Title: Twisted Fairy Tales
Completion Date: February 2003
Pairings: Clark/Lex, Chloe/Pete, Lana/Pete
Spoiler Warning: slight mention of Jodi Melville from episode 7, "Craving"; mention of Tina Greer from episodes 4 and 32, "X-Ray," and "Visage"
Disclaimer: All characters are borrowed for entertainment use only. No ownership claimed by me.
Traveling across the universe and gaining speed with each rippling wave, a change flowed down the time corridor. Some great tragedy had occurred. History had forever been disrupted and all of the worlds and all of the possibilities shuddered and died.
In the thirtieth-century, as yet untouched by the change, the Legion of Superheroes was given a warning. Someone had tampered with the way things were supposed to be and they were going to disappear out of existence if they didn't somehow make things right.
Quick to a plan, two of their members were sent backward in time to before the catastrophe occurred. They were to give a warning to the greatest hero of that time or any other and he would do whatever he could to avert the tragedy. He was their only hope, because somehow, he was at the center of all that had gone wrong.
The Earth was a hell. Death and destruction surrounded him and there was nothing he could do about it. All of his fighting had meant nothing in the end, because though he had won the occasional battle, he had still lost the war.
Why God, why does it have to be like this?
He lay down in his old bed in his parents' house and cried. He was alone, always alone. All of his friends and family had grown old and died. He was the only one left. Even his beloved enemy had finally died--though he'd managed to take every other living thing on Earth with him. He hadn't wanted to go alone, and most especially didn't want to leave anything behind for his enemy, because without anything to protect, Superman was nothing. And in the end, Lex Luthor had hated Superman even more than Clark had.
Krypton's last son was now Earth's last survivor as well.
He could still remember Diana's whispery voice telling him that all was going to be well, that death came to everything. But he doubted the superheroine known as Wonder Woman would have accepted death so gracefully if she had known that everything she had spent her life protecting was soon to follow her into the grave. He had failed her, failed everyone. The world was littered with his broken promises.
Over the years he had loved many people, though he had never told them of course. He was Superman, a solitary being, and everyone that wanted to get close to him only saw the costume, they didn't see the man inside. He didn't want someone to love him because he was a superhero. He wanted someone to love him because he was a person.
That was one of the reasons he had divorced Lois. She'd been in love with Superman first, and though he had believed that she had come to love Clark, he had eventually discovered that Superman held most of her heart. And though he had loved her for her strength and beauty and intelligence, he had pushed her out of his life because her love for Superman was not a healthy thing, not for either of them. Because even though he dressed up in the tights and the cape, he was not Superman on the inside. He was just Clark Kent out playing at saving the world.
Even after things had fallen apart with Lois, he had still somehow believed that things would work out in the end. He would find love somewhere, would find someone that loved him, not the clothes he wore.
Now it was too late for everything. The Earth was a dead thing, and he could only hope that he would soon be allowed to follow it.
His powers had grown considerably with each year he was exposed to Earth's yellow sun. He had reached the point where he was afraid that maybe he couldn't die. He would just go on forever, never able to kill himself because all of the kryptonite had long since been destroyed, and he would never be able to find that gentle sleep everyone around him had succumbed to.
It's so lonely, he thought. And even though he had long believed that their friendship was over and that he hated his once best friend, he couldn't help but to whisper, "I miss you Lex," as he lay curled in upon himself on his old bed. Childhood was long behind him, but he could only wish that he could go back. He missed all that he had lost, and dreaded the thought of immortality.
Once upon a time there lived a handsome prince that spent most of his youth locked away by his evil father. He dreamed of a better life and cried over the gentle memories of his dead mother. All he wanted was to go back in time and begin again, to have the chance to be the happy child he probably should have been. But that was not to be.
To some he was an angel, to others a devil, but to himself he was a beast.
From the time all of his childhood illnesses were wiped away by the lovely radiant glow of falling meteorites, he was somewhat of a freak when he looked into his own mirror. And though he later drowned himself in the pleasures of the flesh and the blissful madness of drugs and alcohol, he knew that no one could ever love him for real because he was ugly and his father would ruin everything that he tried to possess. So he decided that he would just be satisfied with empty laughter and empty sex and never try to make anything real for himself, because it would only get broken.
He was a void.
Once upon a time, as these tales always begin, there lived a poor farmer, his beloved wife, and the son they both worshipped.
For years the couple had tried to have a child of their own, but no matter how much they loved, their simple wish was denied. It broke the farmer's heart to listen to his wife's quiet weeping in the night when she thought that he couldn't hear. He would brush his hand across her tear soaked pillow after she had finally fallen asleep, and the wetness against his palm and fingertips was a proof that he had somehow failed her.
Still, the couple loved each other with a fierce passion that was not so much dulled by the fact that it had transformed itself into quiet contentment as it was refined by it. They were comfortable with each other and they found joy in their love and the sharing of their life. And the desire to have a child of their own only added to the power of the emotion they shared, for a need denied has to find other outlets, and they sank themselves into the warmth of each others' arms, knowing that each was all that the other had.
Then one day fiery green jewels began to fall to earth and the sky was lit up with flame. Some people lost their lives or were forever changed by what that day brought. And the farmer and his wife received the blessing they had longed for, and the child they had always dreamed of enhanced their lives.
They took that boy into their home and raised him with all of the love they had to offer. From the moment they first saw him in his silvery pod, they knew that he was special, a blessing just for them. And so, after much discussion amongst themselves, the couple lied to the boy and never told him that he was anything but their son in love, admitting that he was adopted, but never that he was less than human. But they never dreamed that their deceit might hurt him, because they did it out of love and fear, wanting him so much that they hoped never to have to give him up. Their lie was a charm against the possibility that his real parents might appear to take him away, never to be seen again.
