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by Amy Wolf


The evening after the incident in question.

Lex stomped into the castle, cursing himself. He should know better. After Desiree, after Helen, he should really know better. Falling for a leggy bunette he barely knows. Letting her drive his car. The Ferrarri. Trying to kiss her. What was he trying to get himself into? It was probably good that she wasn't interested. He was going to let it go. He was going to pick up the clothes she dropped, take them back to the Kents, forget about her, and leave. He was not going to ask Clark about her and he was not going to dawdle around the farm, trying to say hello. He was not going to buy her the kind of designer dress that would show off her beauty. Just drop off the clothes and go.

He grabbed the flannel bundle off the end table, turned to go, stopped and headed into the bathroom. He stood in front of the sink, splashed a little cold water on his face, and reached for a hand towel. It slipped of the ring and fell to the floor. When he bent down to pick it up, an flash of metal caught his eye. A twisted scrap of metal lay on the floor behind the toilet. Upon closer examination, it was revealed to be a pair of tweezers that seemed to have been jammed into an extremely hard surface. Odd. Lex set the tweezers next to the sink, picked up the clothes, and walked out of the room.

He stepped through the doorway, and saw a pair of white cotton bvds lying on the floor, next to the end table. Curiouser and curiouser. They weren't his, and none of his servants would dare leave clothes lying on the floor. The next option he could think of involved insane meteor mutants, and he refused to deal with that possiblity. He called Enrique, and told him to disinfect the area and put the underwear in his basement lab. Just in case.

Lex left the castle, planning to give the clothes to the first Kent he found. Unfortunately, the first Kent he found was Jonathan.

"Hi Lex. Clark's out somewhere with Pete."

"I'm not looking for Clark. I just need to drop these off." Lex handed him the bundle of flannel.

Jonathan's eyes narrowed. "Why do you have Clark's clothes?"

"Clara borrowed them to go for a walk. She fell into a crater on my property and I lent her a change of clothes when she cleaned herself up. Is she alright?" Lex asked, then promptly bit his tounge.

"Who's Clara?" asked Jonathan.

"She said she was Clark's cousin." Lex replied slowly.

"He doesn't have a cousin Clara."

"About yay high, short black hair, maybe twenty?" Lex gestured somewhere near the top of his head with his hand.

"Doesn't sound like anyone in our family." replied Jonathan evenly.

"Of course." said Lex. He turned and walked away.

That night, over dinner...

"So Clark, Lex dropped by. Apparently you've been making a habit of lending your clothes to strange women."

Clark swallowed frantically. "What?"

"Your 'Cousin Clara'. Funny, I thought your only cousins were Joey and Travis." Disapproval and amusement warred on Jonathan's face. "Do we get to meet this new cousin of yours?"

Clark paled. "Dad...I...um...please don't ask." He grabbed his milk and started gulping.

"Clark, don't gulp." said Martha. "Jonathan, it's not what you think."

"Mom!"

Martha put a concilatory hand on Clark's. "Honey, we have to tell him."

"Tell me what?" asked Jonathan, frustrated. "What is going on here?"

"Iturnedintoagirltoday." Clark mumbled into his plate.

"Excuse me?" Jonathan knew he couldn't have heard that right.

"I turned into a girl today, alright? I don't want to talk about it." Clark threw his napkin down, picked up his plate and glass, and stormed off in and alomost-huff.

"Martha?" asked Jonathan, totally lost.

"It's a bit of a long story, and he's rather sensetive about it. I think you should let me explain."

The next day after school...

"So tell me man, did you touch stuff?" asked Pete.

"Touch what?" asked Clark.

"You know, stuff." Pete gestured between his legs. "Girl parts."

"Of course I didn't touch them."

"Not even the breasts?"

"Well," Clark blushed, "I had to figure out the bra."

Lex's black BMW pulled up smoothly in front of the school.

"He drives way better than you, man." whispered Pete.

"Ferrarris are harder than normal cars."

"Clark." Lex smiled brightly. "If you're not busy, I was hoping we could go for a ride."

"I don't see why not. Pete?"

Pete had a huge grin plastered across his face. He leaned in to whisper. "Don't do it man." he hissed, "He's gonna make a move again."

"Very funny, Pete." Clark turned. "Lex, I'm completly and totally free."

The car door popped open and Clark slid into the passanger seat.

They'd barely pulled out of the parking lot when Lex turned serious. "Clark, there's something I think you should know. Some strange woman is running around town pretending to be your cousin."

"I know."

Lex turned his head in surprise. "You do?"

"Yeah, Dad told me about it. You dropped by the farm, right?"

"Of course." Lex continued, "I think there's something very strange about this woman. I found her in an old crater on the edge of the grounds. One full of old meteorites. I thought perhaps we could look into it."

"Lex, you seem to be confused. Chloe's the blonde one."

"And Clark's the one constantly saving people from mysterious dangers. I did get that part right, didn't I?" Lex glanced at Clark for confirmation. "Besides, you seem to be involved somehow. I know how you get about people looking into your personal life."

"Oh. Thank you."

"I do get the message eventually." Lex smiled ruefully.

Forty-five minutes later...

Clark stood about a foot back from the edge of the crater, wondering if the queasy feeling was from the kryptonite or his nerves.

"You see this?" asked Lex, "This red stuff? I think it's a variation on the green mineral found in the meteorite. Have you ever seen anything like it?" He scrambled down the side of the crater. "I'm getting a sample."

Clark stepped back further. If he came in contact with the red kryptonite right now, there would be no way to talk his way out of this. Especially since 'Clara' didn't have his blanket exemption against Lex's inquisitiveness.

"I'll get this back to my lab." Lex climbed out of the crater carrying a red crystal.

"You have a lab?" asked Clark.

"In the basement. You should see it."

In the basement...

"Um Lex, why do you have dirty underwear on a tray?"

"Oh that." said Lex distractedly, "I found that lying on the floor."

"And you decided to experiment on it?" asked Clark.

"Clark," said Lex seriously, "It's not my underwear."

"And?"

"If mysterious underwear appears on my floor, I want to know why. It could be dangerous. This is Smallville."

Clark swallowed. "Oh." He'd just recognised the underwear. It was his. Lex must have dropped it somewhere.

"So this bit about the girl, you're just being curious?"

"There's a bit more to it than that." Lex had the rock in a beaker and was pouring something over it. "It is very important that I understand this girl."

"Why?"

"Because, Clark, if a beautiful and alluring woman blows into my life out of nowhere, I need to know how much danger I'm in."

"Alluring" Clark's brain would choose the stupidest thing to fixate on.

"Incredible. An exotic beauty with innocent charm. Too good to be true. That's why I thought she was your cousin."

"Huh?" Clark couldn't follow. He was still distracted by the exotic beauty remark.

Lex paused thoughtfully, "Clark, when we first met, everything had this epic quality. I knew, in this indefinable way that you would be important to me, and my life wouldn't be complete without you in it. You and her have that in common."

This was not happening. He wasn't in Lex's secret basement lab, there was no rock that could turn him into a girl, and Lex did not just all but declare his love for Clark. Any minute the alarm clock would go off, and he'd wake up in his own bed, or three feet above it, which for once didn't sound so bad. Clark close his eyes and waited for the alarm.

Then he remembered Chloe's book on dream interpretation and scrapped that plan.

Lex popped the rock into some machine. "This is going to take a while. Wanna shoot some pool?"

Pool. That he could handle. No weird sex thoughts playing pool with Lex. "Sure."