There was something different about Clark. It was like he had matured years overnight.
As he lifted his cup to sip at his coffee, there was something undeniably sensual about the motion. Lana found herself licking a sweating upper lip and felt her underwear practically soaking through. She wanted that tongue to touch her.
Grabbing up an empty tray and a damp towel, she walked over to his table, putting an extra sway to her walk. He didn't even look at her hips, didn't seem to see her at all even when she was standing right next to her.
"Hi Clark," she said cheerfully.
He twitched and turned to look at her, his eyes wide with surprise. "Oh, hi Lana. How are you?"
She shrugged. "It's another busy day in coffee heaven. But, actually, I came over here for a reason." She bit her lip as though she was uncertain of whether to ask him.
He cocked his head. "What is it Lana?"
"There's some stuff in the backroom and I was wondering..." she let it trail off.
Clark smiled. "You need me to help you bring it out? Sure I'll help." He hopped to his feet and tipped back the rest of his coffee before throwing the cup away. "Lead on, McDuff."
He shrugged and laughed. "I don't know either, it was just something Lex said."
She didn't know why, but Lana's stomach always wanted to clench hard whenever she heard him say that name.
She led him through the crowd to the back storeroom. As soon as the door was closed, she was on him.
His eyes were wide with surprise as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a passionate kiss, grinding herself against him. She wanted him so bad right now, wanted him to be inside her, thrusting and moaning along with her. She wanted those big hands stroking her breasts, those fingers up inside her. She wanted...
Lana made a piteous little whine when he used two hands on her shoulders to hold her away from him. "Are you all right, Lana? You didn't get sprayed with any love musk again, did you?" he asked, sounding concerned.
She stared at him and stopped struggling. There was her lipstick smeared across his lips, but he wasn't all happy about it, wasn't crawling on his knees begging to tongue her or anything. There was just friendly worry in his eyes.
She bit her lip and stepped back, crossing her arms over her chest, pulling on her vulnerable pose. "I love you, Clark," she said, her voice low.
* * *
Clark looked at her with disbelief. "Are you joking?"
"I'm serious, Clark. We haven't been spending a lot of time together lately, and I realized when you weren't around all the time that you're special to me. I like you a lot, and I think I might actually love you."
"Are you sure you're not actually Tina Greer pretending to be Lana Lang?" he asked, only half-joking, trying to pretend that none of this was real.
Lana snorted. "Of course not." She stepped closer and laid a gentle hand against his chest, not giving into her temptation to grope. "It's taken me a long time, maybe too long, but I've realized that you mean a lot to me, not just as a friend, but as something more. If we tried, I'm sure we could make a relationship between us work."
Considering she was saying the words he had spent years dreaming about, Clark felt surprisingly unmoved. She was still as pretty as she had always been, and his overactive teenaged hormones still surged whenever she was near, but she wasn't the center of his universe anymore, hadn't been for a long time.
Clark Kent didn't want Lana Lang anymore.
He shifted uncomfortably and reached up to pull her hand away from his chest. "Lana, I'm really sorry, but this isn't going to work."
Her eyes went wide, the whites showing all around. "What do you mean?"
Clark patted her on the shoulder twice, then stepped back. "You're a wonderful person, but I can't be what you want me to be. I already love someone else."
"It's Chloe, isn't it? She got to you first." Her mouth quivered and her eyelids twitched with jealous rage. She was thinking about ripping out hanks of bimbo blond hair at the roots.
"No, Lana, no, it's not Chloe," Clark said, purposely keeping his voice soft and soothing. He could tell by the sound of her heartbeat and the tension radiating from her body that she was about an inch away from flying off the handle.
Though he had always cherished his idle dream of Lana Lang being perfect, he knew for a fact that she wasn't. Being pretty and smart had assured that she had always gotten what she wanted, which had made her rather spoiled beneath the protective layers of her sweet friendliness. She wasn't used to being denied anything that she really wanted.
"I'm really sorry, Lana," he said, then turned and left the storeroom, gently closing the door behind him. She needed a moment to be alone with no prying eyes probing her, wondering what could ever make Princess Lana cry.
His heart gave a happy lurch and he turned his head toward the door with a grin. "Lex!"
He was almost to the man when the look in Lex's eyes stopped him. Something dark, almost murderous lurked in their depths and he was staring at Clark's face with creepy intensity. "What's wrong, Lex?" Clark asked.
"Not even a day later and you've already found how far love goes." Lex whirled around and stalked out of the Talon so fast that he was already out of sight before Clark broke out of his daze.
What happened? he thought.
He could feel his eyes wanting to burn, but he didn't let them, just tightened his jaw and stood there, trying to figure out what he had done wrong. Lex had looked so happy standing in the door, then had just changed with no warning.
Clark rubbed his face hard and fought the urge to smash something.
It was only when he lowered his hand that he saw the smear of color across the palm of his hand. He cursed and scrubbed two fingers against his lips and pulled them away to look at them. Lipstick. His mouth had been covered with Lana's lipstick and Lex had seen.
"Sonuvabitch!" he cursed loudly, then hurried out of the Talon, not noticing the startled looks directed his way by those that had heard.
Clark Kent cursing? But Clark Kent never cursed!
* * *
"Dammit, dammit, dammit," he ground out as he stomped down the sidewalk toward his car.
He had actually been happy for a moment, so of course the world had to come crashing down on him. It always had.
He was happy at the thought of spending a day with his father when he was nine, so of course the meteors had fallen and he'd lost all of his hair. He'd been happy when his mother was alive, then she died. And now he'd finally found what he'd been searching his whole life for, so of course it couldn't be real.
He had reached his car by the time Clark caught up to him. He had the door half-open when an arm gripped his shoulder hard and spun him around, slamming his butt against the car.
"What do you want?" he snarled, feeling his face twist. Whenever he hurt inside, he raged against the world and hurt the people around him. It was what his father had taught him, what he had always done.
Clark just tightened his hold on his shoulders and looked down at him. "Don't you dare runaway without even asking me for a word of explanation," he said. His tone was conversational, but there was something hard in his eyes.
"I don't need an explanation," Lex said. "You're a teenager with hormones, so you took the chance to get sucked off yesterday. Now today you've realized that you want a nice normal relationship and you've found some pretty girl to fuck. It's fine. Just let me go."
Clark leaned forward and kissed Lex hard, possessively. "Don't you ever runaway from me, especially if you think I've done something wrong. You confront me and yell at me and make me feel like a complete ass! Do you hear me? I love you and I'm not going to let you go, especially not for some dumb misunderstanding."
"Misunderstanding? What misunderstanding?" Lex jerked himself out of Clark's grasp and twitched his clothes straight with studied disdain, as though Clark was below notice.
"The misunderstanding where Lana cornered me in the storeroom and kissed me, but I told her that I already had someone else and left."
"Lana? Lana kissed you?" Lex said. "Why aren't you with her right now?"
"Because I'm with you, the man I love."
Lex's heart thundered in his ears. "Lana threw herself at her, but you really turned her down for me?"
Clark nodded. "Yes. You're the only one I want, Lex. I told you I love you." He stepped forward and bent down to kiss Lex again, this time gently, sweetly, the innocent farm boy peeking out.
"And they lived happily ever after," Lex said when the kiss was over, feeling just a little dazed, though of course he didn't show it.
"Screw that," Clark snorted with a laugh. "We may live happy together, but anyone that knows us has to realize we're gonna fight. It's the spark between us. So instead of living happily ever after, let's just live... together."
Clark and Lex babysat on Tuesday and though they didn't get all touchy-feelie in McDonalds with half the town watching, it was a pretty close thing. Though Clark did feed Lex a couple of French fries and let the extra salt be licked off his fingers, but he didn't think anyone noticed.
Kara disappeared sometime about two weeks after she'd appeared and it was almost possible to forget that she had even been there. She left no sign of her existence behind. Just went out and never came back. She didn't even say good-bye.
Clark hated the way he felt, but some part of him couldn't help but to be relieved that she was gone. It was nice having another Kryptonian around, but she had been so sad about the loss of her world and all her people that it was hard to be around her without getting depressed.
Soon after she left, Clark carefully approached his mom with the fact that he was bisexual and that he was in love with Lex. He only gave her hints, warning her of what was going to come, the probable trouble that was going to fill the whole house with angry words and glaring eyes. She deserved to know so she could get the comfort food ready, plus he was hoping that she would be on his side when he faced his father.
Finally, a month after he began his sexual relationship with Lex, he sat his parents down and said there was something important he had to tell them.
He was gentle about it, but his father still tried to grab his shotgun to teach "that Luthor bastard" to keep his hands to himself.
Clark stopped him and took the gun away, then held him when the man surprisingly began to cry.
"I just wanted you to have as normal a life as possible, but now what are you going to have? You've got people visiting you from the future, and now you're in love with Lex? How did this happen? What did I do wrong?"
