Of Cats, Canaries and Aliens.
Lex is smiling.
Not necessarily the strangest thing Clark has ever seen-after all, this is Smallville-and yet... Clark blinks, rubs his eyes but the scenery doesn't change. Lex is wearing jeans and some old sweatshirt, while sitting on the top of the counter in his ridiculously huge kitchen that can easily substitute for a stadium. He's reading something that looks like a magazine and is actually swinging his feet like a fidgety four-year-old, kicking the marble with the heels of his sneakers. Oh, and he is smiling so widely and so joyfully that Clark has the urge to either pinch himself to make sure he's awake or drag Lex on the floor and fuck him until that smile is permanently embedded on his face... and he did NOT just think that.
The words tumble out of Clark's mouth before he can get over the shock and that's the story he will stand by. Even under the threat of a meteor-induced torture performed by leather clad... uh... someone who is... oh, hell. "Ok, kitty, where is the canary?"
Lex looks up from what actually seems more like a comic book at a closer glance, smiles a little wider and manages to get, "Cla..." out before freezing for a moment, snorting in the very un-Lex-like but very amused manner, and finishing with, "did you just call me a kitty?"
One of the reasons Clark loves to wear red shirts is because they manage to cover up at least a little bit exactly how many shades of crimson he can reach. "If the grin fits..."
"A kitty, Clark?" and there it is, a sharp mocking edge that no one can do like Lex so the smiling shape-shifter theory is definitely out. Even if the smile doesn't waver.
"Would you prefer 'pod person'?"
With a tiny tilt of his head, Lex gazes at him curiously... and Clark realizes that Lex doesn't normally gaze. He watches, he stares, he rips off your clothes and fucks you breathless with a long, ravenous leer, but gazing? And yet, his usually intense blue eyes appear so soft and lazy that this is the only word that fits.
"And what exactly have I done to deserve such interesting appellations?"
Oh. How do you explain to a man that a smile like that on his face is rare enough to qualify as one of the signs of the apocalypse? Clark decides that lesser evil is in order.
"Lex, you know you're in the kitchen, right?"
Thoughtful glance around and a nod. "Of course. That big black thing in the corner that is cold inside and filled with food kinda gave it away."
Kinda? Kinda?! This is worse than he realized. He figures that maybe speaking slower is a good idea.
"Lex, are you lost?"
And Lex is looking at him like he is the one who lost it, a tiny frown twisting his eyebrows, replying slower as well. "Lost? No, Clark. I have to stay in the kitchen because I'm baking."
And this must be what getting hit feels to humans. Fighting the urge to sit down on the nearest flat surface is a bitch.
"B...baking?" A very amused chuckle has Clark turning around, searching for clues. Clark finally notices the traces of flour on the table and Lex's shirt, dirty dishes in the sink and if it doesn't smell like chocolate and herbs in the air, he'll strip naked and...well, something that doesn't involve Lex getting naked too. Yep.
"What are you doing?" Clark can hear the smile in Lex's voice and it has a possibility to be an extremely nice thing. If it only weren't so... damn confusing.
"Trying to see if the three men riding horses are here yet."
Lex jumps off the counter, throws the comic book in his place, and saunters toward the previously mentioned big black thing, better known to anyone on the planet as the refrigerator.
"I'm not sure I understand the reasons for you bewilderment." But the playful glint in his eyes betrays to Clark that that might not be an entirely truthful statement. While he contemplates the proper response, Lex ducks into the fridge and takes out a large pitcher filled with a liquid of such a flamingly hideous green color that Clark feels his chest tighten. He knew it. Fucking meteor rocks.
Without bothering with luxuries like glasses, Lex brings the container to his lips when Clark's loud "Guh!" stops him. Clark was going for "Stop" but the meteor rocks must've affected his speech.
Of course now Lex is really staring at him like Clark has gone insane.
"Is there a problem, Clark?"
"Lex, put that thing down and step away from it."
"Clark, I'd offer you some but I know you don't like sour..."
"Just do it, Lex."
"It's just Martini, