~ * ~ * ~
The next morning, Clark woke not at all refreshed. His dreams had been twisted and jumbled, images of Lex haunting him all night. His body should have ached from the awkward position he'd slept in, but he didn't hurt at all as he stretched and brushed hopelessly at the dirt and dust on his clothes.
Climbing the steps of the storm cellar, Clark threw open the doors and emerged into full sunlight. He pushed his sleeve back and realized that it was nearly eight o'clock, and that his parents had let him sleep late. He wondered why, until he got into the kitchen. Jonathan and Martha were both sitting at the table, apparently waiting on him. "Lex called last night, son. And this morning. He wants to see you. Immediately."
Well, there went any semblance of a good morning Clark might have had. "Oh. Did he say why?"
"No," Jonathan said. "He said you'd know."
Well, that much was true. Clark *did* know why. "Right. I'll be home later." He blew out the door before Jonathan or Martha could question him further.
The castle didn't look any
cheerier in the sunlight. Clark figured he didn't look any better. He was
dressed in the same clothing as yesterday, which he'd slept in, and the
nightmares ensured he would appear as wan as he felt. If he had the choice,
he'd be at home under a boiling shower spray, attempting to wash the guilt down
the drain. He didn't have a choice, though. He owed Lex an apology, at the very
least, and his dad had taught him to take responsibility for his actions.
Clark laughed bitterly. Taking responsibility wouldn't make things necessarily better. How could it? He couldn't even say that he would've stopped if Lex had protested.
The front door opened. Clark tensed, poised for flight, though he knew he shouldn't run. He didn't know if he could move, anyway. Dread had him rooted to the spot, and he started to pray fervently. Maybe no one would come outside. Or maybe, if he didn't move, the door would close again. Or--
Lex came outside.
Clark's inner thoughts skittered to a stop and he blinked. Many times. He had to; because where the sun hit Lex's skin it caused a bright, rainbow shine.
Lex came down the front steps, the sunlight sliding over his skin with his movements. Clark stared as Lex's skin seemed to change colors, from white to purple to blue to green to yellow to red. Lex looked like a walking piece of art, a shining, shimmering, shifting iridescent being.
"Clark," Lex said calmly upon reaching the dumbstruck teen. "We need to talk."
"Lex..." Clark breathed
softly, wonderment overtaking him. "You're... you're... beautiful."
There were no other words that Clark could think of to describe Lex like this.
The shimmering rainbow of colors all dancing over his friend was breathtaking, and
he reached out to touch, his hand almost becoming lost in the twisting cascade
of colors. There was a pleasant tingle to his skin as he brushed his fingers
over Lex's hand, thumb rubbing Lex's palm. "Lex... what in the
Lex shook his head. "I was hoping you could tell me that."
Clark was entranced, unable to
look away. "Your skin, it's- it's..." He lifted his other hand, to
touch Lex's face. Lex started to flinch, but held his head high, as Clark's
cupped his cheek. Clark traced the shimmer with his gaze, seeing that it
disappeared beneath the collar of Lex's shirt. "Is
it- is it all over?"
"Oh," Clark breathed, his heart flipping. He stepped even closer to Lex, curving his hand around the back of Lex's head. "Oh, Lex, you're just so..." He finished his sentence by pressing his lips to Lex's in a near-chaste kiss.
Lex pushed him away after a moment, gently but firmly. "Clark, no."
It was like a slap to the face. Clark jerked back, horrified. He'd just kissed Lex without permission. Again. "Oh, God, I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Lex didn't absolve him, and Clark
noticed that right away. "Come on inside," was all that he said.
Meekly, Clark followed him into the castle and down the familiar hallway to Lex's office. Clark held his breath as the light from the stained glass windows hit Lex's skin and the colors danced again. The urge rose inside him to rip the clothes from Lex, to explore every inch of shimmering skin, to see the colors denied to him. Clark clamped down hard on the urge, finally dragging his gaze from Lex's hued skin to his eyes. They were carefully blank, devoid of anything resembling the warm friendship that usually resided there.
