Bright, glittering spear to his gut, and it shouldn't hurt, because it was just Victoria and it had been just a game. Just sex. Just business. Just--

--just betrayal. Just duplicity. Just two-faced.

Just cruel.

Lex Luthor finished off the warm liquor in the glass and set it, balanced carefully, on the arm of the burgundy armchair. The fire in the fireplace beckoned beyond his casually crossed feet resting on the ottoman. He tapped the edges of the black and white photographs Nixon had given him, making them neat. A glance at the top picture twisted the sharp point of the spear in his gut and the crackle of the fire was like a round of applause for his father. Good performance, old man. Stick it to Victoria and your son at the same time, with amazing photographic technique.

The evidence of Lionel's cruelty and Victoria's infidelity (had he actually expected something else?) was dropped on the side table as Lex stood and went to find something to numb the pain. Pain he wasn't supposed to feel because Victoria was annoying and clingy and bitchy and--

His, damn it.

Victoria was his. Not Lionel's, Lex's. She was Lex's girlfriend, Lex's lover, Lex's partner-in-deception. She was supposed to be on his side, even if he was playing her for the fool. She was not supposed to sleep with his dad, for chrissakes!

Ice-hot burn down Lex's throat, and the mouth of the vodka bottle stung his lips from the cold. The chilled bottle began to sweat almost immediately in the fire-warmed study and steam rose from the open bottle mouth when he finally paused to breathe.

The tears in his eyes were caused by the harsh liquor.

Another long swallow and already half the bottle was gone. College had been a good guzzling teacher, and he briefly remembered how fun it had been to drunken mattress joust in the dorm halls.

Had he really ever been that young? Technically, it was only four years ago, when he was seventeen and full of shit. As opposed to being twenty-one and running a plant full of shit. Vodka was the shit.

Could he lift his king-sized mattress?

Lex wandered back over to the armchair, grabbed the photos off the table, and chucked them into the fireplace. The blackmail wasn't worth the price of humiliation. God, he hated his dad.

Clear alcohol dribbled from the corner of Lex's mouth and, oops, party foul. He snickered mid-drink, and vodka through the nose was not something he'd recommend.

Coughing hard, he leaned heavily against the back of the armchair, tears streaming down his cheeks, and, no, he wasn't crying. The alcohol made him do it. That, and the choking.

Fucking bitch.

Lex was really being cliché, abusing alcohol to dull the hurt he didn't really feel (liar), but how much could a man take soberly? His girlfriend had sex with his father, while still having sex with him. Lex stuck his dick in the same hole that his dad's cock had been in, maybe even just the night (few hours?) before.

Lex's eyes widened and shuddered in revulsion. Bile rose in this throat, chased quickly away by more vodka. He never, ever, ever wanted to picture that again. It was quite possible he'd have to cut off his dick and throw it in the fireplace, too.

Before temptation became too great, Lex decided to leave the study. Only he didn't know where to go. Bedroom? Bed. Victoria. Sex. Father. No. War room? Couch. Victoria. Sex. Father. No. Bathroom? Bath. Victoria. Sex. Father. No. Parlor? 'Nother couch. Victoria. Sex. Father. No. Anywhere in the goddamned castle? Victoria. Sex. Father. No.


The empty vodka bottle was set on a random hall table as Lex headed for the garage. He needed to leave the sex-infested manor before he gouged his eyes out.

A pegboard of shiny keys awaited Lex's choosing, singing, "pick me, pick me!" in their tiny tinny voices. Lex didn't know which of his babies to drive, so he closed his eyes and. Oh. Wow. The garage floor was really, really hard. Smelled, too, like oil and gas, and didn't he have people to keep the hard floor clean?

Eyes opened, and he hissed at the bright fluorescence above. He climbed quickly to his feet, arms splayed as the world shook. Earthquake? In Kansas? "More like a vodka-quake, dipshit," he said aloud and, after a moment, pouted because his words weren't slurred. He wanted to be word-slurring drunk, because that meant he couldn't form coherent thoughts, either, and he wouldn't be able to picture Lionel and Victoria rutting like wildebeests and--. Stop. No.


The keys cleared their impatient throats, and Lex focused on them. Since closing his eyes had resulted in an impromptu meeting with the floor, he decided not to try that again. Still didn't know which car to take. Luckily, he had a snazzy dark purple tie looped around his unbuttoned collar.

