Small as Folk: Part I: Babylon
by Minnie and Mala
Title: "Small as Folk" 1/2Title: "Small as Folk" 1/2
Authors: Minnie & Mala
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Fandom: "Smallville"/"Queer as Folk"-USA Rating/Classification: 'R', slash, language, crossover, B/J/L/C, sexual situations.
Disclaimer: We don't own them...here, you can have them back. We even washed them!
Summary: A crossover that takes place before episode 208 of "QAF" and before 114 of "Smallville."
Mala's Note: I just want to thank Minnie for the raging plot bunny That Would Not Die. This was a bunch of fun, mixing our fandoms and our styles. Minnie's Note: I :heart: Mala. She rules. Writing with her has been a great experience. Thank you, Mala.
General Note: Michael Rosenbaum and Gale Harold are sexy bitches. That is all.
A man is stalking through the crowd on the dance floor. The fractured lights are back-lighting the gleaming crown of his bald head and instead of looking ridiculous, he looks unholy and predatory. Like some sort of celestial beast clad in black leather.
You recognize someone you love, someone very familiar...if you just shave a couple of inches of hair and a couple of years off.
He has a twink by the hand, dragging the poor kid along like a terrified yippy dog on a leash. Dark hair, wide blue eyes, jeans, flannel, and a t-shirt. Farm boy, you think. Must lift hay bales or something...and he's completely new to the big city and the queer scene.
You recognize THAT, too.
"Mmmm...HOT," you murmur, appreciatively, leaning your elbows against the bar.
"Who's hot?" Brian demands as he slides in next to you, fingers curved, loosely, around the neck of a Heineken bottle, eyes glittering from a dose of E in the bathrooms.
"Them," you gesture, casually, with your good hand.
"Oh." He narrows his gaze, focusing in, speculatively, on the pair in question. "Mmm. Yeah. Doable," he agrees.
You grin, glad he's in sync with your taste for once. "Thought so."
And then he leans close, and you catch a whiff of the alcohol on his breath and the all-too-heady lust in his eyes. It makes you shiver in the best way. "Wanna fuck 'em?" he asks, huskily.
"Wh-what?" Did you hear him right? Yes!Yes!Yes!, you think. "Um...you mean...t-together?" you wonder, blushing at the thought.
He loops an arm around your shoulders, sighing like it's obvious to everyone but you. "Yes, I mean together."
Your eyes flicker back to the black leather, the determined stride. You lick your lips before you even realize it. "Uh...okay. I mean, yes. Okay, yes."
He drops a hard kiss on your mouth. Approval. "Good. Let's go."
Whatever you were expecting, it wasn't this. This assault of sound and light and bodies. Babylon, they call it. Definitely not in Kansas anymore.
You blush deeply, looking down, and away, scrunching yourself closer to the nearest wall, trying to disappear into it. You wish, for a second, that invisibility was one of your powers because you feel awkward, out of place in this den of gyrating male-upon-male bodies.
You look at Lex and wonder why he's brought you here but, before a full question forms, he's already dragged you away from your safe haven and into the crowd.
He looks back at you, unsurprised, almost as though he'd been waiting for you to say something before now.
"What are we doing here?" you ask, scooting around the figures that, inadvertently, bump into you and trying, desperately, to avoid eye contact.
You think it's some sort of test, something he's whipped up to see how far he can push you. The boundaries of your relationship keep changing. You've gone from mutual saviors to friends to best friends.
And now, you're more than that. You just belong. Together.
Except in this place. It doesn't feel like you belong here.
Unlike you, he doesn't look out of place here. Somehow, you think Lex could never look out of place anywhere. No matter where he is, he looks like he could own the place in two seconds flat.
He smiles widely. "Plugging up holes...in your education."
You give him a grin. "I don't think this is part of any school curriculum."
Lex smirks--an expression you think he's got a patent on. "Think of it as a contact sport."
The only contact you want right now is with a door. Or with Lex. Lex against a door. Giving you some education.
You don't know where that thought comes from, only that it doesn't want to go. And another blush creeps up. You glance at him, expecting to see a teasing light in his eyes. But he's searching, no, scanning the crowd. Looking for someone else to educate, perhaps? The prospect makes your face fall and your eyes land on a bar napkin and a suspicious wrapper on the floor.
He notices your downcast expression and asks if you're okay. You brush it aside, with a shrug, and latch on the first thing that comes to mind. An earlier conversation, one that you had before leaving Smallville. Something about getting away from meteorite freaks and cornfields, seeing bright lights and big cities. This isn't exactly what you had in mind.
"I thought we were going to Metropolis..."
"Last time we were together in Metropolis, you were involved in a police investigation. I figured we'd be safer here."