"I'm sorry," was the
first thing that came out of Clark's mouth, and he was tempted to either clap
his hand over it and keep himself from saying that one more time, or just
*leave.* And never face Lex again. And even as he had that thought, he knew he
couldn't do that. He *knew* that he wouldn't be able to survive without Lex.
"I don't--I don't know what happened, Lex. I'm sorry it was--like that.
Sorry *I* was like that." Christ, would he ever be able to say anything
*but* sorry to Lex, ever again?
"You're saying, you don't
know why you fucked me out of the blue?" Lex's tone was skeptical.
Clark winced. "I'm sorry."
"You've said that already, Clark, and it doesn't do jack," Lex said. He slid his hands in his pockets, deceptively casual. "So, tell me, did you get sprayed by some meteor-infected flower? Did Kyle Tippett make a visit to Smallville? Were you drunk? High?"
"No," Clark answered in a barely audible whisper.
"Then what?" Lex demanded.
"I don't know."
"That's not an answer--"
"It's the truth!" Clark exclaimed, feeling the cursed tears clogging his throat. "I don't know! I'm sorry! I'm sorry I don't know, I'm sorry that I attacked you, I'm sorry that I ruined our friendship, I'm sorry about everything, but I don't know!"
"I don't believe that for a
minute, Clark." Lex's hands thrust deeper in his pockets, and Clark knew
that was a sign of impending anger. Maybe that would help, Clark thought. Maybe
if Lex got pissed off enough to take a swing, to beat the crap out of him --or
at least try to-- maybe that would somehow *fix* things. "I don't believe
for a second that you don't know why you did it. Because let me tell you
something, Clark: you sure as hell knew what you were doing when you fucked my
ass and sucked my cock down your throat like an old pro."
Clark shrank further inside himself with each accusation. He'd known exactly what he'd done, but he couldn't catalogue why. Couldn't verbalize it, couldn't give Lex the answers because he didn't know them. "I don't *know,*" he finally said. "If I knew, Lex... God, if I knew why I'd done it, do you think I'd *look* like this? I feel like crap and I know I look worse but... I just don't know why it happened. All I know is... it had to be you." He couldn't meet Lex's eyes any longer. "It just had to be you. Nobody else, Lex. You."
Clark heard Lex exhale noisily,
with frustration. "Okay, let's pretend for a second that I believe you and
we'll try to figure this out logically," Lex said. "When did you
decide that it 'had to be me?'"
Clark hugged his elbows, not raising his eyes. "I didn't decide, it just-it had to be you."
"Clark," Lex said in annoyance, "cooperate with me here. Pick the time when you started feeling the urge to jump me."
"Yesterday." Clark knew that for certain. He hadn't been attracted to Lex physically before yesterday. Mentally and emotionally, he'd liked Lex a long time ago--that was why they were best friends.
"When yesterday?" Lex pressed. "Before you delivered the produce? While we were looking for the mice? While we were at the Talon?"
Clark closed his eyes, thinking back. "When I was here. Maybe even a little before." A memory of the smell of something different in the air as he walked from the truck to the castle, the feeling of the scent on his skin.
"All right. Tell me what you did before you got here."
"I was making deliveries, like usual," Clark said.
"Did you go somewhere you hadn't been previously? Take a different route? Come into contact with the meteor rocks?"
Clark's eyes shot open, his head jerking up, to look at Lex. "Me-Meteor rocks?" he stammered. "What makes you think they have anything to do with this?"
"I'm not blind, Clark," Lex said. "Whenever something strange happens in Smallville, the meteors are somehow involved."
Clark's brain worked frantically. Lex was unknowingly giving him an out. He could pretend he had been in contact with the meteors, when in fact he hadn't, and allow his behavior to be excused by Smallville Oddness. He could place blame on the meteors for why Lex's skin had an iridescent shimmer, even though, somehow, Clark knew he'd caused it, too. He could hide the fact that he thought what happened was because he was an alien. He could lie to Lex--again.
Or not, because he was really
tired of lying to Lex.
"No. It wasn't the meteor rocks. Not directly, anyway." Clark moved around the room, pacing restlessly as he held down the urge to rip off Lex's shirt at the least, just to see the shimmering, beautiful skin. "It's my fault; it's because of who I am. I just don't understand all the whys yet."