So wrapping their lives around the lie, the farmer and his wife loved their son more than anything, and their lives were made complete. A mother, a father and a child, just what they had always wanted, and even if the money was short, they made do with what they had--the love they built their lives upon. To them, wealth was a far away dream, a fantasy that need not be fulfilled for them to have contentment, because they had each other.
They were happy.
And finally, once upon a time, Lucifer, Son of the Morning Star, fell deep into the depths of the earth to wallow in the misery of the flames of Hell. In his own mind, he was happy in his disgrace, saying always that it was "better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven." But somewhere in his heart he missed the gentle love that had always been there for him, wordless and supporting, and so, without that love and not understanding the emotions that he felt, he lashed out in anger against everything, hating most the happiness he had been denied.
He lived the life of a king, ruthless and cold to everyone around him, spurning the love that might have been offered. He did not want to be weakened by any soft emotion, though wordlessly his eyes screamed out to everyone that looked into them that love was what he wanted most. Perhaps that was why he eventually lost his eyes to see--a punishment for the blindness he clung to even when he had his sight.
Money was the tool he wielded, but power was the god he worshipped. He dreamed of grandiose plots and world domination. He may have been denied the reaches of Heaven, but he was intent on plundering the spoils of Hell. There was nothing he would let stand in his way.
Lucifer had a son, Beelzebub, a child born weak in body, but that he molded into cold-blooded strength of mind. He trained his child to revile all that was good, and wrapped him up in bonds of ice. Lucifer had given up all softness for himself, and he would never let his precious heir be tainted by such weaknesses as love and compassion.
With each passing day, his son grew stronger in his shadow, until Lucifer realized that Beelzebub was grown too strong. There was a real chance that Beelzebub would topple the throne and take Lucifer's crown before Lucifer was willing to relinquish his empire.
Though Lucifer tried to sully the beauty of his son, he realized that Beelzebub was a shining light that could not be dimmed. It enraged him that such a glowing being could ever exist, and he threw himself into the task of destroying all that was good in his son. Lucifer took pleasure in causing pain.
He was jealousy and rage.
Three beginnings for a story that only has one end. A tale of magic, love, betrayal, blind lust and epiphany.
There are no fairy tales. There are no happy endings. And if anyone ever says "And they lived happily ever after," they are lying, because no one ever has a happy ever after. There are always fights and tears, griefs and petty differences, and though they may find contentment in each others' embrace, no couple ever passes through life in a blind daze of bliss.
In every lifetime there is the possibility of chance meetings and unrequited feelings, and though people occasionally find the love they long for, more often than not they settle for a lot less. And so is it any wonder that a story that's different from all of the rest should have so many beginnings and so few endings? I think not.
This tale of love began when Lucifer exiled his son to the farthest reaches of his empire. He was intent on shaming Beelzebub into obedience, but instead he opened the door to chance and Cupid.
It was not his intention to bring happiness to his son, but that was the result of his action, and he was forced to live with it. And on the way, he managed to find something for himself as well, though it could only be the smallest happiness for his black pebble heart.
Beelzebub had another name. He was Alexander Luthor, heir of the great LuthorCorp and all of the power his father had amassed. To himself he was simply "Lex Luthor," and he perhaps dreaded his future as ruler of the empire, even as he desired it with a burning passion. No one could deny that he was ambitious, and his father had taught him well the uses of ruthlessness and other peoples' greed to get what he wanted.
Shipped off to a small town in the middle of nowhere, he was angry at his father and fate and the world and everything else his eye fell upon. He wanted to destroy, to lay waste to the world around him and listen to the grieving screams of his victims. He wanted to hurt everyone and everything, and he knew that he couldn't. He had to hold to the ice around his heart and pretend that he was not hurt by his father's actions, that he did not feel betrayed and maybe a bit ashamed of himself that his father could see him as being that unworthy.
Lex wrapped himself up in a cloak of arrogance and went into exile with a smirk on his lips and pretended not to care about where he was going or why.
He pretended so hard that he was not bothered that he almost believed the lie himself. For years he had turned all of his emotional pains into bottled up rage, and so it had become common to him to equate the desire to cry with the need to destroy. He was an amalgam of missing parts, but at least he functioned, and that was all right.
He was given the running of a fertilizer plant. It wasn't beautiful or nice, but it was a purpose for him to focus on. He would turn the plant into untold wealth and prove to his father once and for all that he was a man and not a little boy. He could not be bullied or looked down upon.
Lex wasted most of his time in Smallville feeling sorry for himself and trying to force as much money out of the fertilizer plant as possible. He didn't even know it, but he wasn't as happy with the way his life was going as he had thought. He realized how lonely he really was when he ended up almost killing himself one day by driving his car off a bridge. It was only luck that Clark Kent was there to save him--not just in body, but in mind and soul as well.
With his first glimpse into Clark's clear eyes, he realized that he had found something he had thought lost forever, though he didn't even have the words to know what it was. He was just flooded with all kinds of unfamiliar emotions that still managed to produce an odd warmth in him.
Lex tried to pull his usual arrogance around himself and push Clark away from him, but no matter what he did, he only ended up being drawn closer to the boy. Without even realizing how he got there, he somehow ended up a part of Clark's life. He was happier than he had ever been, but he couldn't help questioning what had happened to him.