Clark hugged his father. "You didn't do anything wrong. I'm just the way I am. I'm the same person I was yesterday. Do you still love me?"
"Of course we love you," Martha said, wrapping her arms around both of them with a surprising strength. "We both knew you would fall in love someday, and we're happy for you. It's just hard to know that we're going to have to let go of our baby soon, that you're growing up and that someday you're going to leave us."
"But I'll never leave you," Clark said. "No matter how far away I go, I'll always love you because you're my parents. It's just... I love Lex too, and I want to be with him, and I want you to be happy for me."
"We... we will be happy for you, Clark," Martha said. "You just need to give us a little bit of time. We love you so much, and it's hard to let go."
Clark buried his face in that space between his parents' arms, feeling the human warmth of them. "I'll always be here, I promise."
Afterward, when Jonathan had calmed down enough to be coherent, Martha suggested that maybe they should invite Lex over for dinner. They had to get used to him being more than just Clark's friend, and they all agreed that it would take a bit of time, but they would try.
The dinner was strained with sudden silences and a few angry words, but it mostly went well, and after that first step, it was easier for them all. Jonathan was never going to like Lex, but they would try to tolerate each other for Clark's sake. And at the end of the dinner before he headed out to the barn to watch a movie with Clark, Martha grabbed Lex's hand and held it for a long moment while she stared in his eyes. Then she kissed him on the lips and said he was a good boy. It made him feel oddly warm.
Though it had been hard, telling Clark's parents about them gave Lex the strength he needed to tell his father. It didn't go well.
"You're a fucking faggot? Goddammit, Lex, why do you keep doing this to me?" Lionel raged.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Lex screamed. His face was red with rage and he fought the urge to kill. "This isn't about you--this is about me! I am gay and I'm in love with Clark."
"What will his parents say when they find out you've been fucking their little boy?"
"We already told them. They were upset, but they were very understanding. I just thought that you should know I'm happy." Then Lex glared at the blind man in front of him. "And I also wanted to warn you.
"I know you spy on me, and I wanted to make sure you didn't find out about me and Clark from one of your stoodges. I wanted to tell you to your face that if you ever hurt him, I will do things to you that will make hell seem a mercy."
"What's that Lexy? Suddenly grown a spine? Did your pretty boy fuck some courage into you?"
Lex couldn't help it. He just lost it.
One minute he was looking at his father, and the next Lionel was on the floor holding a hand to his split lip. A thin smirk twitched his mouth, but it wasn't in dark amusement--it was a prelude to one of his most powerful, out of control rages.
"Get the hell out!" Lionel roared. "You are not my son! I will grind you into the ground and you and your precious Kent will be penniless beggars on the street. Now get out of here before I have you dragged out and beaten!"
"Fine, Lionel." Lex turned on his head and forced himself to walk, not run out of there.
Later that night, Clark held him while he trembled in his arms. Clark whispered little secrets in his ear and said that everything was going to be all right, that that bastard old man wasn't going to hurt them.
LexCorp took a hit the next month, then another, and hemorrhaged money for awhile, but Lex worked night and day and eventually brought things back up to pre-Lionel's intervention. Then, angry at his father and desperate to make him suffer, he began to build his own empire, one to truly rival LuthorCorp. He would show his father what he had lost, what he had discarded.
For Clark it was hard to see his lover tearing himself apart, but he still stood by Lex and steadied him when he wavered. He kept Lex from doing anything that went beyond that invisible line in the sand, made sure that Lex never became his father.
And when he was certain that Lex was going to be all right, Clark finally revealed his secret. It was on the night that he proposed, offering the truth of his alien origin along with the gold ring he had scrimped and saved to buy with his own money.
Lex was angry that he had kept his secret for so long, but he understood and let it go.
They were married in a private ceremony in Hawaii a week after Clark graduated high school. Clark's friends and family were all there, and Lex invited everyone that had joined LexCorp when he started it. He flew them all out in private jets and bought a hotel on the beach, changing its name to the Royal Kent Hotel in honor of Clark.
After a week of celebration, everyone else flew back and Clark and Lex had their honeymoon in an empty hotel with a full serving staff to cater to their every whim. It was a wonderful month all around.
* * *
Punishing his son and pushing him away, that was what Lionel always did. He firmly believed that whatever harsh words he happened to say to his son were all to the boy's good. It made him stronger.
He felt like he was proved right when LexCorp began to rise up through the standings, quickly becoming a rival for LuthorCorp. It enraged him, but it also made something begin burning a little inside him, something that might have been pride.
Since the day Lex had been made bald by the meteorites, Lionel had felt a sense of shame. It was his fault his son had been there at just that time, his fault because he hadn't wanted to spend time with the boy and had been yelling at him, criticizing him. Then the meteors began to fall and he found Lex all curled up in the field, so still and broken looking, his hair fallen away so that his skull was just this shining white shell, everything inside delicate and so terribly breakable.
Every time he saw Lex, he got a flash in his head of that still little body lying there on the ground. He would see Lex in the hospital with tubes sticking out of him every which way, unconscious and unmoving. Whenever he looked at Lex, he was filled with the guilt of that little boy hurting so much and it being all his fault, and he was not made to feel such things, so he lashed out. He said the cruel words and watched the hurt rise and when Lex screamed back at him, it made him feel better, because somehow a yelling, evil spirited Lex was a proof that Lex wasn't that broken little boy anymore, that he wasn't going to fall apart and die.
Lionel knew that he hurt his son with the things that he said and did, but he believed it was all for a greater good. He was not raising a saint to walk around in the desert barefoot, no, he was raising a warrior king, an emperor that would rule over vast estates and uncountable riches and not be bowed down by the weight of such flimsy things as morality and compassion. He was raising a man that would stand at the forefront of the masses when the world ended and scream his defiance at the enemy and taunt death with his laughter.
He was raising a son he could be proud of, a man that he could look at without feeling guilty because of the hairless, fragile curves of a bared skull.
Lex was fascinated by the pod that had brought Clark to Earth and spent a week soon after their honeymoon poking at it. He would have spent more time playing around with it, but he accidentally pushed a wrong button and something happened.
A silver ball shot out of the back of the pod and bounced around the lab, slamming into the wall, leaving dimples in the concrete. Knowing that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to be hit by the ball, Lex ducked under a metal table and just watched to see what was happening.
The ball bounced here and there and finally managed to punch a hole through the door before disappearing. He never found it.
When Lex told Clark what had happened, Clark yelled at him for about an hour, then fell on him with kisses and worried hugs. Lex promised not to touch the ship after that.
Lana was never able to look at Clark in the same way after he rejected her. She still believe somewhere in her that she loved him, but there was nothing she could do about it. He wouldn't even let her get close to him like that again, though he still gave her that bright smile. They would never be lovers. They would only be friends.
After high school she attended the local community college while she continued to run the Talon. She took business courses and began thinking about what she was going to do with her little coffee shop in the future. She had dreams of it not being so little anymore, dreams of great things.
Pete Ross got a college scholarship, but managed to blow it in the first month when he got in a car accident that lost him his leg. He returned home to Smallville to recuperate.
He and Lana began to have daily meetings at the Talon. They would drink coffee and talk, and eventually they discovered that they were more than friends.
They enjoyed a May wedding and from all over their friends came, even Chloe from her New York college where she was studying journalism. She had given up her dreams of being an investigative reporter and had settled instead on being a war correspondent. She wanted to show the world the horrors or war, give them a warning about the error of fighting. She gave the happy couple an album of pictures she had taken over the years and included some from of her recent works.
Clark gave Lana a hard hug after the ceremony and ignored the way she looked at him, the tears in her eyes that she tried to pretend were from happiness, and lifted Pete clear off his feet. He and Lex gave them the deed to the new house they had had built and Lex sat Lana down with a plan for expanding the Talon into a chain of coffee shops that he hoped would put the expensive Starbucks out of business. He'd had a grudge against Starbucks ever since he found a hair in the bottom of his cup. He knew for sure it wasn't his.
Lana was happy to take the advice and began her great business. Instead of the Talon, she named the chain stores "Ross Lang's," and later went on to expand from coffee to delis to restaurants and eventually onto a hotel that she named after her daughter Lena Ross.
Lionel Luthor and all of his objections to their relationship died when Lex was 25 and Clark was 19. They were living in the small brownstone Clark had picked out when the old man finally died, just keeled over and never got up.
He had been going strong for a long time, but had just suddenly crumbled away with no warning. A tiny little squeezed vessel in his brain and BAM. His funeral was a week after his death.
It was sad for Clark to see how much Lex was hurting, but Lex refused to say anything about it. He had always wanted his father's acceptance, and now he was never going to get it. The old man had had the last laugh after all, leaving Lex to always strive and strain against a wall that was no longer there.