The word 'safe' isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind in this place. Sure, there are no meteorite villains lurking about, no glowing green rocks nearby that sap your superhuman strength, but there's something just as dangerous. You're not sure what it is but you feel its presence.
You frown and the silence stretches, maybe a little too long. Then you hear him say reassuringly, "It's okay, Clark. We can leave if you want."
You jump, a little, at that and motion your head "no." You're not leaving. Not when this prickle in the back of your neck tells you something is about to go down. And that prickle isn't the only thing keeping you here. You want to prove to him that you, the gauche farm boy and self-appointed protector, belong here. With him. To stay by his side, in case he needs you.
Or in case you need him.
You smile, bravely, and offer a much harder, audible, "No."
Lex rewards you with a slight grin before looking at the crowd again.
He motions, with a slight tilt of his head, to a couple standing at the bar. Your gaze follows the path of his and alights on...you? Or, at least, some form of you. A blond kid, a few years older than you...with false, fallen, innocence radiating from his eyes. There's something there, in the way he carries himself. A maturity, experience you long for. And a few other dark things you don't...
A tall, lean, man has his arm looped around the kid's shoulder. Dark-haired and absolutely beautiful. Lex, yet not. Where Lex's aura of command is silent, this one's is stark. Evident. Naked. This is the danger you felt earlier. This man who's looking at you with some form of primal glee.
Your mouth goes dry when he continues to stare at you, unflinching. Baring you, stripping you down, with his eyes. Almost like an exultant hunter cornering its wary prey. All of a sudden, you have this sinking feeling that your face has a "deer in headlights" look plastered on it.
"Lex ..." You move slightly, almost defiantly, in front of your companion. Even though the man's glance is solely focused on you and you'd rather melt into the wall again, some protective instinct kicks up and you bar Lex from his sight.
"Uh, they're coming this way," you mutter.
"I know. They've been watching us since we got here."
"Oh." And you swallow. Hard.
He's a kid. You can tell. This shy, blue-eyed twink, valiantly standing guard in front of his big bad daddy as you and Justin move towards them. So young. Younger, you think, than Justin ever was. And not just in years, but in life.
But you'll take him.
You'll take him because you can.
You'll take him because he'll LIKE it.
And Justin will, too.
You saw the glint in your boy's eyes when you walked up. The fascinated way he watched this pair...as if he saw something in them that was so fucking familiar. And as you dropped your empty beer on the bar and swiveled to look, you saw it, too.
Okay, the older guy is bald. Not usually your thing...but his dark eyes take measure of you with a 'fuck you' defiance that you see in the mirror every morning. And he may not be touching the kid, but he owns him. He owns him body and soul...but not more than the kid owns him.
Yeah, you get it.
"Hey," you murmur, casually, keeping your arm firmly around Justin. You start to stroke his throat...slow and long caresses that you know at least one set of eyes will pick up on. "Passing through town?"
"Something like that." A small smile. A smirk, even.
Oh, yeah...this bastard is a tragically hairless you. And you've had enough of you to last a lifetime...so you leave him to Justin's thousand watt smile and cute puppy charm and turn your attention to the tall drink of country boy. He's almost shaking, he's so tense. But he's gorgeous.
You can work with that.
You will work with that.
He asks a seemingly harmless question. You know it's simply an opening gambit, a prelude. You've played enough games to know that.
So be it.
Let the games begin.
You respond casually, smirking, throwing down a challenge. His eyes turn dark, almost as predatory as your own, until you see yourself in the opaque mirrors. Shit. Another you. Less subtle, perhaps, but with the same instinct to conquer, to own. Older, too ,but still you when it comes to world-weary experience. You'd stake your shares in LuthorCorp on it.
The room doesn't seem big enough for the both of you. He knows it, too. He glances towards Clark again and you move stealthily in front of him, as though claiming your turf.
Clark doesn't seem to notice. Like you, he's staring intently at this man who must, yes, be the ruling beast of Babylon, defense and bravado in his stance. But your opponent doesn't move to attack, to intercept. His little envoy, his partner in this play, does instead. And he smiles at you, widely. Fearless. Innocent.
The blond looks barely old enough to be here. But he looks like he belongs. Maybe it's his stance--one that states, without question that he's earned his place and paid his dues. Or his smile--one that seems to rival Clark's in its sincere intensity. That smile falters slightly when you lower your eyes and move them slowly up, taking his measure.
Your gaze stops at his hand. Curled up. Hanging limp at his side. You notice his fingers twitch involuntarily and something inside you shakes loose.
Someone hurt this golden boy. Years of parading through hospital corners during your childhood, of overhearing medical diagnoses when your mother was sick, have taught you that this particular affliction could only have been caused by some kind of head trauma.