Whenever Clark was around he had the strange desire to not disappoint the boy. He wanted to be a good person for Clark, wanted to show him that Lex Luthor could be a good friend, someone to trust. He didn't know why, but he didn't want Clark to hate him, which was odd since he had never cared what anyone felt about him before. But this was Clark Kent, someone different from every other person in the world.
It took Lex an inordinate amount of time to figure out what was happening to him. For a man with a genius IQ, he felt like a complete idiot when he realized why just the sound of Clark's name made his heart beat faster and why he did everything in his power to impress the boy at every turn.
At first he might just have been attracted to Clark's pretty face, but as he got to know the reality of the goodness in Clark, he really began to fall in love. It was so utterly ridiculous that he didn't want to believe it at first, but after awhile he just became used to the fact that Lex Luthor, a man that could have anyone or anything that he wanted, was desperate for the loving touch of an innocent farm bred teenaged boy that had been so thoroughly cocooned in safety by his parents that he wouldn't know reality if it hit him upside the head.
Lex was sure that anyone that had known him before he was sent to Smallville would probably not even recognize him. He was a changed man, all because he had fallen in love with a hick town's version of the perfect boy.
If Lana Lang was Smallville's fairy princess, Clark Kent should have been its prince. Lex couldn't understand why no one paid the boy the attention he deserved, but he was grateful for it. As long as people failed to realize how wonderful Clark was, Lex could have him all to himself.
Moving quickly, he became friends with Clark. They had various adventures that drew them closer together, but always there was this insurmountable wall between them, and her name was Lana Lang.
Clark was hung up on Lana, crushing so completely on her that he wasn't looking at anything else but her. It made Lex ache inside, but there was really nothing to do about it. He just had to live with the fact that he was never going to have Clark, and settled himself in to just be good friends. He was going to make it have to be enough.
Whenever the darkness threatened to swallow him, he assured himself that at least he got to be Clark's friend. They saw each other nearly everyday, and even if they were never anything more than buddies, they could have been a lot less. It was good enough, or so he told himself every time depression threatened to swallow him whole.
* * *
It was a Friday, which was about the only relief Clark had. Once school was over, he had a whole weekend to look forward to. It made him want to smile and whistle a happy tune, though he didn't, because that would have been stupid.
When the bell rang at the end of fourth period, he hurriedly gathered up his books and made his way into the hallway to meet Chloe at her locker like he had promised earlier. Pete was already there waiting with her when Clark arrived.
There was a definite tension in the air and it seemed that Chloe and Pete were fighting about something.
Chloe was pretending to ignore Pete as she dug through her locker, slamming things around. Her shoulders were tight and her lips had pursed themselves in that way they had when she was upset. Practically everything about her screamed "DANGER, do not piss off more!" It was a warning Clark took to heart, though not very seriously since he could take almost anything without getting a scratch. As long as she wasn't carrying around a chunk of green meteorite, there wasn't much chance she was really going to hurt him.
As he came close, Clark could hear Pete whining. "Come on Chloe, I said I was sorry already. Do you want me to get down on me knees and beg for your forgiveness?"
"You just shut up. I don't want to hear your voice right now." Chloe began jerking books out of her locker and shoving them into her bag with such force it was a wonder the cloth didn't rip. She looked up when Clark got close. "Oh, hey Clark." Her smile was a little thin.
His eyebrow twitched and he could practically smell the anger and hurt in the air. "What are you so mad about?" Clark asked.
Chloe melodramatically crossed her arms and stuck out her lower lip, the bag hanging limply from one hand. "Pete gave me a Pokemon name."
"How bad can it be? Pete only has like five brain cells to rub together." He smirked at Pete's sound of outrage. "What's the name?"
"I don't want to say," she pouted.
"Come on, you can tell me. I'm your friend, I won't laugh. What is it?" Clark asked.
Chloe blushed, then muttered, "Jiggly Butt."
He tried, he really did, but he couldn't keep himself from laughing. "That's cute!"
She slapped him on the shoulder. "No it's not. It's horrible!"
"I said I was sorry!" Pete wailed.
She turned to glare at Pete. "It's comments like those about a girl's weight that make fragile individuals like Jodi Melville go bugshit. I don't want to end up trying to suck out people's fat for its tastiness, all right?"
"Fine, I'm really, really sorry," Pete said, throwing his arms in the air. "I just thought it was cute."
She made him suffer for about half a minute more, then turned to Clark with a smile. "So, what do you wanna do today? Fridays only come once a week, after all." It was surprising how cheerful and peppy she could make her voice sound even when she was pissed.
Clark put on his cutest look. "I rented Spaceballs last night, and I can make some popcorn if you want to come over."
"Spaceballs?" Pete said disbelievingly. "That movie's older than we are!"
"Yeah, if you count the production start date," Clark agreed. "Still, it's a great movie. Mel Brooks was a genius. I liked Robin Hood: Men in Tights, too."
"You would." Pete sighed heavily. "Well, if that's the choice of entertainment tonight, I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to pass. Sorry."
"Yeah, me too," Chloe said. "I was thinking more that we could go to The Talon or to the movie theater to watch a new movie." She turned to Pete. "You want to go to the movies?"
"Sure," he said, "if you're not still mad about the whole Pokemon name thing." He was careful not to say the words "Jiggly Butt" again.
She shook her head. "I positively won't be mad at you any more if you pay for the gummi bears tonight."
"Deal." Pete sounded relieved to be forgiven.
Clark couldn't help but to feel a little hurt as they made plans without him. "Whatever," he said. "I'm going to stay home and watch my movie. You're really missing out."