Dressed in black suits, Lex and Clark went to Lionel's funeral. There were about a million people there and flashing cameras, but they stood in their lonely front row splendor. It was kind of ironic that Lionel was having his service in a church. If ever there was an antichrist...
After the funeral they retreated to their hotel room where Clark held Lex back from hurting himself as the multitrillionaire raged and screamed, cursing his father and everything the man had ever been. It only got worse when they found out that Lionel hadn't really disinherited Lex, had in fact left him everything as the sole heir.
With the merging of LexCorp and LuthorCorp under Lex's control, Lex was the richest man in the world. Too bad all that money couldn't buy him the one thing he wanted--his father's pride.
Somewhere in Antarctica, a silver sphere the size of two joined fists burrowed its way far beneath the surface of the ice and began to bloom. It unfolded like a flower, cables shooting out in all directions to pump nanobots into the earth.
Ice began to form together and a shape grew out of the nothingness, a palace built on the dreams and memories of a dead race. The ice hardened and was changed by the nanobots into crystals, pulsing pink veins flowing through everything, pumping with the self-replicating nanobots.
Molecular transformation was an old Kryptonian technology, but Jor-El had included a little something special for his son, the only known survivor of Krypton. Deep beneath the ice, something began to grow.
The Fortress of Solitude waited in lonely splendor in the middle of the Arctic for its master to find it and reclaim his heritage.
If he had powered up the pod, he would have seen the green blip of the homing beacon pointing the way to the Fortress. But he didn't see it. Not yet.
They moved into the Metropolis apartment that Lionel had left behind and Clark went to Metropolis University. They had a lot of fun through those hectic college years, going to see plays and movies and baseball games in between Lex helping to tutor Clark through his weakest classes so he ended up with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Making Clark happy let Lex forget his pain, and Clark knew it, so he played along.
No matter how hard he worked controlling the Luthor empire, Lex always had time for Clark. He would drop everything for Clark and they both knew it, so Clark was careful what he asked for, because he didn't want to be too greedy. Lex was his, and he had to force himself not to mind sharing him with the world. Plus there was the whole fear that he would make the mistake of asking for something stupid--like "I want the heart of that man"--and Lex would bring it to him. There was just no knowing what was going to happen.
At 22 years old, Clark started work at the Daily Planet as an investigative reporter. The whole thought of holding down a real job was kind of a rush, but he hid it well. He pretended to be Lex and didn't let his excitement show, and definitely didn't run around squealing like a girl. There was no reason to show off his rustic Smallville roots just yet by getting hyped up over any little thing, especially if it was just the fact that he had gotten a bottom rung position at the paper.
To make himself look older, he bought a pair of black framed glasses. Lex laughed and teased him, but he shrugged it off. Better to look like a geek, then a little kid too young to even read the paper.
Perry White called Lois Lane into his office and Clark met his partner for the first time. She was a little abrasive, but had a rough kind of charm to her. Though from the way she talked, he half expected her to dress like a merchant marine and carry a swagger stick.
"I don't want a motherfuckin' partner, Per," she snarled as soon as the office door was shut behind them. She stalked up to Perry's desk and slammed her fist on it, hard. Clark half-expected to see the wood buckle and split. There was just something about her, like nothing in the world would stop her from getting what she wanted.
"I work fine alone. I don't need a newbie hanging around, chasing off the leads. Give him to someone else to babysit." Lois turned her head to glare at Clark. "He's a fucking baby, look at him. He shouldn't be in this job. He needs to be working in metro or something."
Clark sat up straight and let a little fire enter his eyes. "I want to be an investigative reporter."
Something a little like respect sparked in her eyes for a second, but it didn't last long. "Come on Perry. Give him to someone else."
Perry White just sat back in his chair for a long moment looking at her. His elbows were propped on his chair arms and his fingers were tented under his chin. "He's yours, Lane. Show him the ropes and don't let him screw up too bad right out of the gate."
She opened her mouth to say something, but stopped when he lowered his eyelids and Glared at her. It was kind of weird that someone so nice looking could have such a sinister look. "Show him the job, Lois. He's your partner until I say otherwise. Now get out of here so I can get back to work."
Lois turned on her heel and stalked toward the door. "Come on, small town," she muttered as she passed Clark.
As he was leaving himself, Clark chanced a glance back and got a smile and a wink from Perry. It kind of made him feel better. At the least the legendary man himself thought he was going to make a name for himself here--and not one as a bumbling idiot.
Clark followed Lois out into the bullpen toward her desk, which was at the very center of everything. Perry had already told him that that was where Lois' desk was the first time she won the Pulitzer, so she kept the spot for luck. Nobody ever talked about it--because she would probably start breaking bones--but she actually had a pretty strong belief in the whole good luck/bad luck thing, and occasionally followed signs and portents that most people would ignore. Which was never supposed to be talked about because she was the 'sensible, unshakable female reporter,' not some superstitious shmoo.
She thought that believing in luck was a shameful weakness.
"Well, looks like he gave orders to wait until we got into his office before he had your desk brought in," Lois growled, snaring at the offending bit of furniture.
Facing Lois' desk was a twin, like the ugly hunks of wood, plastic and metal had mated. The desk was clean topped with only a phone and a stapler standing side by side near the right corner. Compared to Lois' computer laden shitpit, it was a wonder. How she found anything in that mess of paper, Post-It notes, chocolate bar wrappers and loose pens was beyond him.
Clark walked over to his desk and sat down, wondering what was going to happen next.
"Hey, man," a voice called.
Clark turned to see a redheaded guy with a face full of freckles waving at him from near the water cooler. "Your computer hasn't come yet. I'll have it set up when it arrives," the kid said.
Clark nodded. "Thanks. I'm Clark Kent."
"Jimmy Olsen." He filled his X-men mug with hot water. "You're lucky you came on a quiet day," he said, ignoring the fact that he practically had to yell to be heard over all the chattering voices and ringing phones.
This place is a madhouse, and this is a quiet day? Oh man, I wanna go home. Clark clenched his left hand into a fist, but didn't run away. This was the job he wanted and he would stick it through, no matter that he was having a real bad case of first day jitters.
Jimmy waved at him as he walked out the door, but didn't say a good-bye.
"That Jimmy's a real piece of work," Lois said, watching him go. "He's an intern, but he acts like he really works here. His brain is a complete chunk of shit sometimes. Occasionally, he acts like he really needs to be flushed."
Wow, she's a bit of a bitch, isn't she? Clark thought. It took a lot to keep from glaring when he looked back at her. Any guy she settles with is gonna be someone that doesn't mind being a little whipped monkey boy. I can almost see the bare chest and loin cloth now.
"So, Smallville, how does it feel to be in the big city?" she asked, sitting her butt on the side of his desk. It didn't escape him that she was showing a lot of bare leg. He wondered if the Daily Planet even had any kind of dress code. Skirts that short, and purple, probably shouldn't have been worn anywhere in public. It made him wonder if she was colorblind along with her other virtues.
"I've been to Metropolis before," he said, opening and closing drawers to see if anything was inside. All he found was a yellow legal pad and a box of black pens.
"Of course you've been to Metropolis," Lois said, humoring him. "You probably came to sell produce or something."
God, she kind of reminds me of Lex, but before he mostly grew out of his asshole stage. She's a real ball breaker... definitely a leather chick. At least he had the excuse of his mega-billionaire heritage to excuse him from not knowing what a farmer really did.
"Sure, Lois. We came to sell corn at the local AM/PM ever Friday. On Saturday we'd have square dancing and wrestle pigs for a special treat." He put so much sarcasm in the words they probably should have congealed in the air.
Her lips twitched. "You really don't like me, do you?"
Clark looked right at her. "You know you're giving me a hard time and acting like a complete bitch. If I wanted to throw myself at you with hero-worship in my eye after you've made an ass of yourself like that, then I'd be an idiot. As it is, stop treating me like one, 'cause I'm not."
Something almost like respect crossed her face. "You've got balls, you know that? No one's talked to me like that in a long time. I've decided that we can probably work together."
Thus he was partnered with Lois Lane, who was nicknamed the Cast Iron Bitch behind her back. And it wasn't like he didn't know his own nickname as soon as it came out--the Bitch's Boy--but he didn't care. He had a job he was beginning to like and a husband that loved him. Nothing anyone said could ever hurt him.
Clark never planned on being Superman; had decided to avoid that future completely. It was just an accident that it happened anyway.
One day in March when he was 24, he was standing in a crowd of people watching Lois make an idiot of herself trying to get the "lowdown" on what the NASA over-budget spending was buying during a shuttle launch party when it happened.
The experimental shuttle Farseeker II was lifting off when it suddenly gave a sputtering sound in its launch and tipped off course, headed right toward the Control and Observation Complex.
"Oh shit," one of the headset wearing white shirts cursed. "That bitch is gonna hurt."