That puzzles you. Who would want to hurt him? He looks harmless, the kind of boy everyone would want to protect, not destroy.
He looks...like Clark. Almost the same wholesome air...except seasoned with bitters.
He could be Clark. Hurt, vulnerable, lying in a hospital bed in the wake of some scum with a grudge and an attitude's violent crusade.
The pieces swirling, loose, inside you collide and form into an irrevocable instinct to shield, to protect. Which, in your world, translates into ownership. You could own this shining creature just as you own Clark.
You take a step closer to him and whisper, "Hey."
And the game continues.
Brian's hand slides, slowly, from your neck and moves downwards...so he can interlace his fingers with yours...connect you as you make your separate moves.
You can all ready hear him murmuring something to the boy. Words like "sweet" and "mouth" and "haveyouever?" He's a master at this kind of thing.
But you're still an amateur...and you can't think of an adequate response to LeatherMan's cool "hey." Even so, you keep the bright grin plastered to your face and pretend you didn't notice the way he looked at your fucking gimp hand...the flash of pity in his eyes.
If he thinks this is going to be a pity fuck, he's seriously mistaken.
No one feels sorry for you. No one.
"Ever fucked a cripple?" you ask, softly...dangerously.
"Can't say that I have." His lips twitch. And the glimmer of sorrow disappears. "Have you?" he shoots back, arching an eyebrow...looking like he's too important, too classy, to ever use a word as base and callow as 'fuck.'
You giggle. You can't help it. God, he's not out of place at Babylon and he'd be equally at home at a dinner with your father at the Country Club. "Just an emotional one," you reply, cheekily, elbowing Brian in the ribs.
"Oof!" Brian breaks off whatever line he's using and elbows you back. "Honey...can't you see I'm trying to work here?" he growls, mockingly.
"Sorry." You lean over and kiss the side of his face, rubbing your lips against the slightest shadow of beard, and as you pull away and look at your quarry again, you notice that he's watching you both with the strangest intensity. Fascination.
Does he see himself in Brian?
Does he wish his scared little rabbit would touch him this way? Bold and brave in public? If only he knew how hard you had to work to get to this point...how much you had to give up...how much you had to practice in the privacy of the bedroom...
Maybe tonight, you'll show him.
You stare at him, steadily, letting him see, for just a moment, that you're not so innocent...not so sweet. You're determined. And you always get what you want.
He's stopped looking at you for a minute and you relax, briefly. Breathe. Lick your lips and swallow.
You watch him banter with his pretty boy. It's like he and this blond work in tandem, in perfect synchronicity, and you can't be afraid of that kind of connection.
You won't be. Because that's the kind of thing you want.
He stops bantering and turns...back to you. He leans in close, so close that you're tempted to back up. To Lex. But Lex isn't there. He's moved towards the blond.
"Nice shirt, Kid...but Dyke Night was last week."
You blink and look down at your flannel shirt, belatedly get the reference.
"Too bad," you toss back. You have no idea where this conversation is heading but wanting to hold your own in it, nonetheless. You look at him straight in the eye, telegraphing that you're not about to back down.
"You DO know what a 'dyke' is, don't you?"
The audio memory of 'plugging up holes' comes to your rescue. "Something you stick your finger in to stop a flood?"
"The only thing I'm sticking my finger in tonight is you."
And with that one assertion, your carefully-erected bravado deserts you and you turn beet-red, unsure of how to handle the aggression, the lack of subtlety, of masquerade. Your conversations with Lex are never this stark. You play with words, cleverly disguising feelings behind them. Never really saying what you mean, always leaving something out of reach. Always playing 'safe'.
This guy clearly doesn't play safe with people. He disguises nothing at all. He plays to win. That earlier prickle racing up the back of your neck has turned into a full blown electrical storm that shoots down your body.
It's unsettling. Terrifying. Liberating.
There are no lies with this one. Lies that can tear you apart. This one has honesty...and you can handle honesty. Or at least you think you can.
"How about it?"
If you were talking to Lex, you could thrust it back, parry it with a clever non-answer, something that would leave him just satisfied enough not to push any further...to save it until next time. But he isn't Lex. You think "just enough" isn't going to be enough for this one. He wants it all and he won't stop till he has it. In that sense, he is Lex.
So, you nod. And, then, because you realize that's not strong enough, you say, "Yes." And that one little word is so powerful, you think it must be what flying sounds like.
As you make your decision, and there's only one thing you can think of that would stand in the way of it, the pretty boy tells Lex, "Let's go."
And Lex looks straight at you when he answers, "Sure."
You share a look, a tiny nod, silent permission.
And then you leave.