"Right. Well, see you, I gotta get to my next class," Chloe said, slinging her bag over her shoulder.
"Me too." Pete slapped Clark on the shoulder. "See you later, Clark."
They walked off without him and Clark had the sudden sense that a hole had opened up somewhere inside him. They were off to do their own thing and neither one wanted to waste time with him.
He bit his lip for a moment, then threw his shoulders back and drew in a deep breath. I don't need them to have fun, he thought.
He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his cell phone, dialing Lex's private line by memory.
Lex picked up on the second ring. "Luthor."
"Hey Lex, it's Clark. Do you want to come over to my house tonight and watch a movie?"
"What movie?" Lex asked.
"Um," Clark rubbed the toe of his shoe against a scuff mark on the floor, "Spaceballs."
"You want me to come over to your house tonight and watch Spaceballs?" Lex asked, sounding like he didn't really believe it.
"Well, since you asked so nicely, what time do you want me to come?" There was laughter in Lex's voice and Clark felt the tension he hadn't even noticed slip from his shoulders.
"I was thinking about 7:30, that way there'll be plenty of time if we want to do anything afterward."
"Sounds good. Do you have it on DVD or VHS?" Lex asked.
Clark was a little puzzled at the question, wondering why he even cared. "I got it on tape because that was all they had to rent. Small town video store, you know."
"Well that's not very good. I'll bring my DVD of it. See you." Lex hung up.
Clark stood there for a long moment staring into space. Lex had his own copy of Spaceballs. Lex was a fan of Spaceballs.
His lips twitched and he couldn't help the goofy grin that took over his whole face. He was beginning to wonder how he could ever be surprised at anything Lex did.
* * *
After he hung up the phone, Lex sat there staring at it with his eyebrows raised.
Clark had asked him to come over and watch a movie with him. It was the kind of comfortable thing that friends did all the time, but that he had never really seen himself doing with anyone.
Sure, he might go to a movie theater and sit with someone in the silent dark for two hours, but going to someone's house and cuddling up on a couch alone was completely different. There was something oddly intimate about it.
He was a little surprised at the erection that had decided to press itself against his zipper. It had been happening more and more lately, and always when he heard Clark's voice or saw the boy's face. His body, which he had kept under strict reign for years, had suddenly decided to have a mind of its own.
And it was stupid to be excited about watching a movie with Clark. For all he knew, Pete and Chloe and Lana and fifty other people might be there too. There was no guarantee that it was just going to be the two of them, and a better chance that it was going to be a group of Clark's friends, making him the odd man out, uncomfortable in his wealth and the Luthor name. But if that was the case, at least Clark was going to be there.
Feeling surprisingly cheerful, Lex leaned back in his desk chair, threading his fingers together behind his head. His day had been heading downhill until Clark's call, and now things were definitely looking up.
* * *
Clark was grinning so hard it felt like his face was going to split in two. From the point when he had talked to Lex onward, the day passed in a blur. He didn't know why he was so happy, but he was, and he was going to make the most of it.
The last bell was still ringing in his ears when he arrived home, a blur of speed. It was wonderful to just let go and run and for a moment he didn't care if anyone found out his secret. It just didn't seem to matter as long as he was happy like this.
"Hi Mom," he called, zipping through the house and up to his room to dump his books and change clothes before disappearing back out the still swinging door. He wanted to finish his chores as fast as possible so he could have the whole rest of the night free. Lex was coming over to watch his favorite movie with him and it was just going to be the two of them together, which was oddly exciting in a way he didn't want to question.
In ten minutes he had finished all of his chores and half of his dad's. He didn't do all of Jonathan's because he knew his father would be mad if there was nothing left for him to do. If there was ever a person that needed something to keep busy with, it was Jonathan Kent.
He walked back into the house with a false serenity, pretending that everything was normal.
His mother was still seated at the kitchen table, her coffee cup the same amount of full as before. Papers were spread out in front of her and she was tapping at the keyboard of her laptop with her left hand as she wrote in a spiral notebook with her right. "Hello Clark," she said, looking up at him. "I see you decided to come inside like a normal person this time."
Clark ducked his head a little to look at her out from under his bangs. He knew it made him look cute. He wasn't completely blind to the responses of the people around him. "Sorry Mom, I just wanted to finish my chores fast. I'm going to go take a shower then listen to music. Can you call me down in time for dinner?"
She smiled. "Of course."
He headed toward the kitchen door, then paused to turn and detour past the cookie jar to grab an oatmeal raisin cookie. He held it up at her amused expression. "Need my strength. Lex is coming over later to watch Spaceballs."
"He is? I wouldn't think he would be interested in something like that. He doesn't seem the sort."
Clark shrugged. "People can surprise you. He has his own copy."
After a quick shower he retreated to his room.
Holding his towel with one hand, he put a CD Chloe had burned for him in the stereo and turned the volume up loud. He changed into a clean pair of jeans and a red tee shirt, then lay back on his bed staring at the ceiling. The music was climbing into his head and it was comforting.
I should maybe go to the store and get some snacks for when Lex comes, he thought lazily. We need something more than just popcorn while we're watching the movie. Maybe some chocolate covered raisins or Jujubes. It'll be like we're really at the movie theater.
For some reason he felt himself becoming aroused, but he figured it was just a result of being a teenager. He'd gotten hard at Baskin-Robins watching the clerk fill his cup with chocolate frozen yogurt, and there was the time he was helping pass out test results in class and he'd felt all the eyes watching him, caressing him, and he'd almost come in his jeans. He sometimes thought that he was well on the way to becoming a complete pervert.