Lex's face was a study of confusion and apprehension. "You're not making any sense here, Clark."
"Tell me about it." A wry smile flitted over Clark's face before he turned back to Lex. He was shocked when he opened his mouth to speak, and instead of words came a loud bang, followed by rodent scratching and fairly loud squeaking. "I think Mickey's back."
Irritation flashed over Lex's
features. "Those damned mice kept me awake, too." He strode over to
the fireplace, the colored light from the windows dancing over his hued skin,
turning him into a living stained glass person. Clark could only stare,
marveling at the beauty, wishing Lex completely unclothed so Clark could watch
the colors shift and play.
Poker in hand, Lex went over to the wall to where the scratching was coming from. It stopped when Lex approached, but that didn't keep him from running his hand along the paneling. "I think there is a passage behind here."
"You have secret passages?" Clark pushed aside his desire again at the revelation. "Cool."
"Ah-ha." Two boards of paneling swung open, into the passage, and Lex nodded in satisfaction. Clark came up behind Lex as he frowned into the darkness beyond the wall. "I'll have to get a flashlight."
Clark shifted to x-ray vision. The passage was a long, narrow hallway that ran for quite a distance. Clark could see outlines of piping, framing, and the castle's ventilation system. He could also see the glowing green skeletal outline of an animal that appeared to be the size of a cat, three-quarters of the way down the passage and running towards them. The closer the animal got, the larger in size it became, including the two front teeth, claws, and the whippet-thin long tail. Its eyes glowed green. "Hey, um, Lex. You've seen the movie, right? Princess Bride, I mean? Wesley and Buttercup?"
Clark knew Lex was looking at him like a cross between an idiot and… an idiot. "I have. Why?"
Hard swallow. "Um... you remember those big, huge rats in the Fire Swamp?"
"The Rodents Of Unusual Size, yes."
"You've got one in your secret passageway."
"There's a R.O.U.S. in my house?" Lex looked like he couldn't believe he just said that. Clark couldn't believe Lex just said that, either. Lex shook his head, hoisted the poker, and stared anticipatedly into the passage. "It's probably a cat. And how can you see it anyway?"
"Ask me later!" Clark exclaimed, panicked. He grabbed Lex and shoved him out of the doorway, just as the thing launched itself from the dark passage.
A wave of nausea washed over Clark as he was pounced by the animal. Once upon a time, it might have been a mouse, or a rat, but not anymore. The thing was the size of a dog, motley gray and brown in color, with glowing green eyes the size of half dollars. It was currently snarling at Clark from its perch on his chest, saliva dripping off its long teeth.
Clark reigned in control over the now familiar meteor-mutant sickness that threatened to overwhelm him. He was about to shove the mutant mouse off when Lex appeared above him, swinging the poker down.
The mutant mouse had accelerated reflexes, and its claws dug into Clark before it leapt out of the way. Lex's eyes were huge with adrenaline and fear as his swing connected with Clark's chest. The tip of the poker shattered, metal splintering. Clark's and Lex's gazes met for an instant, a million questions and accusations being asked and thrown in that brief moment, then Clark was on his feet, chasing after the mutant mouse.
Clark wouldn't let himself think
about all the questions that Lex was going to ask when Clark got back to facing
him again. The mouse was trying to
outrun Clark, but its four feet were not nearly enough to surpass Clark's
superspeed, and he was easily keeping up with the oversized rodent.
Then, it turned and snarled at him, apparently deciding to attack before it ran any further, and in a second Clark realized why. Somehow the mouse had gotten itself trapped in the corner of one of the rooms in the castle, and since it had nowhere else to go, it was going to fight. Well, crap. That meant he was going to have to find some way to kill the damned thing, and that wasn't going to be easy if he got sick every time he went near it, but there was no *way* this thing was getting anywhere *close* to Lex again and well, that was just that.
"You know, Mickey, it really doesn't have to be this way. You could just lay down like a good little mouse and we'll find you a nice home somewhere."
A hiss was his response.
"This isn't your house, Mickey. It's Lex's. I can't let you hurt him, now come on." Squaring his shoulders, he walked towards the mouse, flinching slightly at the hiss but reminding himself that the thing couldn't really hurt him.
