Megalomaniac Blues

The ding of the elevator doors was a familiar sound on the thirtieth floor of the Daily Planet, as reporters, editors, and visitors went about their business. What wasn't familiar was the sight of two Amazonian women in immaculately tailored pantsuits emerging from the elevator, their sharp eyes canvassing the open newsroom, before standing sentry on either side of the elevator doors. The one on the left signaled to someone inside the lift and voices dropped as those present strained to see who had arrived.

Lex Luthor marched out of the elevator, resplendent in royal purple and black. He was another unfamiliar presence at the Daily Planet, except in newsprint. The bald billionaire Senator, CEO of LexCorp, and heirless philanthropist -- also known as the Scourge of Metropolis to the Daily Planet reporters -- headed straight for one of the chief defilers of the Luthor name.

"Kent," Lex barked, his voice like a gunshot, startling Clark Kent into spilling coffee on himself. "I want to talk to you. Now."

Lex turned on his heel and strode to the nearest private area, the copy and storage room. He didn't wait to see if Clark followed.

Clark exchanged his coffee cup for a napkin. He wiped at the coffee on his light blue shirt and tan trousers, dropped the napkin in the trash, and tried to hide the stain with his navy striped tie, as he trailed quickly after Lex. "Mr. Luthor--"

The storage room door closed firmly behind the two, cutting off curious eyes and ears. Inside the storage room, Clark pushed the copier in front of the door, since there was no lock, the cord stretching just far enough it didn't need to be unplugged. The overhead fluorescent lighting reflected in the glass on the open top of the copier.

Glasses tucked in his shirt pocket, Clark faced Lex, leaned back against the machine, and folded his arms. "Okay, what did I do this time?"

"What didn't you do?" Lex corrected with icy anger. His hands were clenched at his sides, indicating how upset he really was, as did his mere presence at the Daily Planet, a building he never stepped foot into before today. "You chewed me up and spit me out in today's paper."

"It was the truth, Lex," Clark said cautiously. "I did say you were debonaire."

"A debonaire demon," Lex said harshly. "You insinuated that I have no soul."

"LexCorp's latest 'toy' would have wiped out half the world's population."

"How? You destroyed that, too," Lex spat.

"Of course I destroyed it!" Clark exclaimed, getting angry. "I won't let you build things that cause mass destruction, Lex."

"Maybe if someone was home every once in a while, I wouldn't have time to build things that cause mass destruction!"

"You're saying it's my fault you're a megalomaniac?"

"Yes!" Lex practically shouted. "The only time you pay attention to me anymore is when you're playing hero!"

"That's not true," Clark said. "We live together, for Pete's sake."

"I've been at home early every night and waited up until midnight for the past month, and the only time I've seen you is when I wake up the next morning and you're asleep beside me." Lex would have sounded petulant, if Luthors weren't above whining. "Twenty years, Clark. I've been with you for twenty years this week. That's half of my life I've spent loving you and putting up with being last on your list."

Clark closed the distance between them, anger washing away quickly. "You're not last, Lex."

"Aren't I?" Lex looked up at Clark, sadness etched in the lines around his eyes. "You rush off to save everyone else in the world at the blink of an eye, and didn't even notice your own partner was hurting."

"God, Lex, I didn't--" Clark made a soft sound of distress in the back of his throat. He put his hands on Lex's shoulders, squeezing gently. "I'm so sorry you feel like you're last. You're actually first, above my parents, but as someone to take care of me, while I take care of the world."

Lex smiled faintly. "I don't mind being your refuge, Clark, but our relationship isn't public knowledge, so the time we have together in private is important to me."

"Lex--" Clark lowered his head, pressing his mouth to Lex's in a desperate, apologizing kiss. He gathered Lex closer, holding him in a shaky embrace.

"Shh," Lex murmured, stroking his hand along Clark's back. "It's all right, Clark."

"It's not all right," Clark said roughly, eyes bright with the sheen of tears. "If you had to come here, when you haven't ever been inside the building since I've worked for the Planet, things are definitely not all right."

"We'll make it all right," Lex said. "I'm a megalomaniac, remember? I always get my way."

Clark's smile was wavering, but there. "This time, I promise I won't put a stop to you."

"Good." Lex kissed him tenderly. "I should let you go back to work. You can start by printing a retraction about me."

"Nuh-uh." Clark boldly picked up Lex and set him on the copier. "Lambasting you is part of our cover."

Lex frowned, as his trousers were unfastened. "Do you really think I'm a demon?"

"I wouldn't have spent the last twenty years with you if I did," Clark replied. He lifted Lex and pushed down his slacks and underwear with practiced ease. "I have an idea: how about we go to Smallville for a few days. You can run me off the bridge and then seduce me to your bed."

"I seem to recall it was my best friend who did the seducing," Lex said with a small hitch, as Clark lowered his head. "Kind of like you're doing now."

Clark hummed, and Lex grabbed the front of the copier. The machine buzzed to life, a bright green line of light illuminating the glass top from beneath, as it rapidly swept back and forth, making a copy.

Clark started laughing, releasing Lex as he did. He removed the copy from the sorter and laughed some more. "I wonder how much the tabloids would pay for a Xerox of your forty-one year old ass."

"Don't even think about it," Lex warned, trying to get the copy from Clark.

Clark kept it out of reach. "I'd bet we could raise a pretty penny for charity if we auctioned this, more if you autographed it."

"We are not putting my ass up for auction."

"But it's such a cute ass. The 'Property of Clark Kent' tattoo looks perfect on your left cheek."

"You know what? I lied. Go back to ignoring me."

"I know! I'll blow up the copy and hang it in the living room at your next birthday party."

"I'll hide in the closet."

"You do every year anyway," Clark said, smirking. "Last year, I found you in our bedroom closet with a book, an empty bottle of wine, and sleeping surrounded by your billions of shoes."

"I only have ninety-six pairs of shoes."

Clark gave him a look. "I don't know which is scarier: you having ninety-six pairs of shoes, or you knowing that you have ninety-six pairs of shoes."

"That's it." Lex hopped off the copy machine and fixed his pants. "I'm taking my erection and my ass--" His hand shot out and he snatched the copy from Clark. "--both of them, and going home."

"Okay. Geez." Clark huffed, slid his glasses on, and pushed the copier back to its proper place.

Lex smoothed his suit, putting the folded copy in his pocket. He lifted his mouth for a quick kiss. "See you later."

"I love you, Lex," Clark said seriously. "I hope you know that."

A soft, happy smile lit Lex's features. "I know, but it's nice to be told." The smile disappeared abruptly beneath an angry scowl. "Now, get out of my way, Kent."

Clark grinned, stepped back, and put on his own half-flustered, half-angry mask, as Lex threw open the door.

Lex stormed out of the storage room, past the staring reporters, to the elevators. The Amazonian women had kept a car waiting, and the three stepped on without a word.

The ding of the elevator doors was a familiar sound on the thirtieth floor of the Daily Planet, as the unfamiliar visitors were taken from sight.


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