He groaned deep in his throat. His own body was starting to frustrate him. But at least this time he was alone.
Clark lifted his shirt and unbuttoned his pants, letting himself relax into his mattress. He drew in a deep breath and let himself lie there bonelessly for a moment, then he licked his finger and began to draw slow circles on his stomach, tracing around belly button and stroking the line of hair that disappeared into his pants. He closed his eyes, imagining it was someone else touching him. He could almost feel smooth fingers against his skin, fingers thinner than his own, softer, surer in their touch and confidence.
He never thought of any specific person when he touched himself. He thought of hands that weren't his own, but they belonged to some faceless, mostly bodiless Other that he wasn't embarrassed to let do anything to him. If he pictured a real person, he would never be able to look the real version in the face again.
He blushed enough as it was. He didn't need the added embarrassment of always seeing people naked, which he could do anytime anyway. X-ray vision was cool and all, but for a teenaged boy trying to keep himself under control, it was the kind of temptation that never should have been offered.
"On a cold wet afternoon
no room for love and emptiness.
By a freeway
I confess I was lost in the pages of a book full of death
reading how we'll die alone
and if a god will lay to rest
anywhere we want to go."
He slipped his hand into his pants, caressing lightly at first, pretending at a tentative touch, then harder, stronger. Somehow the hand he imagined touching him changed from gentle femininity to something larger, more forceful. He didn't think about what it meant. He was lost in the sensation and the words of the song, the sound of it. It fit his mood so perfectly, passionately wistful and alone.
"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."
He wondered if there was ever going to be someone he loved so much that he would willingly wait forever for them to choose him.
In all his time watching and admiring Lana from afar, he had always known that beyond the surface of her beauty there were depths that he would never plumb. She was sweet and smart and a wonderful friend to have, but years of unrequited desire had worn him down until he could look at her and say that she was pretty, but he didn't burn to have her. And the fact that he could freely admit that he could live the whole of his life without ever having her, that he could find happiness with someone else, told him that she wasn't the One.
To take his mind off his loneliness, the fact that he didn't know what he wanted or who, he gripped his cock with brutal strength. He could have crushed cement blocks with that grip, but it didn't hurt him. He could feel the pressure and recognized that it should have been pain, but it might not have been real at all.
He stroked himself, lifting his hips a little off the bed with each pump. He could feel it growing inside him, that wonderful moment. It was a time when he didn't have to think, just feel. He was never lonely when he came--he was released from everything.
His panting breath was harsh in his own ears, though the music was so loud no one else could hear it. His head was tipped back, grinding into his pillow. He could feel the cords of his neck drawing tight and his hand pumped faster, faster, faster until it was a blur of motion and smoke drifted gently upwards from the friction.
"Oh shit!" he ground out between his teeth, feeling his whole body go tight and the throbbing of his own heartbeat in his hand. Then he came, spurting hot against his palm and fingers.
He loved this moment, when he was coming, when he was free from any other thought than his own pleasure. Lights flashed behind his closed eyelids in colors he had never seen before in the real world, and he thought that somewhere he could hear the spit and crackle of some alien language that he almost knew.
"And on my deathbed I will pray
to all the gods and the angels like a pagan
to anyone who will take me to heaven
to a place I would recall
I was there so long ago.
The sky was bruised
the world was black
and there you led me on."
Panting, he slipped his hand out of his pants, wiping his cock against his fingers to clean off any excess.
He opened his eyes to look at the blob of come in his hand. It made him think of the disgusting slime-putty he used to play with as a kid, the goop that poured out of toy-machine eggs and that his mother would throw away when he grew bored of playing with it and left it splattered on a table somewhere.
With barely any hesitation, he raised his hand to his mouth and licked it clean, tasting himself. He wondered how other people tasted, if his being an alien made him taste different from anyone else. He wanted other flavors in his mouth.
When he was sure his hand was clean, he lay it back on his stomach and let himself drift away with the music. He could taste himself on the back of his tongue.
"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."
He was in a huge, familiar house, though right at the moment he couldn't say whose it was.
Time passed slowly here. It felt like he was walking for hours or minutes, both at the same time. He walked from room to room, running his hands across tables and chairs and beds, but always alone. There didn't seem to be anyone else here, which was oddly strange. Such a big house should have been filled with talking, laughing people. He thought that maybe the house was lonely.
When he came into the library, he felt his heart thump hard in his chest. Even though he didn't recognize where this was, he knew that it was somewhere important, somewhere special. This was a place that meant a lot to him, though he didn't know why.
He walked over to the desk, slipping a hand over the computer monitor, then sat down in the comfortable, official-looking chair. It was expensive and smelled faintly of something he almost knew, a scent that should have been almost as familiar as his own, but that in this time and place he couldn't recognize. A face almost presented itself to his mind, but he couldn't find the name and it really didn't seem to matter.
He was sitting at the desk, flipping through papers covered in writing he couldn't, didn't want to read, when the door opened. The light changed with it, brightening and softening at the same time. Colors began to blur around the edges and he felt himself becoming hard, but it was all almost gentle.
The man who came in was slender and beautiful. He was wearing a dark black suit with a purple shirt instead of the canonical white that most businessmen wore in old TV shows. His hands were loose at his sides, the fingers long and artistic, hands that were made to touch and mold the world. The complete hairlessness of his skull highlighted the delicate bones beneath, the eggshell fragile bones that one inhumanly strong hand could crush so easily.