It took several attempts, but Lex managed to knot the tie around his head, covering his open eyes. The vodka-quake hit briefly, but he rode it out like a pro. He extended his arm forward where the pegboard was located and let his fingers brush lightly over the many keys. "Eeny-meanie-miney-mo. Lex-Luthor-is-such-a-schmo."

Victory belonged to the limousine, he found when he pushed the tie up. He'd never driven the limo before. Ridden in it, of course, but never was behind the wheel.

The front seat was black leather, with a convenient butt-print. Lex parked his butt in its proper spot, shoved the key in the ignition, and brought the limo to life. The garage door in front of the vehicle was closed, which posed a problem. Logic told him that there had to be a garage door opener somewhere in the front seat and, by process of elimination, very little sliding onto the floor, and only elbowing the plugged in mobile phone thrice, Lex found it in the glovebox.

The garage door opened, the limo was put into gear, and Lex floored it, like he would any of his other cars. The limo shot forward with a squeal of tires. "Cool!" he exclaimed, spinning the wheel wildly. A stone statue appeared suddenly in front of the limo. "Not cool!"

Lex slammed on the brakes, introduced the front of his head to the steering wheel, and grimaced when he heard the shattering of stone. His landscaper was going to kill him. He groped for the door handle, shoved the door open, and slither-climbed out of the limo to survey the damage. The limo began moving forward, catching him off-guard, and how many times could he hit his head and not have brain damage?


Hark, was that Clark he heard?

"Lex, are you okay?"

Why yes, it was a Clark. Concerned Clark, who was leaning over him, eyes wide and worried, and Lex wondered if he played opossum, Clark would give him mouth-to-mouth, with tongue.

Pretty boy. Always made Lex think naughty things. His heart hurt.

"Lex," Clark said, touching Lex's arm, "are you all right?"

"Peachy." Lex shoved up on his forearm and put on a casual smile. "How are you?"

"Um, okay." Clark's dark brows pulled together, his hand hovering above Lex's shoulder now. "Why do you have a tie tied around your head?"

"For fairness."

More frowning. Lex liked it better when he smiled. "Lex, I don't understand," Clark said slowly. "I heard the crash, then saw you here on the ground. You weren't trying to drive blindfolded, were you?"

"Do I look stupid, Clark?"


Lex scowled at the teasing smile playing on Clark's fuckable lips. "Shut up. Do not." He struggled to get up, and Clark was there, as always, to help. One of these days he'd have to say thanks.

"Dang, Lex, your head," Clark hissed softly, fingers probing at the back of Lex's skull. "You're bleeding."

"I hate my dad."

"What?" Clark began to say, but Lex was already on the move, heading around to the back of the castle. He needed to leave. Get away, far away, before Clark asked--

"Lex, what is it? What's wrong?"

Yeah, that.

Clark was there, beside Lex, keeping up with Lex's strides, with concern clear on his features. Real concern, and Lex wanted to laugh at the novelty. Did laugh, and the concern became more... concerned.

"Lex, maybe we should get you to the hospital..."

"I'm fine, Clark," Lex told him, which was a lie. This betrayal would take a long time to get over. "I'm just fine."

Down the steps in back, into the browned grass of the backyard, and it was kind of cold outside. Lex was only wearing his white dress shirt and his dark slacks from the earlier meeting with Sir Harry and Victoria--.

God! Lex stopped abruptly, and his eyes lost focus as his equilibrium vanished. He didn't hit the ground this time. Strong arms caught him just as he started to fall, pulling him into a partial embrace. He blinked several times, clearing his vision, and there was Clark, eyes shadowed with serious worry, right there.

Words fell from his lips, but they were nothing like a confession of the truth. He might be drunk, but he was still Lex Luthor. "Friends don't let friends drive drunk, Clark. Take me for a ride?"

Intense stare, and Lex wondered if Clark was trying to read his mind. Perhaps he had been too soon to have Nixon stop the investigation. But... no. No.

Clark nodded finally and helped him to stand on his own feet. "Okay, but only after I bandage your head."

Back into the House of Sex and Lex decided that waiting in the hall was a good idea. He didn't think he'd installed an escalator in the castle, though the moving stairs told him otherwise.

