Eggs / Compressed Air
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
AN: Two more drabbles to progress the story! Also, feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Although hardly a master chef, Clark would have considered himself savvy in the kitchen and more than passable with egg based dishes. Growing up on a farm he had perfected the fluffiness of his scrambled eggs and the timing of his omelet ingredients; there was little else to know about preparing eggs. How wrong he was.
Californian style Saturday brunch completely shattered his limited concept of the American breakfast. The fresh juice was understandable, but the variety of ingredients in his breakfast quiche blew him away. Looking around the table Clark couldn't help but marvel at the variety of dishes. It made him miss the simple bacon and eggs from back home.
Shaking his head, Clark vainly wished the melancholy away. It wasn't helping that the meal conversation was disturbingly awkward.
Finally, after a few weeks of trying, Martha had finally got in contact with her sister. It seemed like she was constantly touring with her husband, performing lectures at various colleges. Although his mother never said it aloud, Clark had the feeling his mom disapproved of how his cousin was left alone for all of this time.
Ma's silent disapproval compounded by her already cold relationship with Sheila Rosenberg, led to a very frosty brunch. Hence Clark focusing on the food.
"How do you like Sunnydale Clark?" his cousin's voice drew his attention back to the conversation.
"Fine," Clark replied, giving his cousin a warm smile. She gave him a shy one in return. He'd seen her at school at a distance once or twice, but before the meal never put a name to the face. He also knew that that the redhead hung out a lot with Buffy and a male, well those two and her rocker boyfriend. It was slightly surprising as Willow never seemed the type with her pastel coloured sweaters and meek demeanour.
"It's a big change huh?" the redhead asked before widening her eyes in shock, "Not that I meant about your dad, I really didn't mean that. You see I was talking about how you used to live on a farm. But now you're living in suburbia, just a big from LA. And also, Sunnydale has its share of hinky things going on. And-“
"Willow," chided Sheila, cutting her off.
Martha shot her sister a dirty look. She clearly didn't approve of the tone Sheila took with her daughter.
Trying to prevent another passive aggressive remark, Clark offered, "I knew what you meant Willow," he gave a shrug of his shoulders, "It's a pretty big change, but I'm slowly getting used to it."
His mother shot him a knowing look, while Sheila offered him an approving nod. "It is good you're proving highly adaptive to your situation Clark. Independence is a virtue many children are lacking today."
"We were always proud of Clark," Martha offered, fondly recalling some of her more pleasant memories.
"Well yes, in that respect it seems you and Jon did quite well." And another subtle barb fired.
Attempting to redirect the conversation before turned nasty, Willow offered Clark another question, "What do you like most about school?"
He admitted sheepishly, "I've actually quite enjoyed the time I've spent in the library. The librarian there has been very nice."
"Oh!" A look of dawning understanding spread accross the redhead's features, "Buffy was mentioning the other day some kid was in the library when she needed to talk to Giles!"
"You know Mr. Giles too then?" Clark asked curious, the dinosaur feet in Buffy's bag had left him more than a little curious.
"Yeah! Of course! Buffy, Xander, Giles and I are..." Willow suddenly stopped talking as her enthusiasm turned quickly and confusingly into panic, "Uh- you see, we're all members of the Book Appreciation Club!" Her speech rapidly picked up towards the end. It wasn't very convincing.
Unsurprisingly, Sheila hadn't paid enough attention to notice. She nodded her head in approval, "Sounds like an excellent extracurricular activity. You should help your cousin join the club."
Willow's eyes widened further, reminding Clark of a cartoon character, "Uh-uh. You see... the club is kinda-"
Although confused, Clark decided to spare Willow and cut-in, "It's really not needed, Ms. Rosenberg. I'm just getting used to school and everything..."
"Nonsense," Sheila interrupted, "You're family and Willow would be all too willing to help."
Looking at Willow, Clark thought otherwise, but conceded when she reluctantly nodded, "Well then I appreciate the help Willow."
She gave him a rather weak smile in return.
"Speaking of family... you were going on tour when again?"
Clark rolled his eyes as Willow stifled a giggle. Their mothers were at it again.
"And that is where the gas safety valve is located in the case of an emergency," droned the chemistry teacher. Clark was bored out of his mind. His cousin, who seemed to be on a mission to make him feel welcome at Sunnydale High, was sitting beside him, with her two close friends sitting on her other side. The rapt attention she paid the teacher was hard for Clark to understand.
"So how do we make fireballs again?" that was Willow's best friend, Xander.
The teacher's glare did nothing to deter his cheeky grin, "The point of this lecture was to prevent that very event from happening," chilling his voice further, he added pointedly, "Perhaps you wouldn't have struggled so much last year if you'd simply paid attention, Mr. Harris."
The teen shivered in mock horror and looked around, "For a moment I thought my dad was here," Xander then tried a disarming smile, "Xander, please, Mr. D."
