: he smiled.