Alarms being blaring and someone screamed.
"People, people, you have to stay calm," Major Trent ordered, though the command was a little weak when he was that pale and shaky.
He didn't bother ordering an evacuation, because there was no way they could get out before they were incinerated by tons worth of speeding shuttle. They were all going to die, and they knew it.
Even as panic began to take over the people around him, Clark felt as if he was dropped into a moment of complete calm. Everything began to slow around him and he was just suddenly so sure of what to do.
Without hesitation, he supersped out of the building, zipping in between the milling crowd as if they were statues. No one even knew he was gone, because a second hadn't even passed yet.
He left the complex and launched himself into the air once he was outside, aiming himself at the out of control shuttle.
Without even questioning that he was going to be able to do it, he caught the shuttle and lifted it to carry it back to the launch pad. It was so much bigger than him, but in that moment it felt lighter than air. With this strength, he could do anything he wanted. It was amazing.
Once he settled the shuttle back in place, he rose up in the air to hover for a minute with a hand on his chin, admiring his handiwork.
Cheers broke him out of his silent reverie. People had come spilling out of the building and were pointing at him and cheering loudly, sounding as if they would never stop.
He waved, then zipped up and out of sight.
He moved so fast that no one saw him take a turn around the city and come up behind the complex where he slowed to become a merely walking Clark Kent, following the rest of the crowd out under the open sky. No one questioned that he hadn't always been there, because where else could he have been?
Clark wasn't surprised when he came in to work the next morning to see the Planet's headline: Mysterious Flying Man... New Friend?
The phones were ringing with people calling in to say they didn't believe there was any flying man, or that they did believe, because they were him.
"That was pretty amazing yesterday, wasn't it Clark?" Lois said. She had mellowed a little from working with him for a year.
He shrugged. "Yeah, a flying man, wow."
She gave him a weird look, and he smiled. She shook her head and went back to her computer.
Clark sighed and rubbed his temple. He was glad that the only pictures anyone had managed to take of him were kind of blurry with his head turned away, or had him with a hand covering part of his face.
He really didn't want to end up on a dissection table somewhere.
Unable to help himself, he grabbed the phone and began stabbing a number from memory.
"Luthor?" Lex answered his own private line.
"Hey, it's me," Clark said, glad to hear that voice.
"Clark. This is a pleasant surprise." Lex sounded so happy to hear from him. "Are you having a good day?"
Unconsciously, Clark shook his head. "Have you read the Planet today?"
"No, just the Journal. What's wrong? You sound kind of strange," his voice lowered to a whisper.
"I miss you," Clark said, bowing his head a little as he lowered his voice, not wanting anyone to see him. "I need you. When are you coming home?"
Lex had been in Tokyo for the past month. "I should be home soon. What happened?"
"I can't... read the Daily Planet. It tells everything. I... I miss you. I love you." Clark choked a little and hung up the phone, not giving Lex time to say anything else.
"Who was that?"
His head jerked up and he looked at Lois. "W-what?" he asked.
She squinted at him. "Were you talking to your mysterious love bunny?" she asked.
"What do you mean?"
Lois slapped her hands down on her desk. "Come on, small time. Everyone knows you've got a wife, we've all seen the ring. Why don't you just tell us who it is already? What's the big secret?"
Clark felt himself going red all the way up to his ears. He shook his head a little, letting his hair fall across his eyes. "Because he's not a girl."
"What? You've got a husband? Why didn't you ever say you were gay?" she asked. "I could have set you up with my cousin Maurice."
"Come on, Lois, just... I don't need you to set me up. I'm already married, and happily."
"Well?" She leaned forward intently.
"Well what?" he asked.
"God, small time, just give me the news already! Why do you have to keep him a big secret?"
Clark shrugged. "I don't know, it's not really a secret. We've been together for years, and I just... I'm not much into telling people our business."
"Oh, I know," Lois said. "You're the original reticent hermit when you get home, I bet. He's probably an accountant or something, right? Short and balding and wears glasses almost as thick as yours?"
Clark pushed his glasses up his nose. They were only plain glass, but they looked like they should have a really spectacular prescription to go with them. "Something like that," he said. "Can we just leave it alone?"
"Ooh, now you've got me interested," she cooed, her eyes flashing curiosity like knives. "I think I want to meet this mystery man."
"Maybe I'll introduce you sometime," he said, feeling desperate to let the conversation go. He scrabbled around for some kind of bone to throw her. "Did you find out anything about the flying man yet?"
She groaned loudly. "No! And it's driving me crazy. No one has heard anything about him. It was like he just popped in from another planet then disappeared."
Clark had to bow his head again to keep her from noticing his laugh. He had come in from another planet.
He was lying on the couch in the living room when the apartment door swung open and Lex came walking through, gesturing for his bags to be set down near the door and for the two young men to leave.
"Lex!" Clark breathed, leaping to his feet to bound over to him.
"I hopped a plane right after you hung up," Lex said. He sounded tired, but his arms were strong when he wrapped them tight around Clark, holding him close. "What happened?"
"It was horrible," Clark said, burying his face in the shorter man's neck. He breathed in the smell of Lex, wrapping it around him to keep the fear away.
"Come on, let's go in the bedroom. I want to change out of this suit," Lex, said, leading Clark from the room. Clark let himself be dragged by the hand, his head lowered and his body suddenly feeling dull. It was as though Lex's returning home had finally let him let go.
Lex set him down on the bed before hurriedly stripping off his suit and changed into a pair of dark blue silk pajamas. He crawled up onto the bed and propped some pillows behind his back before settling in comfortably with his shoulders against the headboard, patting his lap for Clark. "Come on, tell me what happened."
Clark knew Lex had read the newspaper as soon as their phone call ended, but he also knew that Lex wanted to get the facts from him, not from people that didn't even know all that had happened.
Clark lay his body down and rested his heavy head in Lex's lap. The bed was wide enough that his feet didn't even hang over the edge. Lex liked a lot of room when they were playing around. Right now, Clark could only be glad, because he needed to have his head petted and stroked by his lover.
"It was horrible, Lex. The shuttle was going to hit the station, so I had to stop it. But now everyone knows there's some flying freak out there and it's all they're talking about."
"You're not a freak," Lex said, stroking the backs of his fingers across Clark's forehead.
"They don't know that. To them, I'm some weird mutant." Tears filled his eyes. "At first they were just happy I saved those people, but now some of them are saying I could really hurt someone, that the only reason I don't reveal myself is because I'm evil or something. It... I know it shouldn't bother me, but it does. It makes me feel bad."
"Ah, Clarky." Lex leaned down and kissed him on the lips, a nice upside down kiss with his chin bumping Clark's nose.
Clark pulled himself away and sat up. "Fuck me, Lex. Make me forget all the mean things they said. Give me..." his lips twitched, "give me a complete systems reboot."
He straddled Lex's legs and began unbuttoning the pajama shirt with an intent expression.
Lex raised his hands as though to stop him for a moment, before lowering them onto Clark's shoulders instead. He began to knead the knotted muscles there, recognizing that Clark was under a lot of stress right now. "Strip and lie on your back," he ordered.
Clark nodded and knee-walked a little backward to pull his shirt off over his head and lie on his back to unzip and jerk off his jeans and underwear. Naked, he just lay there in the middle of the bed, his head lifted a little so he could look between his knees at Lex.
* * *
It was obvious that Clark was hurting, but Lex knew what to do to make it better.
He took off his pajamas and dropped them over the side of the bed. Then he crawled up Clark's body to match himself pelvis to pelvis to his lover. "Do you feel me here?" he asked.
Clark lay his head back and look at him, his eyes the only part of him moving. There wasn't even a flutter of excited heartbeat at his throat. His heart never pounded like crazy, not even when he was wracked with fear or pain or excitement. It was always this steady thrum that vibrated through his whole body.
Lex sometimes liked to lay his head on Clark's chest and just listen to that heartbeat. It was like a metronome, steady and unbroken. It always sounded as though it could go on beating forever, even after the world had crumbled to dust. It made Lex feel as if Clark was always going to be there with him. He never had to be alone as long as that heart was going strong.
He knew that Clark was afraid of himself sometimes and it hurt him to see Clark in so much pain and know that there was nothing he could do about it. No matter how many people reassured him, Clark was the only one that could make Clark believe that everything was going to be okay.
"They all think I'm some kind of monster," Clark whispered. He close his eyes tight, but tears still leaked out of the corners.
Lex sighed and pulled himself up Clark's body enough that he could lick those tears away, tasting the salt tang on his tongue. "They don't even know you, so fuck 'em all," he said.
Clark shook his head back and forth, his eyes still shut. His mouth quivered a little and he looked impossibly young lying there, vulnerable to the world and all the mean things people said about him. "I know it's stupid to let them hurt my feelings, but I can't help it. They say those things about me and it feel like a thousand knives slicing into my body. It's so stupid, so dumb, so..." his voice broke.