Apparently, the mutant rodent
didn't get the memo about not being able to hurt him, because it chomped down
on the nearest hand, and while it didn't break his skin or the animal's teeth,
it certainly hurt like crazy. Clark bit back his exclamation of pain and was
about to shake the mouse off when he had a better idea. He moved quickly,
grabbing the body of the mouse and tucking it close to his torso like a
football. A really big, furry football.
The nausea made it difficult, but Clark managed to hold on to the mouse and stumble-run for the door to outside.
Mouse, he used the term loosely.
He was also going to have to seriously revise his thoughts on his
invulnerability and then--"Lex!" So not the best time to show up!
But--a rifle? "What are you doing?"
"I'm going to shoot that thing, Clark. I'm assuming it's not bulletproof."
Okay, this is so not the time to have a conversation here. "Um... ookay. Just... kind of run with me because this thing is not giving up."
"I can't hit a moving target, Clark, and not without hitting you."
Well, that wouldn't be a problem. Except with this thing latched to him and squirming like a…well, mouse, there was no telling if the bullets would hurt him. He burst through the front door and down the front steps. "Do it, Lex. I'll be okay."
"Are you out of your
mind?" Lex jogged after him, skin practically glowing in the morning
sunlight. "Put the thing down, Clark. I'll shoot it before it gets
Clark was not going to put it down just to let it escape and set up housekeeping elsewhere, or to turn and attack Lex. "Just shoot already!" he exclaimed, coming to a halt in the driveway in front of the parked Ferrari. Lex stopped a few feet from him.
"Lex--" Clark looked steadily at his friend. "Trust me."
Lex nodded slowly. "Amazingly enough, with everything going on, I do." He raised the rifle, aimed, and fired.
Clark heard the thing squeal
before he felt the kick of the rifle tearing through it. A second shot quieted
the squeal, and as it tore through the large rodent's head, the shell impacted
against his shoulder. He flinched and dropped the dead animal to the ground,
and his hand went to his shoulder, rubbing the area of impact.
Lex dropped the hunting rifle as he jogged down the steps to where Clark was standing a few steps away from the dead animal. As Lex came up to him, Clark was entranced by the shimmering pool of colors that danced on Lex's skin, and he raised his hand to lightly touch Lex's smooth scalp, trying to *feel* the colors. "Clark, are you all right?" Lex's hands went directly to Clark's shoulder, pushing the charred shirt aside to show pristine skin underneath.
Clark's hand was still gently petting Lex's head. "I'm fine," he said softly. "I told you I would be." The urge to kiss Lex was back, but it wasn't a feral drive as it had been the other day; instead, it was a calm, lazy urge to kiss his friend and claim his reward. He stopped himself before he could move, clamping a lid on those thoughts. "I think--I think I should go now. Before I do something... well, something that I might regret."
"You're not going anywhere, Clark." Lex's voice was quiet steel. "We're going to get rid of this... thing. And then you, my friend, have a *lot* of explaining to do."
"But... I want to kiss you
again," Clark confessed, guilt coloring his tone. "And I don't want to ruin our
friendship any more than it is."
"The only thing that would ruin our friendship now would be if you left," Lex said. "Even then, I wouldn't leave you alone until you had answered every question that I have."
Clark bit his lip. He wasn't sure
if he'd been given permission to kiss Lex again or not, and decided that he
hadn't. So he pushed that desire down, and closed his eyes against the
shimmering beauty of Lex's skin. "What do you want to know, Lex?"
"Well, we can start with what to do with that," Lex said, kicking the mouse corpse with his foot.
"We could burn it, or bury it maybe, it's up to you." Clark opened his eyes. "It's your mouse, you get to decide what to do with it."
"I don't know what your definition of a mouse is, but
this is not it." Lex gave it a
disgusted look. "Burn it."
"Gas cans still in the garage?" Clark asked.
"Yeah. Should be full." Lex kicked the rifle to the side. "There should be a blowtorch in there, too."
