Girls Aren't So Bright Either
“Well, that was…awkward,” announced Dawn as soon as the girls were safely in the bathroom at the high school, out of earshot of the guys. Ostensibly, they’d gone in to powder their noses but in reality, they went together for the same reason girls always go to the bathroom together: to talk about the guys.
“No it wasn’t,” replied both Lana and Chloe.
Dawn cocked an eyebrow at them. “Uh, yes it was. What truck were you two in?”
“Ok, so maybe it was a little awkward,” conceded Chloe.
“Between Lana being all frowny and pensive…”
“I was not being frowny, I was thinking,” cut in Lana.
“Whatever…and Clark looking at Chloe like she’s the creature from the Blue Lagoon…”
Chloe frowned and examined herself in the mirror. “Don’t you mean the creature from the Black Lagoon?”
“No, I mean Blue Lagoon. Brooke Shields was hot in that movie.”
All three girls laughed.
Dawn continued. “And Pete describing how Whitney had crashed his last three trucks…”
Lana giggled. “He does seem to have bad luck with them.”
“It was awkward,” finished Dawn.
“I guess it was,” admitted Lana, smoothing down the front of her dress. The dress was a dusky pink, it was very pretty, very traditional and very…Lana.
Dawn was wearing a long blue dress, similar to the one Willow had worn years before. Buffy had warned her when she picked it out about ‘clothes flukes’, kisses caused by the wearing of formal wear. Dawn was also wearing gloves, long white ones that reached past her elbows and accentuated how tall and elegant she was.
Chloe turned and looked over her shoulder at the mirror, making sure that the low back of her figure-hugging red dress wasn’t flashing her knickers.
“Nice tattoo,” remarked Dawn, taking a closer look. The ink on Chloe’s skin that had so intrigued Clark was a miniature outline of the Metropolis skyline, with the globe on top of the Daily Planet clearly visible.
“We should be getting back out there,” sighed Lana.
“It’s just a dance, not a torture chamber,” murmured Dawn before propelling the others before her out into the gym where the dance was in full swing.
While the girls were in the bathroom, the boys were getting fidgety. Pete turned to Clark. “What’s up with you man?”
“What?” said Clark, feigning ignorance.
“You almost twisted your head off staring at Chloe on the way here.” Getting no response other than a wistful look, Pete tried appealing to Whitney. “Didn’t he?”
But Whitney wasn’t there. Consumed by his own thoughts he’d retreated to the snacks table and poured himself a cup of punch.
Clark and Pete thought that Whitney had seen a half-dressed Lana through the telescope. But he hadn’t. What Whitney had seen was a naked Dawn and she was the most glorious creature he had ever laid eyes on. And then there were her scars. There were long narrow ones down each arm and a series of short ones criss-crossing her stomach and thighs. She had known pain and that made Whitney feel…protective? Connected? He wasn’t sure. But he knew that he would never allow anyone to hurt her again. Clark was Lana’s knight-in-shining-armour and Whitney had decided, in that moment, that he was going to be Dawn’s.
That night wasn’t the first time Whitney had thought about Dawn. Since the first day she’d appeared at Smallville High, Whitney had known there was something different about Dawn Summers. There was a sadness in her being that she could hide from others but not from him. She couldn’t hide it from him because he was also hiding something and he knew the signs: seeming alone in a crowd, pretending to have something in your eye when you’re about to cry and smiles that never quite reached the eyes.
By the time Whitney wandered back from the snack table, the dance was in full swing. The others were crazy-dancing in a circle to the tunes of Smash Mouth. Chloe and Dawn were trying to get Lana to do the Twist and the Mash Potato while Pete was attempting, unsuccessfully, to teach the ever-uncoordinated Clark some fancy footwork. Putting a smile firmly in place, Whitney joined them and proved to be a better dancer than Clark but nowhere near the calibre of Pete. Maybe there’s something to be said for racial stereotypes after all, he thought, as Pete grabbed Lana’s hand and twirled past him.
The six were seated at a table eating and laughing when the DJ announced a slow song and Whitney rose and took Lana’s hand out of habit. Lana followed her boyfriend onto the dance floor somewhat reluctantly. She was so busy trying to think of a way to broach the subject of their relationship that she didn’t notice the distance he was keeping between them, or that he was angling them towards the outside door.