Clark ran up to fetch the medical supplies, which Lex had in spades, and was back in a jiffy. Clark groused as he played nurse, commenting on the smell of the vodka. Lex just breathed and tried not to wince every time his head was touched. He had a very sensitive head, though it was more of a psychological thing than physiological. He didn't let just anyone touch his bald scalp, not even Victoria.

The skank.

"Geez, Lex, it's a good thing purple is your color," Clark said, looking at Lex critically. "Your head is one big bruise."

"It'll heal fast," Lex said. He brushed Clark's probing hands away. "Can we go now?"

A lift of a dark brow, and yes, Lex was whining, but he was drunk and hurt and Victoria had sex with his dad.

"Yes, we can go now," Clark said. Lex shrugged off the helping hand and got to his feet. The hallway swirled, but he didn't fall back into the chair.

"Pick me, pick me!" the keys sang again when Lex led Clark into the garage. Lex gestured expansively to the long line of fine automobiles. "Choose your chariot, my lord."

Clark picked a set of keys and pushed the auto-unlock button on the keychain. The jag's alarm beeped, the lights flickering. Lex gave him a quirky smile, made his way to the passenger side, and climbed into the sweet car.

The garage door opened -- smart, Clark -- before Clark got into the car. The jag purred to life, the subtle vibration of her engine embracing Lex. He relaxed in his seat, elbow propped on the windowsill, fist propping his cheek, and watched through slitted eyes as they got underway.

It was dark outside. Smallville, Kansas, didn't have streetlights like Metropolis did. The jag's headlights were the only illumination for miles around. Not even the moon was out to disturb the night.

"Where to?" Clark asked.

"Around. Away," Lex responded vaguely. Alcohol and vehicular motion normally didn't mix, but it had never bothered him. Clark could drive forever and the vodka would be sweated from Lex's veins before he got sick, and he didn't get hangovers. Perhaps if he asked nicely, Clark really would drive forever.

"Are you going to tell me what's wrong?" Soft question, several miles later, and Lex sighed.

"Would you be mad if I didn't?"

"No, of course not."

Lex let the silence continue the conversation. Surprisingly, to him anyway, Clark didn't press, he just drove. Was this what friendship was all about? If so, Lex could get to like it even more than he already did.

They passed Smallville city limits sign, then the Lowell County sign, then the next county's sign, and still they drove. A few sets of animals' eyes shined on the side of the road, disappearing as they scampered back into the fields. The faded yellow dividing line and the white sidelines were hypnotic, disturbing thoughts of photographs and betrayal lulled away by the smooth ride.

Clark stopped for gas at a Quickie's Truck Stop, never saying a word. Tank once again full, he put the jag in gear and continued on.

The sun was cresting the horizon when Lex noticed that they were back in Smallville, nearing the castle. He stirred from his complacent state, no longer intoxicated, and glanced over at Clark. Clark didn't look tired or bothered by the fact that he had been driving all night without explanation.

Clark pulled the jag into the garage, shutting off the engine and palming the keys. The lack of purring from the engine made the silence suddenly seem very loud and uncomfortable. Clark noticed, too, and shifted in his seat. He unbuckled his seat belt and looked at Lex. "I have to get home," he said apologetically.

Lex nodded. Clark handed him the keys, got out of the car, and shut the door with a quiet click. A moment later, he opened the passenger door and crouched beside Lex. Gentle green-blue eyes focused solely on him, a large, warm hand coming to rest on his thigh. "I hope you feel better," Clark said softly, earnestly.

"I do," Lex said, and it was the truth. A corner of his mouth curled upwards. "Thank you, for rescuing me again."

Clark ducked his chin, blush creeping across his cheeks, and Lex didn't think seeing that would ever become old.

"I've got to go," Clark said, slight embarrassment in his voice. He lightly squeezed Lex's thigh, stood, and leaned down to look into the car. "See you later, maybe?"

"Yeah, maybe," Lex said, resting his head against the back of the seat and closing his eyes. He was suddenly very tired. It had been a long 24-hours and--.

He almost missed it. A feather-brush of lips against his temple, breath briefly warming his skin, and the brave, brave boy mumbled, "Take care, bye," before rushing away, footfalls quick on the pavement.

Bright, glittering spear to his gut, and Lex smiled. The news about Victoria and Lionel wasn't so bad, after all.


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