Lex pressed his forehead against Clark's and felt anger smolder in his belly. He hated to see Clark in pain like this, and if he thought Clark would ever let him do it, he would have destroyed everyone that dared to say a single disparaging thing about his gentle farm boy. "Don't cry," he said. "I'm here with you, not them. You saved lives. You're a hero, so don't let them make you feel bad."
Clark wrapped his arms around Lex's waist. "I love you Lex." He kissed Lex's mouth. His eyes opened, glowing bright, almost burning. Sometimes Lex was almost afraid when he saw that look, afraid that Clark was going to burn out someday, and when that happened... he would hurt anyone that had ever hurt his Clark, would give them back a thousand times the pain they had ever inflicted on his beloved.
"Fuck me now," Clark hissed, lifting his head to kiss Lex hungrily on the mouth. "Fuck me so hard I forget everything they said about me. Fuck me."
Lex looked at Clark, gauging whether it was the right thing to do. Sometimes Clark asked for things that he shouldn't have, things that could hurt him. But right now all Clark had in him was the need to be fucked.
Climbing to his knees to grab the lube off the headboard, Lex gasped when Clark reached after him to grab his balls, squeezing tight enough for pain before letting go, his hand trailing down and up over Lex's ass.
"That was so wrong," Lex said, bouncing on his knees on the bed to watch Clark be lifted a few inches off the mattress with impacts. "I'm going to fuck you so hard you're going to be walking funny."
Clark grinned, though there was still a residual darkness in his eyes. "Bring it on, rich boy. I want to see which will win in a fair fight: your Lex cock or my invulnerable ass."
"At least you didn't say impenetrable ass, 'cause that would make this a whole exercise in futility." Lex rolled his eyes.
Clark swatted at him, but he easily avoided it.
"On your knees, slave!" Lex added a bit of whip to his voice, putting on his dom voice.
Clark mock-trembled before flipping over and getting on all fours. His back was a smooth arch with the ridges of his spinal cord giving the eye a line to follow, a sense of perfect symmetry from the crack of his ass up and up to the vulnerable curve of his neck. His knees were braced wide and he dug his toes into the comforter, the pads of his feet flexing as he wriggled his toes.
Lex stared at Clark for a long moment, admiring his beauty. He was already hard, and it only got worse when Clark turned his head to give him a quick cheeky grin before flexing his ass, the little hole puckering and contracting. Lex swallowed.
He popped the lid off the lube and squirted about half of it into his hand, a cool glob that he rubbed between his palms to warm up before coating his cock, moaning a little as he stroked himself.
"Hey, what about me?" Clark asked, looking back at him again. There was a hungry look on Clark's face that made Lex's mouth go dry.
"Patience, patience," he said, forcing his voice to cool amusement and not raging hard-on with vocal cords.
He moved close behind Clark and closed his eyes. His head tipped back as he began to rub lube on Clark's asshole, making his touch delicate, almost feathery, feeling Clark twitch and giggle, then he stabbed his finger in, not hard enough for pain, but enough to be a surprise for someone expecting a gentle touch. Clark gasped and moaned. Lex could almost feel Clark clawing the blankets with his hands. He smiled beatifically and added another finger.
With the fingers of his left hand slipping themselves one by one into Clark, he braced his right hand on Clark's hip to keep from stroking himself. With the pulse of Clark's heart warm and solid through his fingers, he was so hard it almost hurt.
"Fuck me Lex! Goddamn you, you bastard, fuck me now!" Clark screamed.
Lex leaned forward to lay a gentle kiss on the globe of Clark's left buttock. "As you command."
He pulled his hand back and Clark groaned, then "yipped!" when Lex immediately slammed into him so hard and far that Lex made a little sound in his throat, wondering if he would manage to break something next time. He sighed a little as the tight walls squeezed around him, Clark wordlessly ordering him to move. He pulled back, then slammed in again, out, in, out, in. His hands clenched on Clark's hipbones like they were handles.
He moved faster and faster, humping so hard he felt as if his skeleton was going to rip out of his skin. His heart was singing in his ears, and Clark's pumped around his cock. He could feel himself just on the edge of some great light, heat brushing against his skin and heaven on the other side.
He opened his eyes in time to see Clark, moaning in his throat, lifting his right hand, about ready to bring it back and finish himself off. "No," Lex ordered. "Don't touch yourself."
"But I need..."
"I know what you need," Lex said, then gasped and shuddered. He made a wordless, wailing noise and his hips slammed forward once, twice, three times, and he was done. He collapsed over Clark's back, trying to breathe.
"I didn't get to come," Clark complained when Lex rolled off of him and onto his back.
Lex met Clark's accusing eyes and managed a weak grin. "There was a reason for that, Clark. I want you to fuck me now."
"Oh." Clark thought about it, then shrugged. "All right, that's fairer then you getting yourself off on me then leaving me to finish up alone."
Lex laughed. "You sound like a woman complaining about how she had to fake an orgasm then retreat to the bathroom to use her vibrator."
Carefully stroking lube onto himself, Clark looked up at Lex. "You've never said. Did that happen to you?"
"No." Lex stretched his arms above his head and flexed his entire body, feeling his muscles draw tight under his skin. He liked the way it made Clark's eyes dilate. "All my lovers always left my bed fully satisfied and willing to receive call backs."
"Huh." Clark slipped a finger in Lex, laughing when Lex gasped and collapsed from his stretch, his body quivering and his legs drawing up instinctively. "I guess I'm lucky to have you for my own personal sex god, huh Lex?"
"Oh yeah." Lex gestured for Clark to move up his body. "Clark Kent, brand name sex toy."
Clark kept his finger stroking in and out of Lex as he kissed him on the lips. "I like it when we do it this way. It's fun to have you pounding into me, but its... I don't know, something, when I can actually see you looking at me."
Lex smiled the shark toothed grin that only came out when they were having sex. "If you wanna let me watch you come, then you better get started, huh? I'm loose enough. Sex me, baby, sex me." He started laughing like crazy.
"You are such a freak sometimes, you know that?" Clark said, but obligingly pulled his hand out of Lex's ass to grab Lex's legs and bring them over his shoulders. "Ready?"
Lex nodded, then gasped when Clark slipped in. "Oh yeah, I like this. You have a good hand with hitting my prostate."
"It's not my hand I'm using right now."
People forgot about the flying man when the next bit of news came along, and Clark could almost relax. He went back to his normal life and wrote several articles that won him praise and recognition from the people that mattered. It made him feel good when he framed the newspaper pages and hung them on the hallway wall. He was actually becoming a real reporter.
Then tragedy struck the city in the form of a superpowered human-shaped rock called Goliath. Literally made out of stone, the monster started crushing buildings downtown and several people were killed, much to Clark's shame.
He was watching Goliath bust up buildings on the news with everyone else at the Daily Planet, wondering if he should try to help stop the creature, but afraid to do anything because people would take notice of him again.
But when he saw a fireman rush past the creature to grab up a still and unmoving child in his arms and run to safety, leaving her mother lying where she had fallen, her head cracked wide open, Clark felt a stab of guilt. He could have saved those people, but he had let them die. He was as much of a monster as Goliath.
He hurried out of the newsroom and to the roof of the Daily Planet. Standing on the ledge of the building gazing down, he narrowed his eyes and made his decision.
He hadn't wanted to be Superman because he'd seen the misery in that future version's eyes, but he couldn't let this continue, couldn't let more people die because he was afraid of being made fun of.
He zipped across the sky to the apartment, entering through the balcony doors and striding quickly to the hallway closet and a trunk he had promised himself he would never open.
Even though he had told himself over and over again that he was never going to be Superman, he had still had a costume made just in case. He was never going to be Superman, but just in case, he wanted something ready.
He pulled the skintight black Lycra and spandex bodysuit out of the trunk and stripped off his clothes, slipping into the costu... uniform.
After he had seen what future Clark was wearing as Superman--a blue bodysuit with a red and orange S on the front, yellow underwear, red boots, and a red cape--he had pretty much decided that no, he really wasn't that gay. He guessed that future Clark's conscious repression of his sexual nature had resulted in the need to show it in another way, i.e. a really hideous outfit that would drive his enemies colorblind if they already weren't.
With the help of Lex's keen fashion sense, Clark had designed a new costume. It was black with a white and black S on the front and came with black steel-toed boots and a silvery-grey cape that brushed the ground behind him when he walked. From what Supergirl had said, he figured capes were the common derigeur of the everyday superhero outfit, so he might as well fit in.
He slicked his hair back with a dab of gel, releasing one single lock to curl on his forehead. It made him feel a bit like Harry Potter, his own cheap version of the lightning bolt scar.