"That would be Mr. Doushbaag to you, Mr. Harris," Mr. D shot back, completely unamused. Buffy smothered a laugh, which earned her a glare as well, "I fail to see the humour of the situation, Ms. Summers."
Giving her teacher a surprised look, Buffy's face eventually took on a blank smile, "Just enjoying the wonders of physics."
"This is chemistry class."
"Oops," the blonde appeared appropriately contrite.
With a small sigh, Mr. D turned to Willow, "Ms. Rosenberg, I leave these two to you."
"Y-y-y-es sir," she replied softly, trying to hide her pleasure at the implied praise.
"Don't worry, sir! It'll be taken care of," Xander mock saluted and Clark silently groaned. Apparently Willow's friends weren't the brightest bulbs. It made him doubt the existence of the Book Appreciation Club all the more.
Mr. D decided Xander wasn't worth the effort and returned to his desk, muttering his discontent. It seemed he shared similar views to Clark, though it was clear no one was meant to hear his words, "-troublesome rabble rousers. Such a waste of Rosenberg's talent."
While the class worked on the assigned pre-lab, Clark whispered quietly to Willow, "So could you tell me more about the Book Appreciation Club?"
Giving him Willow's I-am-obviously-bad-at-lying-look, she whispered back, "I'll have to talk to Giles about it. I'll get back to you ok?"
Overhearing their conversation Xander piped in, "Book club? What book club?"
Buffy who had been lightly resting her head jerked up, "Book club? When did we get a Book Club? And why are we even interested?"
Willow gave them a panicked look, "You know that book club we've been a part of forever..."
She received blank looks.
"... that after school club that sometimes has us spending lots of time in the library after school?..."
They still weren't catching on.
"... the club where we spend lots of time with Giles, researching?..."
Willow looked at them hopefully. Clark saw the proverbial light go off in Buffy's head.
"Oh, that club!" she exclaimed, much to Xander's confusion.
"What cl- ow!" Xander's question was interrupted by a sharp elbow from Buffy. She gestured meaningfully at Clark and then Willow. It still took several seconds before he finally cottoned on.
"Oh yeah, that book club," Xander smiled before mock whispering to Clark, "If you hide the comic properly, no one even knows you're slacking."
"Oh, found this by the way," Buffy spoke up before rifling through her bag. She pulled a Sports Illustrated issue out of her bag. "Found this-" gave Xander a meaningful glare "-during our last club session."
"Um... I bring donuts?" Xander offered, not even trying to defend himself. Adolescent males had needs. Even in the library.
When Buffy finally gave him a begrudging nod, Xander eagerly returned to digging his own grave.
In a hushed and mocking tone he whispered to Clark, "That's the secret to women Clark. Sugar. Once you bring that, they'll all be falling at your feet."
The dismissal bell drowned out his yelp of pain as the rest of the class began to pack up.
Clark decided not to question Willow further about the book club. In his position, he could understand the need for secrets and the last thing he needed was reflective curiosity into his life. They didn't need to know that he was much more adept at keeping secrets and lying.At least I’m out of chem—well great.
Principal Snyder was waiting outside the classroom door. Clark had previously had the pleasure of meeting the principal when he first transferred. So pleasurable in fact, Clark wished that he'd never see the principal again. Talk about unfulfilled wishes.
"Summers. Harris," the minature troll sneered. Thankfully it seemed his attention was focused on Willow's friends. "I've got my eyes on you."Or not.
"Kent, you're making a poor start if you're hanging with this riff-raff."
Ma Kent had raised him to be a gentleman at all times. "Well sir, Willow is my cousin."
"Ah I see, another sad case." Clark instantly regretted focusing Snyder's attention on his cousin, "I'd hate to see you dragged down like your other family member."
Clark stopped himself from making a rude remark when the principal's stench wafted up his nose. Having superior senses were really disadvantageous most of the time. Fighting the urge to gag, Clark nodded in affirmation.
"You have a good deal of promise Kent. Don't waste it like Rosenberg."
Willow looked like she wanted to object, but Buffy, who was surprisingly calm, stopped her with a quick hand motion. Synder gave the rest of the group an ugly sneer before storming off down the hall.
Not a moment too soon. Clark's nose was twitching in agony. Hopefully with the pungent source safely down the hall, the smell would dissipate. Well, the burning receded to be replaced by an irritating tickle. Unfortunately the tickling continued to build pressure and soon Clark’s nostrils demanded clearing.
Letting out a sneeze, Clark sent a stream of compressed air barreling down the hallway, knocking Principal Snyder flat on his face. The principal quickly righted himself up and looked around, hoping to expel some no-good-hooligan. He glared at the Xander, Buffy, Willow, and Clark for several moments. Unable to fault any of them due to the distance between them, Snyder stormed off in a rage.
Once the principal was safely around the corner, Clark fearfully turned to face Willow and her friends. Xander was doubled over with laughter, but it was Buffy's uncharacteristically serious expression and Willow's unbridled terror which freaked him out.
So he ran.
AN: Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Prompts too!