"Okay." Clark sped to the garage, not bothering to conceal his abilities now that Lex knew of them. He was back in an instant with a gas can, a white rag, and a book of matches. "Lex, stand back. Get behind me." As Lex moved, Clark doused the mutant mouse corpse in gasoline and struck a match to the rag. As soon as the rag started to burn, Clark threw it with one hand, turning in an eye-blink to wrap his arms around Lex and pull the vulnerable human against him. The initial blaze died down, and Clark slowly released Lex as he ran a finger down the side of Lex's hued face. "I want to kiss you, Lex. Please." Guilt warred with need as he stepped back a pace from his friend, keeping his body between Lex and the burning corpse.
Lex looked at him steadily. "Do *you* want to kiss me,
or is it because of whatever caused you to act last night?"
"I... I don't know," Clark answered. He clenched his hands into fists to prevent himself from reaching for Lex. "You're just so... so beautiful, and I chose you, and I want to kiss you..."
"You chose me," Lex said. "You said something to that effect yesterday. What do you mean?"
Clark closed his eyes and tried to formulate an answer. He had been running on instinct, not thought, last night. "I'm not sure. I think it has something to do with my- with my h-heritage," he stammered.
"Is this the part where you tell me you're a mutant?" Lex said blandly.
Clark shook his head, squeezing his eyes shut tighter, fingernails digging into his palms. His voice was a raw, barely audible whisper. "Alien."
Brief pause. "Right. Alien. Does that make me Ripley or Bishop?" Lex sounded extremely irritated. "I want the truth, Clark."
"I never--I hate that movie. For... obvious
reasons." Clark's nails were still digging into his palms and he wished
for something, anything, to distract from this. "The truth? The truth is I
am an alien. I don't know where from. I just... have my ship. And it... doesn't
work. I think it got damaged when it landed." Clark raised his fists to
his face and scrubbed, hoping for some kind of clarity in his thoughts. It
didn't come. "Anyway... it was the meteors, in a way. They came with me or
I came with them, I don't know which way you want to look at it. That's how my
parents--the Kents, I mean--found me. During the shower. They took me home and
adopted me. Like a stray. An alien
stray." He loosened his grip, looked at his palms, searching for the dents
where his nails had dug in, but nothing. He was unbreakable. Except... for Lex.
Lex could utterly shatter him. "That's how... I can do everything I
did." He looked up at his friend, shoving his hands in his pockets and
deliberately stepping back. "I don't know what else to tell you."
"You have a ship." Lex was still skeptical.
"Hidden in the storm cellar at home," Clark affirmed.
"Then why do you look human?"
Shrug. "Don't know. Similar evolution?"
"That's impossible, Clark," Lex said. "The chances of that happening are several billion to one."
"I guess you're looking at the one then," Clark said.
"I don't believe you."
That stung. Clark was finally telling the truth and he wasn't believed. "It's the truth."
"I still don't believe you."
"Then tell me how I can prove it," Clark said, beginning to get angry. "Should I demonstrate my freakish powers? Should I rape you again? Do you want to see the ship? Do you want to cut me open and poke around?"
"I was thinking more along the lines of asking your parents," Lex replied, "though they'll probably lie to me, too."
"Okay, let's go and ask them." Clark put his hand
on Lex's shoulder and started pulling him towards the garage, away from the
carcass. "Come on. You can drive or I can take us and have us there
in less time than you can drive."
"Take your hand off me, Clark." Lex's voice was cold and firm, and not to be disobeyed.
Clark jerked away from Lex. Crap. Temper. Okay. "So come on, Lex. Let's go talk to my parents." The firmness in Lex's voice was raising his own hackles and now was so not the right time for a repeat of last night. "Let's go, Lex."
He stared at Lex as Lex studied him. "You're serious, aren't you?"
"Deadly. Let's go already. I know, let's race. You take the Lamborghini--or whatever your fastest car is--and I'll race the car and win. Then we can go in and talk to my mom and dad about the spaceship in the storm cellar and oh man, no, I know, I can go rip the roof off another one of your Porsches. Doesn't *that* sound like a good time?" Clark was gesturing emphatically, incensed. "What's wrong, can't put your money where your mouth is?"
