One of the many annoying things about Smallville was the lack of streetlights, Lex Luthor decided
as he swerved to miss hitting yet another animal crossing the road. His head beams provided only so
much illumination as his vehicle cut a swath through the cornfields on the paved country road
between the LuthorCorp plant and his house. A heavy cloud cover obliterated the normally bright
starlit sky, and ominous flashes of lightening streaked to the earth in the distance. It was not a night
Lex wanted to be caught outside because a deer totaled the front end of his car. Besides, another
auto accident wouldn't endear him to his insurance company, or his father.
"The rotten bastard," Lex muttered, his gloved hands tightening on the steering wheel. It was Lionel
Luthor's fault Lex was just heading home from work at eleven o'clock on a Friday night. "Why did
he bother putting me in charge of the crap-factory if he wasn't going to let me run it as I see fit?"
Lex knew talking to himself was a sign of losing control, and he pursed his lips as his foot pressed
down harder on the accelerator. He shifted into a higher gear, the vehicle kicking up stray bits of
rock and dirt behind it. To hell with the animals, he fumed silently. It served them right if they were
hit for trying to cross the road. There was nothing worth having on the other side; Lex had learned
that lesson long ago.
It was at that moment something darted in front of Lex's car, and he caught a glimpse of a pale,
angry face in his side-mirror as he braked heavily. The tires skidded on the pavement, leaving
streaks of black tire burn.
Lex craned around to stare out the rear window. He could barely make out someone climbing into
another vehicle parked on the side of the road. The truck fired up, and the driver made a fast
turnaround on the road. The vehicle's head beams lit briefly on something sprawled on the opposite
side of the road before the truck sped off in the opposite direction.
A knot of unease formed in Lex's gut, and he put his car in reverse. The eerie red and white glow
from his taillights illuminated the area long enough for Lex to tell it was a human on the side of the
road, and not an animal. He backed up a bit further until his head beams fully lighted the body.
It was Clark Kent.
"Clark!" Lex slammed the gearshift into park and exploded from the car. "Clark!"
Lex dropped to his knees beside the prone teen just as the heavens opened above. Rain poured from
the sky, drenching Lex in an instant, but he didn't care, not when the only person he truly liked was
sprawled on the ground like roadkill. Clark's skin had a bluish tinge and was icy to the touch. Lex
checked for a pulse, his own pulse having skyrocketed in fear. "Clark, don't you dare be dead.
Don't you dare."
Lex was relieved to find the raven-haired teen's heartbeat was slow but steady, as was his breathing.
But for how long? Lex was no doctor, but he knew the signs of hypothermia. If Clark didn't get
warm quickly, Lex's relief would be very short-lived.
He made a fast decision, hoping it wouldn't come back to haunt him. After checking as best he
could for other injuries, Lex stood, hooked his hands beneath Clark's arms, and dragged the larger
man to the car. "Less cookies, more salads, Clark," he grunted as he hoisted the boy into the
Lex practically ripped the cell phone out of his wet coat pocket and dialed the emergency number as
he rounded the car and got behind the wheel. He was feeling chilled himself from the pouring rain,
and cranked the heat, aiming the vents in Clark's direction. He turned on the overhead light and
sucked in a sharp breath when he looked at Clark. The other man's condition was worse than Lex
had thought, and the sopping clothes clinging to the teen were preventing him from getting warm.
The emergency operator answered Lex's call, and he rapidly informed her in a panic-shaken voice of
his identity, location, and the situation. Then he was out of the car again, opening the passenger-side
door for more maneuverability. The icy rain pelted him as he struggled to remove Clark's jacket,
flannel, and tee-shirt. Lex yanked off the teen's sneakers, leaned the passenger seat back, and fought
to remove the wet blue jeans from Clark's prone form.
With a slam of the door, Lex rushed around to the driver's side again, stripped to his gray boxer-briefs, and got back into the car. The gush of hot air from the heater raised cold bumps on his
almost hairless body and caused him to shiver. He ignored his own discomfort and, mentally
thanking the car manufacturers for creating fold-down seats, he retrieved a blanket from the trunk
without leaving the vehicle again, pulled the grey scratchy material around his shoulders, and
climbed onto Clark's lap.
