Sunday, January 04, 2009
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
His life was over.
Clark Kent sat in his loft, staring glumly at the front page of the Inquisitor. His parents hadn't seen it yet, but when they did, he was so going to be dead. So very dead.
Because there was a big picture of him kissing Lex Luthor on the front page.
He and Lex had been having an affair for quite some time. He was eighteen, so it wasn't like Lex was going to be in legal trouble or anything. Still, the newspapers had always made a big deal over Lex and all his women. Lex Girls, they'd dubbed them.
As far as Clark knew, he was the first Lex Boy.
The media were going to have a field day.
His first clue as to what his life was now going to be like came when he finished up his chores and headed downtown to the Talon. He hung out at the movie-theater-turned-coffeeshop all the time, as did most of his friends. It was a small town, after all, and there were only so many places to hang out.
He walked into the Talon, hoping to find a quiet table where he could sip black coffee and quietly reflect on his screwups.
The minute he walked through the door, a flash bulb went off.
Clark jumped, because he hadn't been expecting a brilliant white light to flash in his face. He turned toward it, and another one flashed. And another, and another.
He blinked against the lights, stupefied. Clark Kent, Kansas farmboy, now apparently rated his own paparazzi.
He stood there gaping foolishly for a moment, but the relentlessly flashing bulbs galvanized him into action. He spun on his heel and retreated, hearing a flood of footsteps behind him. He broke into a run-- a human run, since disappearing from in front of a crowd of reporters would only provoke questions he didn't want asked-- and fled back to the relative quiet of the farm.
"I didn't want you to find out this way."
Clark bowed his head and spoke to his fingers, intertwined in his lap. He knew his parents were looking at him, but he didn't quite dare meet their eyes.
"Clark." His mother's voice, gentle and reassuring as always. "We just wish you'd told us."
Yeah, because Dad's so understanding about all things Lex. Clark choked the words back, because he really didn't want to start a fight right now.
"It was kind of private," he said instead. "At least it was supposed to be."
"Clark..." Jonathan Kent spoke, sounding irritated. "You ought to know by now that nothing is private in a small town. And by associating your name with Lex's, you've made it that much more likely that someone will start digging into your secrets."
Clark lifted his head and glared at his father. "So I should have just stayed clear of Lex? Is that what you're saying?"
Jonathan glared right back. "That's exactly what I'm saying, Clark."
"I couldn't do that." Clark barely resisted the urge to slam a fist down, aware that he'd crack the kitchen table. "I love him, Dad."
He saw Jonathan flinch slightly. Martha shot a warning glance at her husband-- quiet, you-- and reached out, putting her hand on Clark's.
"Are you really sure of your feelings?" she asked, very softly. "You're so young, Clark. Are you absolutely sure you love him?"
Clark thought back over the events of the past year. Things had gotten complicated, far more complex than his parents knew. His alien "father" had told him he must find three Kryptonian crystals in order to avert "the Earth's ultimate destruction." Clark had one in his possession, but no clue how to find the others, and he'd soon realized Lex was searching for the same crystals. Lex possessed boundless resources and endless curiosity, and besides, Lex was his best friend, so Clark had gone to Lex and asked for his help in finding them.
Working together, the two of them had eventually found the crystals. With the last crystal in hand, Clark had taken Lex with him to the caves, and when he'd placed the third crystal onto the great stone table there, the two of them had been transported to the Arctic, the crystals (now a single glittering crystal) with them.
Spurred by some strange instinct, Clark had thrown the crystal, and a giant fortress of ice had erupted. Lex had stood next to him, staring wide-eyed at the enormous structure.
After that, Clark hadn't figured he had much choice but to tell Lex his secret. He'd led Lex to the great fortress, and once inside its shadowy chambers, he'd laid everything out for Lex, his alien heritage and his strange powers and his arrival in the first meteor shower that had caused so much destruction and tragedy in Smallville. He'd half expected the other man to turn and run into the icy wasteland around them, just to get away from him.
Instead, Lex had stared at him for a long moment, and then placed a hand on his face and leaned forward, kissing him for the first time.
"I always knew you were special," he said softly.
At the other man's wholehearted acceptance, Clark had tumbled irrevocably into love with Lex. He might be only eighteen, but he knew how he felt. He knew he'd never stop loving Lex.
His mother squeezed his hand. Drawn back to the present, Clark turned his head and looked into Martha's eyes.
"I'm sure, Mom," he said.
She smiled, a little sadly.
"Then you need to get used to this," she said. "Because this is something Lex deals with every day."
"I'm sorry, Clark. I never meant to put you through this."
Lex Luthor placed a gentle hand on Clark's shoulder as he spoke. Sprawled on the red couch in his loft, Clark looked up with a wan smile.
"It's not your fault, Lex. Not really."
"It is my fault. I knew what you'd be getting into if you got involved with me. But I let it happen anyway."
"I just..." Clark sighed, and sat up, making space for Lex. "How do you deal with it, Lex? The constant stalking, the questions shouted at you everywhere you go, the harassment? It's only been two days, and already I'm ready to start knocking heads together."
"It isn't always this bad." Lex sat down on the cushions next to him. "You're just the story of the week, Clark. Eventually, the furor will die down."
"But I wanted..." Clark waved helplessly with his hands, struggling for words. "What we had, Lex... it was private. It was ours. And now everyone knows about it. My parents, Smallville, everybody in Metropolis. People on the other side of the world, for God's sake. Complete strangers are reading about us over coffee and discussing us. It's like our relationship has been put on display in a museum, you know? I feel like I'm on the fucking Truman Show."
Lex sighed. "Welcome to my world, Clark. I've never had a relationship that wasn't photographed and analyzed and discussed. And this one is being analyzed more than most, because..."
"Because I'm the first Lex Boy."
Lex winced visibly at the phrase. "You're not a Lex Boy," he said, very gently. "No matter how much they label you that, it isn't true. You aren't just another piece of arm candy, Clark. This is something different. Something more."
"Yeah. I know. But they don't get that."
"I wouldn't expect them to. They don't care about the substance of our relationship, Clark. All they want is pictures and headlines to grab their readers' attention. And eventually, people will get bored, and it'll all die down."
"But in the meantime..."
"In the meantime, we have to deal with it. And we will." Lex took his hand. "Together."
Read Chapter 2 here.