With a running leap off the balcony, he flew at superspeed to where the sounds of destruction were coming from. His superhearing picked up panicked screams, but his job was to take care of the monster first. Rescue aid personnel would have to handle everything else for now.
* * *
Being made out of stone meant that Goliath had a rather simplistic mind. What this translated to was that usually he existed in a state of childlike enjoyment, everything in the world a wonder to see and experience.
Right now, though, something had woken up the anger inside and his only thought was to SMASH and DESTROY.
He wanted to smoosh the squishy things, wanted to turn the buildings into rumble, wanted to break everything that he saw.
SMASH and DESTROY!
He lifted his fist to slam another one of the squishy things into putty when something zipped across his view and he found himself hurtling backward to slam into a brick building. This made him angry.
With a roar that sounded like an avalanche sliding down the mountain, he charged the new thing to break.
* * *
Lex was in a meeting when the commotion broke out in the hallway. Rising, he opened the door to look out. He found all of the secretaries and staff standing around the TV mounted on the wall in the corner. They sounded scared and excited.
"What's going on?" he asked.
Maggie, his personal secretary, looked back at him. "A monster is crushing parts of the city, but there's a guy fighting it. He can fly."
"He's that mysterious flying man from before," one of the mailboys said, staring raptly at the screen.
Lex whirled and hurried to the table to lunge at the remote control. He ignored the reaction of the men and women around him. He turned on the news.
"Holy shit, that's amazing!" Hauser Bent said loudly, raking his usually perfectly coiffed blond hair back from his forehead.
Oh god, oh god, oh god, Lex thought. His whole body was burning and he thought he might be about to pass out.
That was Clark buzzing around the sixty foot tall rock monster like a hummingbird, pausing his flight only long enough to land punches and kicks that sent the monster rolling, though it always got up. The monster roared in rage and tried to take a swipe at Clark, missing badly. Clark kicked it in the jaw as revenge.
Even knowing Clark could probably survive a nuclear blast, Lex felt as though Clark was going to get killed at any moment. And no matter how many times Clark hit the monster, it didn't seem to do any good. The thing kept getting up again, and even though his strength was more than a match, Clark couldn't seem to get a grip on it to pick it up and throw it, his hands too small in comparison to each of the monster's parts.
"I have to do something," Lex said, charging out of the boardroom.
He hurried into his office and to his private elevator. There were secret escape routes creviced throughout the building, but this one was more secret than most. It led to the deepest basement of the building where he had stored a little something he liked to call Anarchy.
* * *
"Oh Jonathan, do you think that thing is going to hurt him?"
Jonathan turned his head to glance at his wife. Martha was sitting almost in his lap, her hands gripping his so tightly that it hurt. "He's going to be fine," he said, even though he was just as worried. "Clark has handled worse things than this, and with less powers too. Remember, he wasn't always able to fly and wasn't always completely invulnerable. There were times..." His voice cracked and he hurriedly had to clear his throat. "There were times when he faced worse physical danger and still won."
They watched on TV as their son landed on the creatures head and began to slam punches down on its skull in a measured way that Jonathan remembered from teaching the boy to cut wood.
Dust rained down around him, but the monster didn't really seem to be hurting. It batted at him futilely, its arms unable to reach the top of its own head, but it didn't seem to be slowing down.
Finally it seemed to decide that Clark wasn't much of a threat while he was attacking its head, so it turned and hit another building, shaking the foundation.
Clark seemed to realize that what he was doing wasn't working and flew back up to try a frontal assault once again. Jonathan could read the frustration on his son's face, but there was nothing he could do about it. He was helpless as any human, while his son was not.
"I hope he's going to be okay," Martha said.
"He will be, don't worry," he soothed, giving her hand a little squeeze back.
* * *
"Look! He's amazing!" Lois knew she was gushing like a little girl, but she couldn't help herself. There was just something so awesome about a man that could fly... and what a man.
He looked like he should have been wearing a crown and sitting on a throne, ruling over a pantheon of gods. He was the perfect man, the one she had been waiting her whole life to meet.
"I wonder what his name is," Jimmy said. There was a whole world of awe in his voice and he stared at the flying man like it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen. "I wish I could fly."
"So do we all, elf-boy," Lois said, ruffling his hair. "I wouldn't mind the obvious super strength. I wouldn't have to bother asking any of you big manly he-men to open my bottles of green olives and maraschino cherries."
Still looking at the screen. "The thought of what you're making with green olives and maraschino cherries is pretty likely to turn my stomach and... Oh wow, did you see that? Red light came out of his eyes and he carved a big S in the monster! That's so cool."
Lois rolled her eyes. Teenagers.
* * *
Since he obviously wasn't about to start kicking the monster's ass anytime soon, he had settled on desecrating it with his superhero initial, as fancily drawn as possible.
"Yeah, we be bad," he muttered, then winced as the creature slammed that same brick building again. "Shit!"
Even with all his strength, whatever the rock-thing was made of, it was definitely some durable stuff. Punching it as hard as he could barely even chipped its surface.
"Okay Kent, what would Rebus' Roy do in a situation like this? Think, think, think... I know! He'd start blowing stuff up. Huh, which isn't really very helpful for right now, since I already tried that and it's not working."
He threw his arms out, pointed his toes and began to twirl and twirl around in the way he had when he was a child playing helicopter, only now he could spin so fast a mini-funnel of air could be created. He spun until he was completely surrounded, then snapped his body in half so he was shaped like an L, then flipped his feet up over his head.
It felt a bit like he had been wrapped in a blanket then had just thrown it off. The funnel was flung off his feet to shoot across the intervening space and slam into the monster.
It roared again as it was knocked backward into a building, the funnel drilling its way through it. There was this vibrating, grinding sound and flakes and chunks of rock were flung off the monster's body as a hole was burrowed through its body.
"Whoohoo!" Clark said, then yelped as the funnel went all the way through the creature, and it stepped forward, showing no sign of pain even though there was a ten foot hole running right through the middle of its chest. "Well that sucks. What's next?"
He thought it was kind of funny that once he put on the uniform he had a nearly irresistible urge to talk to himself. He laughed a little, though it wasn't really funny, and threw himself forward at the creature. The fight wasn't over yet.
* * *
The man was amazing. He spun around and made a whirlwind that actually put a big HOLE in the creature. It kept coming, but Jimmy knew that if the guy had done that to a human, there would have been blood everywhere and someone wouldn't be getting up again. It was so cool.
"He's... he's like Warrior Angel," he whispered.
Lois tapped him on the shoulder. "Do you mean that lame comic book character that went out of fashion twenty years ago? I would have thought it would have been way before your time."
"They still make Warrior Angel," Jimmy said, "though it has gotten a bit lame. I've read reprints of the originals though, and they were pretty awesome for their time. And this guy," he jabbed a thumb at the TV, "he's got all these great powers and look at him."
He felt himself turning red when she kept looking at him for a second before turning back to the TV. He hadn't meant to sound like that. It made it seem like he had a crush on the guy, and he didn't. Really. Even if he did look pretty good in spandex. He definitely filled his costume out, that was for sure.
Dammit, now he was getting a hard-on. Sometimes he really hated being a teenager.
To take his mind off of his troubles, Jimmy looked around. "Hey, where's CK?" he asked.
Lois didn't a cursory glance. "I don't know. He was here earlier. Maybe he went to make sure his husband is all right," she said absentmindedly, her attention back on the action.
"Yeah, maybe," Jimmy said, then his brain caught up. "Wait a minute, his husband?"
She nodded a little. "Yeah, he's married to some guy. They had the ceremony in Hawaii when he was eighteen. I guess the guy he's hooked up with is a real cradle robber or something, took him right out at the gate."
Clark's married to a guy?
Jimmy Olsen, Daily Planet intern and future photographer, blushed to the roots of his very red hair. He could only hope no one saw his violent color change. He didn't need anyone asking him if he was all right or what was wrong, because he didn't even know if he could answer.
From the first moment he had met Clark Kent, there had been a tingle in the bottom of his belly, that kind of pre-erection buzz that he had gotten before he formed a full blown crush on some pretty girl. It had totally freaked him out when Clark had just been the new guy and Jimmy had looked at him across the room without any warning or preparation.
It was strange that no one else seemed to notice it, but Clark was absolutely gorgeous. He had this wavy hair, and this sculpted face that could have made him a good male model. And even though he wore geeky glasses, it wasn't like they could really cover up the fact that he was one of the most beautiful people Jimmy had ever met. So he was always surprised when people overlooked Clark like he was just anyone else. He didn't want to say anything, but it made him wonder if people were blind or just terminally stupid.
Knowing that Clark was off the meat market, Jimmy had thought that some girl had realized how wonderful Clark was and hit the lottery on wonderful guys. It didn't exactly make him jealous, but it did make him feel something. Only now he knew that it wasn't a pretty girl that had captured Clark Kent, it was a pretty guy.