Lex grimaced when his bare skin pressed against Clark's icy body. He covered Clark with his own
form, sharing his body heat in an attempt to warm the frozen boy. The cold did not have a
deleterious effect on his libido, however, and he cursed his traitorous body. It was neither the time
nor place to be fully aroused, not when Clark's life was in jeopardy.
Lex pressed his ear over Clark's heart, listening to the steady thump-thump beneath the younger
man's broad chest. Reassured, Lex closed his eyes and reigned in his control. He was shivering
from the cold and the blanket was exceptionally scratchy on his bare shoulders, back, and legs, but
he ignored the discomfort and compartmentalized his fear. When he was sure his voice wouldn't
give away his feelings, he retrieved the cell phone from the cup holder between the seats and dialed
the Kent's number.
Jonathan Kent answered the phone, which wasn't a surprise considering the time. "Mr. Kent, Lex
Luthor," Lex said into the receiver. "There's been an accident..."
Clark stirred at the sound of a familiar male voice very close by, and he struggled to open his eyes.
He was cold, bone-deep cold, except for where a heavy, hot blanket was in contact with his skin.
Something was also digging uncomfortably into his hip. He felt extremely lethargic and wanted to
go back to sleep, but curiosity pulled at him.
He opened his eyes and a car ceiling came into focus, a canvas one that was made for convertibles.
He heard the beep of a cell phone nearby and the fast patter of rain hitting the vehicle outside. What
was he doing sleeping in a car?
Lifting his head, Clark looked down and saw a smooth, bald pate inches from his chin. His blanket
Lex raised his head, a frown of worry warring with an expression of relief on his face. "Clark, thank
"What happened?" Clark thumped his head back on the headrest. It felt like it weighed a million
pounds. "Where are we? Why are you on top of me?"
"We're in my car. I found you on the side of the road," Lex replied. He tossed the cell phone onto
the driver's side seat. "And I'm trying to warm you with my body heat."
"Oh." Clark didn't have the energy to question further, his eyes falling shut once more. Lex's sharp
tone prevented him from drifting off to sleep again, though.
"Clark, the emergency operator said you needed to stay awake if you regained consciousness, until
the ambulance arrives. Can you do that for me?"
"Yeah." Clark forced his eyes open and blinked rapidly. "Maybe."
"No maybes, just do it," Lex ordered. His voice softened, and Clark felt warm fingers brush against
his jaw. "Keep talking, that will help."
"What about?" Clark shivered once, violently. He brought his arms around Lex, hesitated when he
realized what he was about to do, and dropped them back to his sides.
"How about you telling me why you're a Clarksicle," Lex suggested. "And you can put your arms
around me. I don't bite... unless you ask."
Clark lifted his head and saw a corner of Lex's lips curved up in a smirk. With a chuckle, Clark put
his arms around the warm, lean male, comfortably hooking his fingers around his opposite wrist. He
dropped his head again onto the headrest, closed his eyes, and relaxed.
"Talk, Clark," Lex said with steel in his tone. He rested his ear against Clark's chest. "Start with
why you're out in the middle of nowhere and go from there."
"I was actually on a stake-out," Clark chuckled, shivered, and tightened his arms around the other
man. His mind was too tired to puzzle out why he wasn't freaking over Lex laying on top of him.
Instead, he concentrated on remembering the events of the evening. "Chloe, Pete, and I are
investigating the strange happenings at the lake."
"Your parents let you come out here by yourself this late at night?" Lex said skeptically.
"Well, uh, no," Clark answered. "I told them I was at Pete's -- which I was, so I didn't lie...
Lex snickered. "How devious of you, Clark."
Clark groaned. "I am going to be in so much trouble."
"Did you at least find out what you'd hoped to learn?"
"Yes." Clark shivered again. It wasn't often something was able to get the better of him.
"Hey, you're safe now, here, with me." Lex paused, then added wryly, "This is the first time those
words actually hold true."
"Why wouldn't they always be true?" Clark asked.
Lex laughed. "Ah, Clark. Sometimes I forget you're just a boy. Thanks for the reminder."
"I'm not a boy," Clark countered sullenly. "I'll be sixteen in January." He shifted. "Lex,
whatever's in your pocket is really digging into my hip."
Clark shifted again. "Lex..."
"I'm not wearing any pants, Clark," Lex said bluntly.
"You're not? Then what-- oh." Clark swallowed thickly, sucked in a slow breath of air through
his teeth, and whispered, "Is it hot in here?"