The man smiled at him and he could almost say the name, could almost taste it in the back of his mind, but it wasn't really important, so he didn't try to find it. He didn't want to lose this moment, and he somehow knew that thinking too hard would ruin everything. If he thought about it, he would have to leave this place, and he wanted to stay here forever.
The man walked across the library with a casual grace, his hips swaying slightly, catlike. He moved as if he knew every bit of his body and what it could do. He came to stand in front of the desk. A little smile quirked his lips, the most he ever did, though his eyes were surprisingly open, saying things they never did in the real world. "Clark." His voice was soft, shivery and special. "Clark. It's dinnertime. Clark..."
Clark's eyes jerked open and he sat up in bed panting for breath. His heart was thumping in his chest so hard and fast that he could imagine his skin vibrating from the impact.
"Come on down, Clark, it's dinnertime!" his mom yelled.
He scrubbed his hands hard over his face, then raked his hair back. "Yeah, okay. I'm coming!"
What the fuck was that? The thought wasn't as horrified as it probably should have been. His heart had calmed down, but he still felt... strange. If he hadn't known better, he would have thought that the dream had made him excited. But it hadn't meant anything. It was just a dream, just another weird thing in an already over-weird life. It was only a dream, nothing more.
He climbed out of bed, an oddly cotton-headed feeling falling over him when he was completely upright. He felt like he had only just closed his eyes, but a glance at his clock said he had been sleeping for close to three hours.
He was still tired.
Dinner was awkward, though his parents didn't notice that anything was wrong. They talked and laughed and acted like everything wasn't suddenly weird. Then again, things weren't weird for them. They hadn't had a strange dream that was still making them feel uncomfortable and... aroused.
Clark scooped some more mashed potatoes on his plate, then grabbed another pork chop. His mom had cooked extra, knowing that he would eat more than anyone else.
"You sure are hungry, Clark," Jonathan said, "and you took that nap this afternoon. What have you been doing today?"
Clark didn't even blink, just shrugged in depreciation. "Nothing much. I think I just needed a nap to catch up on my sleep for the past month."
Martha smiled and made sure to ladle an extra big helping of green beans on his plate. "Eat some more vegetables. They're good for you," she said.
He speared about ten of them on the end of his fork, just piling them on one after another, then popped the whole thing in his mouth. The sooner they were gone the better. He could smell the pie his mom had left to cool in the kitchen. "Thanks."
"Henley Nash called today. She wanted to know if you could baby-sit Scott and Isabelle on Tuesday afternoon. What do you think?" Martha asked.
"Sure, that's cool. I don't mind playing with them for awhile. Tell her I'll do it."
Clark could feel his parents watching him. They were always looking at him with all this love in their eyes. It made him feel warm to know that they loved him so much, but sometimes it also made him want to grab fistfuls of his hair and just scream and scream. They were always expecting things of him.
He was their only child, the only one they would ever have. He was their secret alien baby that had to go out in the world and pass for normal. Sometimes it was a little much.
* * *
Driving out to the Kents place on a Friday night in Smallville, Kansas. It should have felt ridiculous, speeding along the empty road with a million stars spread out above him like an offering. It should have felt stupid, but it didn't. It was in moments like these that he felt the most as if he owned the whole of the world. There was just this sense that if he reached out he could grab the stars in his bare hands and engulf the world with his body.
Yards and yards of fences and whispering tracks of corn and wheat passed by the speeding sports car. He could have turned the radio on, but the silence seemed appropriate. He felt as if something hugely beyond him was expanding in his chest. It was an emotion so terribly sweet that it didn't even have a name, not one that he had the words for.
He was Lex Luthor and he was never supposed to feel like this. He was supposed to wear an iron expression and look down at all of the little people that populated the world. He wasn't supposed to have any softness in him, so he mostly pretended to ignore what he felt, what he had begun to feel from the first moment he had met Clark Kent.
As long as he pretended that he didn't feel anything more for Clark than friendship, he could keep Clark for his own. He didn't have to let any of this go. He didn't have to be afraid of what might happen.
Reaching the end of the Kents driveway, he drew in a deep breath and with his exhalation, let the emotions that driving here had brought him slip away. He might have wanted to retain the emotions, but when he got out of his car he knew that he was going to have to be Lex Luthor again. And Lex Luthor never felt anything even remotely like this in his cold, money-money life.
By the time he had parked, Clark had already come out of the house and was off the porch headed toward him. There was a big grin on the boy's face and Lex had to fight to keep the sudden flare of joy from exploding out of control. He was Lex Luthor, and childish excitement just wasn't a part of his cynical, forever scheming identity.
He climbed out of the car and let his lips quirk in a slight smile. He wanted to beam at Clark like an idiot, but he held himself to a vaguely amused expression. "Hey Clark. I brought the DVD." He waved the thin box and slammed the door.
Clark came bounding over to him. "Great. We can watch it in the Fortress. I already set up the TV and DVD player and laid out the snacks, so we don't have to wait. Come on."
Lex almost asked if he should say hello to Ma and Pa Kent first, but he figured there was no need to borrow trouble. He just followed Clark.
He always felt a little stupid climbing up the ladder in the barn. It was like he had retreated to some childhood that had never been his, and the only thing that kept him from tossing his head and refusing to go up was that it was one of the places where he got to be with Clark. The loft in the barn was Clark's Fortress of Solitude, his place to hide and be himself in a way that he wasn't outside.
No one else may have realized it, but there were depths to Clark, parts of himself that he hid, parts that had nothing to do with his oh-so-important deep dark secret. He wore the mask of "innocent farm boy" when he walked out in the world, but something in him relaxed when he was in his Fortress. It was something Lex had seen the first time he was invited up here. So even though it made him feel childish and embarrassed to climb the ladder, he did it, because Clark would be himself once they were up top, and that was a person Lex was always happy to see.