It was just so trippy.
The guy on TV had pretty much kept the monster from killing a whole bunch of people, but he hadn't been able to stop it.
As Jimmy watched, he flew through the hole he'd put in the thing's chest and punched it in the back of the head. It made Jimmy wince, because he knew that that punch probably would have taken his own head clear off his shoulders.
It was obvious that the man was getting frustrated. He was punching at the monster and there was this angry look on his face, his eyebrows lowered over blazing eyes that occasionally shot out red beams that blazed chunks off the monster's ass.
But even though he had stopped the thing, he hadn't won either, because it was still standing, still walking around, still thumping buildings every once and awhile. And maybe the guy was getting a bit tired, 'cause he wasn't zipping around as fast anymore, and would sometimes stop and hover in the air above the thing's head and just glare at it, his hands fisted at his sides.
Just as things were maybe starting to get a bit boring, there was the sound of a chopper approaching the scene on TV. Jimmy could hear the camera guy saying something, but it was pretty garbled as the helicopter came closer and got louder.
I wonder what's going to happen now? Jimmy thought. He felt like he was watching a movie. None of this could possibly be real, only it was. Weird.
* * *
It had taken her awhile, but something had finally twigged in her brain. It was like a circuit breaker catching.
"We better get over there. Come on, kid."
* * *
Clark looked up at the helicopter hanging over his head, and drifted up that way, keeping an eye on the monster to make sure it didn't decide to go on a rampage once he turned his back.
He about fell out of the sky when he saw Lex strapped into one of the helicopter seats, a headset on his head and a paint bucket cradled in his lap.
"What are you doing here?" Clark demanded, glaring at his husband.
Lex flashed him a bright, rather cheery smile. He seemed to be having a good old time, but Clark had seen that look in his eyes before. He was pissed that Clark had put himself into danger and was here to make things right. "I brought this for you," he said, gesturing at the paint bucket he held. "Take it. It's crushing my... legs."
Clark quirked his lips. He knew Lex had wanted to say "It's crushing my balls," but had stopped himself because other people were probably listening, and Lex didn't say those kinds of things where normal people could hear him.
Clark darted in and took the bucket, holding it by its handle. "What is it?" he asked, hovering close to the open door so Lex could hear him.
"It's a special little compound I mixed up that I like to call 'Monster Death Killing Glue That Sticks Nasty Monsters in Place While Hero Kicks Ass and Acid in Glue Melts Through Rock.'"
"Catchy." Clark quirked his lips.
Lex shrugged. "I've been watching those Japanese cartoons on Cartoon Network. I guess the longer the name is, the more powerful the weapon, or so it seems to me."
"Then I guess this is a doozy." Clark lifted the bucket. "Thanks."
Lex nodded. "Yep. Good luck."
Clark gave him the dark smile that only Lex got to see, the sex smile that always seemed to make him so brain-blowingly horny. It was good to see Lex have to shift and adjust himself in his seat.
Clark flew down to the monster and stared at it. He kind of felt sorry for it--a big moving rock that didn't seem to have any kind of mind, but he knew that there was no choice.
"Sorry, big guy," he said, then popped the lid off the bucket.
His nose wrinkled at the stink and he hurriedly poured the yellow gunk on the creature, watching it splash down as a liquid, but almost immediately begin to thicken as it came into contact with the rock.
Goliath may have realized that he was in trouble, or may have just been angry that he was unable to crush and kill, but whatever it was, he opened his mouth and HOWLED.
With his sensitive hearing, Clark felt as if he'd just been battered about the head. He dropped the bucket and put his hands over his ears. That fucker was loud.
The glue stuck the rock monster where he was, then smoke began to drift up and there was this hissing sound as a special contact-activated acid began to eat through the rock.
Clark felt kind of sick watching this living thing being literally dissolved in front of him, but there wasn't anything he could do about it. And since he had been the one to do it to it, he watched until the creature burned down to nothing, a few pebbles scattered here and there the only thing left of it. That and the destruction it had caused.
Clark floated down to the watching crowd and landed gently in front of them. He looked at the highest ranking cop in view, a lieutenant. "Is that little girl all right?"
The cop looked at him. There was awe and fear in his face, as well as an almost terrible gratitude. The look in his eyes made Clark want to cringe. "You mean the girl that fireman saved?" he asked.
"We've been getting a lot of questions about her, since people all saw her on TV. She's alive right now, but I don't know how bad she's hurt."
Clark's shoulders slumped and he began to rise up off the ground.
"Wait! Wait! Lois Lane of the Daily Planet." She pushed herself to the front of the ground, ignoring the complaints of the people she'd elbowed or stepped on. Jimmy trailed after, flashing pictures. "Who are you? Where are you from?"
Clark looked at his partner, wondering how she couldn't recognize him just because he wasn't wearing his usual glasses. And she called herself an investigative reporter. It was pretty pathetic. "My name is Superman. I'm from Krypton."
With that, he shot straight up in the air and flew as fast as he could toward home, knowing that he was going fast enough to be invisible. No one was going to be able to follow him home.
Lex was sitting on the balcony waiting for him, a glass of amber liquid held negligently in one hand. "Took you long enough."
Clark landed and gave him a quick kiss, then, the stress finally catching up to him, began trembling. He grabbed the glass out of Lex's hand, drained it in one swallow, and dropped it to shatter on the floor. "I need you." His voice was strange in his own ears, desperate.
Seeming to know what he was feeling, Lex just held out his arms.
Clark practically leapt on him, his knees grinding into chair on each side of Lex as he began kissing him, their tongues tangling and their lips mashing together. His hands were all over Lex's body, tweaking his nipples, grabbing his crotch, rubbing against his stomach, everywhere. He knew he was probably hurting Lex, but Lex didn't complain and Clark was too out of control to stop.
The whole world had gone strange on him and he didn't know what to do about it. Sex seemed like a good idea.
~ ~ ~
He moaned as Clark ground their pelvis' together. The air this high up was cold on his bare skin, but he didn't really mind as long as Clark was around to warm him up.
Clark had practically ripped the crotch out of his pants and was fondling him with needy hands. The superhero outfit was carelessly crumpled up in the corner and Clark was on top of him.
"I need you in me," Clark rasped, licking Lex's face, making his skin burn.
"We'll have to go inside and get the lube," Lex said, trying to push him off.
Clark pushed him back down. "I don't care if you hurt me. I need you inside, right now!"
Lex opened his mouth to say something, but just barely managed to bite back a moan instead.
Clark sucked his cock for a few seconds to get it wet with saliva, then grabbed his own cock and began jacking off with a single minded light in his eyes.
"What are you doing?" Lex asked.
"What has to be done." Clark grunted as he came into his hand, then reached around to wipe the semen into his hole, slipping a finger up inside. There was a manic light in his eyes.
"Uh, I think I know what you're thinking, Clark, but that's really going to hurt. We need the lube."
"We're out," Clark snarled. "We used it all this morning. I was going to buy some today on my way home but I forgot. I want you now, not later. This'll work fine. Invulnerable body, remember?"
"Yeah, but I don't know if this is such a good... OH JESUS!" Lex clawed at the arms of the chair and trembled.
Without any warning, Clark had impaled himself on Lex's cock, had taken him deep inside and was moving, lifting up and down with this kind of painful-joy on his face, his back arched backward as he rocked, the tendons in his neck standing out as his head was thrown back. His mouth was open and he breathed in panting gasps, his hands resting on the delicate curves of Lex's skull.
Those hands that could have crushed human bone like twigs were unconsciously gentle, not putting even the least amount of pressure down.
With warmth pressing tight around him, contracting with Clark's movement, sliding him in and out, it was a bit like heaven for feeling so good, but a bit like hell too because it always had to end eventually. The almost-pain of being squeezed in unlubricated was almost wonderful. He could feel tears trickling down his cheeks and wondered if they were really his own.
Wanting Clark to share what he was, he let go of his death grip on the chair arms and grabbed Clark's cock with both hands, squeezing and releasing in a rhythm that just kind of went with the flexing of his fingers.
Lex screamed as he came and didn't care who heard. "CLARK!"
* * *
He always felt so safe when Lex was inside him. There was just this sense that no matter what the world threw at him, everything was going to be okay because he wasn't going to have to face it alone. Lex would be there to take care of him.
It didn't really hurt him to have Lex up inside him dry, though it wasn't quite the smooth ride it usually was. He dragged himself up and down on Lex's arousal, grinding his hips a little.
Lex grabbed his cock and he felt himself tighten instinctively, which made Lex cry out and come. Three quirk spurts of warmth deep into Clark's body.
Lex jerked him hard when he came and Clark felt himself release. He shuddered twice and it was over, just this sticky mess streaked across Lex's stomach.
"Wow," Lex whispered.
Clark grinned weakly. He was suddenly feeling much more like a person.