Lana was oblivious to all this until the cool night air hit her bare arms, making her shiver. Whitney took off his jacket and put it around her shoulders and said, “We need to talk.”
Lana looked up at him with her big brown eyes and retorted, “That sounds ominous, but yeah, we do.”
That was a very Dawn-thing to say, thought Whitney. I like it.
Lana was speaking while Whitney was daydreaming about another brunette. “…what do you think?”
“I’m sorry?” Whitney noticed the annoyed look on his girlfriend’s face. “This is a bit much to take in. Can you explain what you mean?”
Lana sighed. “I just think our relationship has been over for a while and we’ve had a hard time admitting to ourselves and each other. I think we should break up.”
Whitney tried hard not to smile but failed. “I agree. No hard feelings. Friends?”
“Friends,” agreed Lana, allowing Whitney to engulf her in a hug.
The was a half-gasp, half-sob sound from the doorway and Whitney looked up just in time to see Dawn fleeing back inside. He disentangled himself from his now ex-girlfriend and rushed after her.
Should I try to look surprised?, thought Lana as she followed them both back to the dance.
After Whitney and Lana hit the floor, Clark turned to Chloe with a hopeful look on his face. “Would you like to dance?” Chloe glanced at Dawn who gave her the ‘play it cool’ signal.
Chloe smiled. “Maybe later.”
Pete was building a tower with potato chips when Dawn noticed that Lana and Whitney had disappeared. “Must have gone outside to talk,” said Clark.
“You mean to break up,” put in Pete, who was not as oblivious as people thought.
A few days ago, hell, a few hours ago, that statement would have filled Clark with hope and joy. Now, it meant nothing. The object of his affection was sitting right next to him and he wanted nothing more than to fly away with her. That is, if he could fly and if he weren’t afraid of heights.
“I hope Lana won’t be too upset,” whispered Dawn to Chloe.
“I’m sure she won’t,” smirked Chloe. “They were dating because he was a football player and she was a cheerleader but now she’s not a cheerleader and they don’t have anything in common anymore.”
Dawn nodded. “I might just go see if they’re ok.” Hopes high, Dawn walked across the floor to the main doors only to have her dreams dashed when she saw the man of her dreams embracing his girlfriend.
“Dawn! Dawn!” Whitney was in the middle of the dance floor with everyone looking at him and he didn’t care.
Dawn turned around, tears threatening to spill out of her shining eyes onto her cheeks. “What?”
Just then, another slow song, Wild Horses by the Sundays, came over the speakers. “Dance with me.” He pulled her into his arms and held her close.
Dawn pulled away a little. “What about…?”
“Lana? Over.” Whitney buried his face in her hair and inhaled. Dancing with Dawn, who was only an inch or two shorter than him was so different to dancing with the tiny Lana. He rested his forehead against hers and gazed into her eyes. “You are the only girl for me Dawn Summers. If you’ll have me.”
Dawn wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him deeply.
“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.” Whitney smiled, the light reaching his eyes for the first time in a long time.
Chloe looked away. She was glad that Dawn and Whitney were happy but it highlighted the extreme lack of romance in her own life. She glanced over at Clark, noticing for the first time that evening, the puppy dog look on his face. She reached for his hand. “C’mon farm boy. Let’s dance.”
With a goofy grin on his face, Clark allowed himself to be led out onto the dance floor. He was looking uncertain so Chloe took his right hand and placed it on her back and took his left hand in her own. They swayed for awhile before Clark got up the nerve to whisper, “You are so beautiful.” It wasn’t the most original or well-crafted compliment that Chloe had ever heard but it was sincere and it came from someone she cared about.
She looked up at Clark. “Nice of you to notice.” Clark had obviously noticed something else too. He kept trying to use his superior height to look over Chloe’s shoulder and down her back at her tattoo. “Metropolis,” she whispered.
“What?” asked Clark.
“My tattoo, it’s an outline of Metropolis.”
Clark smiled and slid his other hand down Chloe’s back until they were both resting on the ink. He wanted it to be just between him and Chloe. The first of many secrets he hoped the two of them would share.
“Guess that leaves just you and me.” Pete smiled at Lana.
“Looks like it.”
The two friends got up and danced and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Sure, the didn’t find true love like some others they could mention but hey, they were only sixteen and you can’t have everything.
Sequel anyone? I have an idea for one but I have to be convinced that it’s worth writing.