"Here, I'll set up the movie while you sit down," Clark said.
Lex curled his upper lip a little as he slipped out of his jacket, folding it over the back of a wooden rail. He walked over to the old couch and settled in as comfortably as possible. He could see the flex and bend of Clark's muscles as the boy knelt to load the DVD in the player.
Clark rose with a grin and came over to sit next to Lex, close enough that their legs brushed. He pushed buttons on the remote control he'd left on the couch arm and the TV flipped on. The DVD had already started.
"Wait a minute," Clark said, jumping up to jog over to the light switch. He turned it off and the only light was the glow from the TV. He sat back down on the couch with a happy little sigh.
Since it was dark and no one was watching, Lex allowed himself the luxury of his own little sigh. It was strange that he could feel so happy just being here.
The beginning sequence began scrolling up the screen and Clark was already chuckling.
Lonestar had just dropped the giant statue of Yogurt on Barf's foot and they were both laughing.
Sometime during the movie, Clark had moved closer against him and Lex could feel the warmth of Clark's skin through his shirt. He held his body purposely loose, not showing how affected he was by Clark's nearness. The boy thought they were just friends; he wasn't going to do anything to scare Clark away.
He had known from the beginning that Clark wasn't for him. Clark was for the Lana Langs or Chloe Sullivans of the world, pretty girls that would fall in love with the beautiful man-boy and introduce him to the appropriate kinds of heterosexual passion. Lex would just have to be content with being Clark's best friend. It would be enough.
"Hey Lex," Clark turned to him with the flickering glow of the TV crossing his features, "are you doing anything on Tuesday?"
"Probably a million and one things, why?"
"Well, I promised to baby-sit Mrs. Nash's kids on Tuesday afternoon and we usually go to McDonalds so they can play in the Play Place for an hour or two, so I was wondering, do you want to come and hang out with me?"
"Hang out with you at McDonalds? Are you insane? Do you know who I am?"
Clark made puppy dog eyes. "Come on. I don't want to be alone, and we can have some fun, I promise."
"You're paying for my Big Mac," Lex said grudgingly. He couldn't say no to that expression.
Lex felt a little smile quirk his lips at the way Clark's face had lit up with happiness. Clark was just so sweetly innocent that even the smallest gestures could make him happy.
That's when it happened. He could feel it like a burning along the surface of his skin and his breath caught in his throat. He didn't want to make a sound for fear that he would ruin it, the moment. It had finally come, all unexpected, but perhaps inevitable.
Clark was looking at him out of those amazing eyes, and his expression just went soft. Not wanting to make any sudden moves, Lex held perfectly still, afraid of scaring him. Then Clark began to lean forward, his eyes fluttering almost closed. Lex was trapped by those lips softly parted and felt himself slip forward too.
They were three inches apart, two, one, then their lips brushed across each other, touching feather light, then pulling apart only to come together again. The heat from their two bodies was aching to merge and neither wanted to be the one to ruin the moment by going too fast, but they both wanted. Their lips drew close again and they both knew that this was going to be a real kiss, the one they had been lusting after for months, the kiss that was going to change everything forever. Lex could feel Clark's breath against his lips and the sensitive skin quivered with a desire for contact. They were a hair's breadth apart, their eyes locked on each other even with Clark's half-closed and dreamy. They were going to do it, were finally going to take that next step and...
Clark jerked back and was on his feet before Lex could even blink. Clark's cheeks were flushed as he hurried across the room to stand over the ladder. He couldn't look at Lex right now, couldn't face whatever he might see in his friend's expression. "Yeah Dad?" he called, his voice only a little roughened.
Jonathan was standing at the bottom of the ladder gazing up at him, a worried look on his face. "You're going to have to tell Lex to go home, Clark. Something's come up and we need you, right now."
Clark was puzzled, but he jerked his head in a nod. There was something in his father's voice that told him it was serious. He turned to look at Lex, blushing a little. "Sorry Lex, looks like movie night's been cut a bit short. Are you mad?"
Lex gathered himself up and stood, twitching his shirt straight with finicky precision before grabbing his jacket. "Of course not. If a family emergency comes up, you have to answer it. Just let me know if there's anything you need me to do."
Clark smiled as he moved out of the way to let Lex down the ladder first. "You're always looking out for me. You're a good friend."
When they reached bottom, Clark walked Lex back to his car and said a hurried farewell. From the way Jonathan was hovering a few feet away, he knew he didn't have time to waste.
"I'm really sorry about this," Clark said, leaning against the driver side door so he could peer in through the open window.
Lex placed two well-manicured hands on the steering wheel and smiled at Clark. "It's all right, really. I'll see you later, right?"
Clark grinned. "Promise."
He stepped back and watched Lex drive away. There was a warmth flowing through Clark's whole body, and it originated somewhere in his heart.
Finally he shook himself and turned to his father. "What happened, Dad?"
Jonathan was frowning after Lex, but the face he turned on Clark was worried about other things than the multi-billionaire. "Your mother and I went to check on the ship and while we were there it started making this sound and floating. We didn't know how to make it stop, and the noise is only getting louder. Someone might hear it."
Clark felt the blood drain out of his face. "We better... we better get over there."
Jonathan jerked a nod. "Yes."
It took everything Clark had to walk at a normal human pace and stay with Jonathan. He wanted to superspeed over to the cellar, but he knew better. His dad would never leave him behind.