Lex always made him feel better.
Clark was pretty much stuck being Superman. He didn't really mind saving people, but he felt sort of as if he was trapped into an acting role that didn't quite fit.
He had to call and explain to his parents why he had done what he had. His mother was freaked out, but he managed to calm her down. She was just worried that he might have been hurt, but was relieved to find out that the monster hadn't even managed to land a single blow.
For a beginning at superheroing, facing down a giant rock wasn't exactly a bad one. It wasn't the best beginning villain, but it wasn't that bad because he had won and nearly the whole world had seen. And everyone was desperate now for a glimpse of the great Superman.
Lois Lane was so happy that she had gotten the "exclusive." Her article was right on the front page: Superman--the Man From Krypton.
He was glad that she was so happy, but her gloating got tired pretty fast. Still, he didn't say anything about it because she would have completely freaked out. Lois Lane was well known for her permanent case of PMS, though there were rumors that at 28 she had already passed through menopause.
She was a great reporter, but there weren't that many people that really liked her. Which was why he was happy to be nice to her, even when a lot of the things she said completely grated on his nerves. He knew what it was like to be alone, and he didn't want her to feel that way, though she never seemed to really notice that she wasn't popular.
They were eating Chinese takeout at their desks while they worked.
"Have you heard about this Intergang thing?" Clark asked her, tapping the backs of his chopsticks against a manila folder.
She shrugged and shoved half an eggroll in her mouth. "Gere gew."
"Chew and swallow first," he ordered good-naturedly. "I'm not giving any one with Chinese food breath CPR."
She gulped loudly, a visible bulge going down the throat. He watched her in concern, thinking she was going to choke, but she just sipped her Coke and starting digging her chopsticks through her takeout boxes again. "They're new. Not much has been said about them yet, but they seem to be intent on taking over the underworld. There's whispers that they have a powerful crime family leading them, one that's branching out so younger members can have more territory to control, but I don't really know. You're going to have to dig into that one."
"Yeah, that's usually the..." He stopped when he heard a commotion coming from near the elevator. "What's that?"
They were sitting on their desks eating, Lois completely ignoring the pile of papers she was seated on, so it was easy for them to crane and bend to see.
"Hey, isn't that Lex Luthor?" Lois said, suddenly sounding interested. She unfolded her legs and climbed off her desk, carefully smoothing her skirt with one hand.
Clark didn't move, just sat there watching him come. A smile lightened his face to watch Lex walk, like a big jungle cat moving through its natural habitat.
"What brings you here, Mr. Luthor?" Perry asked, approaching from the side.
Lex looked at him for a long moment, a little furrow appearing in his brow for moment, then disappearing as fast as it had appeared. "You're Perry White. I've heard a lot about you."
Perry blinked. "Thank you." He touched his hair. "Who did you hear about me from?"
"From Clark, of course," Lex said it as if it didn't really matter.
Clark hopped down off his desk and felt a small smile quirk his lips. Lex knew he hadn't told anyone at the Planet who he was married to. He had told Lex that he was worried about people trying to use him to get to Lex, and even though he'd said he didn't care, Lex hadn't seemed to care one way or another whether a bunch of people he didn't know knew if he was married or not. Besides, he thought it was kind of funny that none of the newspapers had picked up on the marriage even after six years.
Clark walked forward through the crowd, gently pushing aside anyone that didn't automatically get out of his way. "Lex, what are you doing here?"
Lex smiled. "Don't you remember? Today is our anniversary. I'm taking you away from all of this... right now."
Clark hugged him. "Taking me away, huh?" he murmured for Lex's ears alone.
"That's right," Lex whispered back, his mouth barely moving. "I'm having my good friend Superman fly my husband and me to a second honeymoon at a certain hotel in Hawaii for the weekend."
"Hawaii?" Clark stepped back. "That sounds great. Just let me grab my coat and we can go."
When they went, they left the Daily Planet staff in an uproar. It was unbelievable that their Clark Kent was married to Lex Luthor, richest man on the planet, and had never said anything about it.
Through the dark of space a burst of speed went whipping past the planets. A small two person spacecraft with strange markings on the side and a clear cockpit shield moving at speeds that would have killed any human, but barely disturbed its pilot.
"J'on, I should be back fairly soon. This is just something I have to do. I can't leave her waiting out there forever just because the events that took me there the first time didn't happen in this timeline. And would you tell Batman to stop with all the dark mutterings? He's so moody it's a wonder he doesn't give himself constipation."
The pilot laughed at something his friend said back. It was a happy sound from a throat long used to laughter. There was no sadness in this lifetime, no burning regret to take the light from his eyes. He was a man of joy, even through all of the darkness he had seen, and he had saved the little blue ball of a planet he called home from destruction more times than he could count. But he was happy with what he was, and didn't spend his every day dragging through the motions, knowing that he would be returning home to loneliness, because in this time, he had someone that he loved, and family and friends that cared.
Superman opened the lid of the sleep chamber, listening to the hiss of escaping gasses.
She lay there with her eyes closed, a sleeping princess that had never been kissed. Her hair was spread around her head in a white-blond halo and her skin could have been pure porcelain. Color returned to her faintly blue lips first, turning them first pale, then a dark rose that most women had to find in lipstick, then the light and warmth woke her.
He waited patiently as her eyelids twitched and fluttered, finally opening. Her eyes were still unfocused, but she saw him, knew that he was there, invading her loneliness.
"Hello, Kara," he said.
"How..." She coughed to clear her throat. "How do you know my name? Who are you?"
He smiled gently and lifted her out of the pod. She wasn't ready to try and walk yet. "I am Superman, but to you I will always be Clark, your... strange and eccentric cousin. Come on, we have to get out of here."
"But... what about the others?"
He shook his head. "I'm sorry. You're the only one."
Tears filled her eyes. "Mama..."
Clark held her close as she cried. "Sh, sh. I know it feels like the end of the world right now, but you'll smile again someday, I know it, and I can't wait to see it. For now, we have to get back to Earth. Mom and Dad are waiting to see you, and so is Lex." He snorted a laugh. "He's saved up years worth of questions to ask you. The scientist in him has barely held patient this long, and I doubt he's going to let us waste a minute more."
She was confused, but she didn't object about going with him. There was just something so trustworthy about his face... and she really didn't want to stay here in this room of death for a minute longer than necessary.
Kara wrapped her arms around Clark's neck and burrowed in close against him. His outfit may have been strange, but he was warm and real inside it. As long as she had him, she didn't have to be alone.
Time reset itself. All memory of the Great Catastrophe faded and no one even remembered that it was a possibility. A new chapter of history was written, not of the lifelong loneliness of the great hero Superman, but of the beauty of the loved shared between Superman and Lex Luthor.
THE STORY BEGINS
In all I read until the day was gone
and I sat in regret in all the things I've done
for all that I've blessed, and all that I've wronged,
In dreams until my death
I will wander on.
In your house I long to be
room by room, patiently.
I'll wait for you there, like a stone
I'll wait for you there alone--alone.
--"Like a Stone" by Audioslave
DARKSEIDè great lord of Apokolips, a hellish dimension where humans are slaves and Darkseid rules all. He's one of Superman's über-enemy's and is always coming around causing trouble. He's like Apocalypse for the X-men.
LEGION OF SUPERHEROESè a galaxy spanning organizations of superheroes that patrols the various solar systems, or "sectors," enforcing the laws. Superman is one of their heroes, the ideal that they strive to emulate.
REBUS: HEROES FOR HIREè a Flash/Shockwave based webcomic that can be found at http://www.venisproductions.com/rebus
SUPERGIRLè she has had several incarnations. Mostly known as Linda Danvers, here she is the Supergirl from Superman: the Animated series, Kara In-Ze from Argo.
Argo was Krypton's sister planet, and when Krypton exploded, Argo was thrown out of solar orbit, dooming its inhabitants to death by freezing. Physician Kala In-Ze created a series of cryogenic sleep chambers in the hopes of saving the few surviving Argonians. Her daughter Kara was emplaced in one, which is where Superman finds her years later when he accidentally discovers the remains of Argo. Kara's sleep chamber was the only one left undamaged and she was the sole survivor.
Brought to Earth by Superman, she moves in with Martha and Jonathan Kent in Smallville to better learn Earth's customs and to become used to her new superpowers. Taken from all that she's ever known, she has to become used to a whole new way of life, and not even her own body is the way she remembered it.
Like Superman, she receives her superpowers from Earth's yellow sun, but as she is Argonian born, she doesn't have his vulnerability to Kryptonite, though red sun radiation is still a common weakness between them.
Kara can be seen as being in some ways a stronger character than Clark. Not only does she have to become used to a whole new world, but she lives with the loss of her family and everyone else she ever knew. Clark was raised from a baby/toddler by Martha and Jonathan; Kara is a teenager that already feels out of place.