"Why the hell are *you* mad? I'm the one who can't get
the simple truth--"
Clark had Lex pinned against the rough castle wall in an instant, wrists held high above his head, their faces mere centimeters apart. "Don't. Push. Me."
"Let go," Lex ground out, blue eyes uncompromising.
"No." Clark took possession of Lex's mouth, kissing him roughly. Lex wasn't cowed. He fought back, trying to take control of the kiss, tongue stabbing, lips bruising, not surrendering. A duel for dominance. A worthy choice.
Clark hardened in his jeans, lust sizzling in his veins. His body tingled wherever it came into contact with Lex. His self-restraint was gone, vanished beneath a wave of primitive desire. One hand kept Lex in place while the other reached behind him and ripped the waistband of his slacks
downward, tearing the seat of the fabric away. Lex bucked forward, startled by the sudden action, tugging hard at his restraint. Clark smiled wolfishly into the kiss, freeing his erection and giving the moist length several strokes, spreading the secretions.
He broke the kiss, released Lex's wrists, and used both hands to hoist Lex up. Lex's shirt pulled on the rock wall. With unerring accuracy, Clark speared into Lex, grunting in approval when Lex wrapped his legs around Clark.
Lex still wasn't submissive, though. He snared Clark's hair, yanking back hard, and attacked him with another ravishing kiss.
Clark rocked up, pushing himself into Lex as he grunted into Lex's mouth. His tongue fought with Clark's, finally obtaining supremacy as his fingers jerked Clark's head back, arching his throat and literally giving Lex the leverage he needed to push into Clark's mouth. Clark growled softly as Lex's mouth devoured his, and he thrust harder, pushing Lex against the cold stone wall. He could feel the slickness spreading and sliding along his cock as he thrust in.
Lex broke their kiss, and as Clark felt teeth scoring his throat, his hands tightened on Lex's hips. He felt Lex bite down hard on his skin and that caused him to thrust forward brutally, burying his entire length in a single stroke. Lex yelped once, and dragged Clark's head further back to expose more of his throat before taking another kiss.
Clark fought him on this kiss, almost gaining the upper hand until he felt one of Lex's hands leave his hair and slide inside his shirt to savagely twist his nipple. "Fuck this… come on, Clark… lose control," Lex hissed. "Fuck me."
"Yesss," Clark hissed in return, a guttural
rumbling in the back of his throat. He shifted his grip, pressing Lex harder
against the wall, and gave in to the red haze of lust.
Lex's head went back, scraping against the wall, as he let out a low, rough cry. The sun played on the iridescence of his skin, purples, greens, and blues sliding along his neck as he swallowed and cried out again. "Clark!"
Clark pounded into Lex, flesh slapping against flesh hard enough to bruise, but not damage. His body adjusted his strength automatically, his conscious thought having scattered to the wind. Tight heat encased his cock, burning him in the best possible manner. He drove into Lex harder and harder, skirting the edges of pain.
Lex scratched and pinched and tore at Clark's skin and hair, his pupils dilated and unfocused. His mouth was parted as he panted uncontrollably, lips swollen and slightly bloody from savage kissing. His engorged dick rubbed against Clark's shirt with every thrust. His heels dug into Clark's lower back, thigh muscles bunched in tension.
Clark was pounding into Lex, licking along Lex's shimmering
skin and trying to *suck* the colors into his mouth. Clark arched his back as
he felt Lex digging into him, and his hands squeezed Lex's hips tighter,
pulling him harder onto Clark's cock. "Lex," he ground out, rocking
against the other man.
There was something different about this than there'd been last night. The need to claim and possess was tempered slightly by the knowledge that Lex *belonged* to him now and nobody could change that. He scented Lex again and again, inhaling their combined smell as his thrusts became harder, more frantic, and he felt something pressing at the base of his spine and knew that he was going to come and soon.
The hand raking across Clark's chest dropped between them.
Lex wrapped his fingers around his cock and tugged feverishly. Clark lowered
his gaze, watching as Lex brought himself off. It was the hottest thing Clark
ever saw. Iridescent colors swirled on the aroused flesh, Lex's hand painting a
mosaic of lust as he stroked. The sight pushed Clark over the edge, shaking him
to the core, and his vision whited-out as he climaxed.