They found Martha sitting on the ground a few feet from the storm cellar door, gripping her right hand with her left. There was a vaguely singed look about her and her lower lip quivered. Her eyes were so wide it was like they were trying to eat up her face.
"Mom! Mom, are you all right?" Clark supersped to her side, falling to his knees to grip her shoulder.
The air rang with a grating sound that was like horns and whistles and teakettles and screaming, dying rabbits all at once. The sound went up a notch every thirty seconds. It had already reached a delightfully headache inducing level. It made Clark want to cover his ears and close his eyes, that or vomit. Maybe both at once.
She tucked her face in the crook of his neck and breathed in the scent of her little boy. Even under the emerging man-smell, he was still Clark. "I don't know what happened. I was just standing there and it just... it zapped me. I ran up here, but I don't think it wants me down there right now."
Jonathan sat down next to her, slipping an arm around her waist. "You go on in, son," he told Clark, running his eyes over her to make sure she was really all right. "I'll take care of your mother."
Clark looked at them both, capturing them in his mind, before drawing in a deep breath and jerking a nod.
"Be careful," Martha called, craning her neck around to watch him as he started down the stairs.
He gave her a quick version of his patented cheeky grin. "Don't worry. Love you."
It was almost easy to pretend not to be afraid when there were other people to be brave for. They needed him to be strong, so he was.
Golden light radiated throughout the whole cellar. The spaceship was floating about four feet off the ground and that awful noise was coming from somewhere inside it.
Clark winced as the sound grew louder. He hurried to the ship, trying to see if there was anything he could do to make the noise stop.
He froze with his hand outstretched. He hadn't even touched anything yet.
The light coming from the ship got brighter. He squinted his eyes and dropped his arm back to his side, his fingers curling around his palm, the nails biting into the flesh a little. He didn't want to touch anything before he knew what he was doing, but at least that annoying sound had stopped.
The ship was just hovering in the air, silently waiting for him to make the next move. Only, he didn't know what to do.
The light began to pulse, gold, orange, red, gold, orange, red in a steady pattern that was vaguely hypnotic. His eyes felt dry and gritty and he really had to wonder if he was going to go blind, which was a pretty funny thing for the "Invulnerable Boy" to think.
Clark gasped and clutched the sides of his head as the lights suddenly flared a hundred times as bright as before, not in his eyes, but behind his brain. It wasn't exactly painful, but he hadn't been expecting it.
"Clark? Are you all..."
The voice boomed directly into his mind, creating strange echoes that he couldn't shake away because they were inside him.
I don't know, he thought. What do I do? I don't want to do anything.
Whatever had been talking must have also been listening inside his mind, because all of a sudden, the ship lowered itself back to the ground and all of the eerie lights went out, pitching him into darkness.
Clark stood there for a long moment, but there was really nothing he could do. He sighed and headed toward the stairs. His parents were still nervously awaiting explanations from their alien son.
Sometimes it seemed as if his life was getting stranger instead of more normal. After finding out he was an alien from outer space he had had the hope that maybe things would at least settle into something kind of maybe resembling a routine; instead the weirdness was only growing and Chloe's Wall of Weird had expanded to almost a whole roomful. It was ridiculous, and he wished he could go back to thinking that someday he would grow up to be merely human.
* * *
He had been shuffled off so fast that Lex really didn't get a chance to think, but driving back home he knew that there was nothing else he could do. A Kent family emergency didn't need a Luthor butting in uninvited and unneeded. If there was anything he could do to help, Lex knew that even if Jonathan's stiff-necked pride precluded him from asking for help, Clark wasn't so rigid.
I almost got to kiss Clark tonight. The thought whirled around in Lex's mind, making him smile in a way that he hadn't since before his mother died. Not that he would ever let anyone see him so emotionally vulnerable, but the fact that he could be this open even to himself was a bit of a miracle.
Lex kept both hands firmly on the wheel to keep from touching his still tingling lips. And he drove fast to keep from thinking about the throb between his legs. Just the thought of Clark touching him tonight... it made him almost crazy. He felt like he was a kid again, though even as a sex-starved teenager he had never been so gauche and there had always been some other body to satisfy himself with. But this wasn't about just another quick fuck. This was about Clark and warmth and silk sheets and passion.
Driving toward the mansion, he felt strangely as if he was headed somewhere else, some impossible future that he was almost afraid to look at, but that he also lusted after with every particle of his being. It was strange and unusual and he tightened his grip on the wheel, trying to focus completely on the stretch of road in front of him.
He forced himself not to think about how everything had just suddenly changed. He had become almost happy with the thought that he was forever going to be just Clark's friend. Now there was the possibility of something more, and he felt like he was going to burst apart if anyone even looked at him.
He'd almost gotten to kiss Clark.
* * *
A ripple, then a sharp CRACK of displaced air and a silver pod was disgorged, the metal so hot it should have glowed red and did make the earth beneath it smoke and burn. Smoldering flame began to writhe and twist in the night air, growing as it fed on the dry grass and fallen leaves.
The pod made a hissing, gasping sound as it split open. A figure stepped out, cape swirling in an unfelt breeze. Hands rested on hips as a cool gaze surveyed the area where the pod had landed.
With a quick breath of freezing air, the flames were extinguished. The figure smiled slightly and rose up off the ground to fly up into the night sky, headed toward an already changing future.
The abandoned pod flickered once, twice, then disappeared like a soap bubble popping. A ring of scorched earth was left behind, but it was in the middle of nowhere where no one would see it before the wound had time to heal itself.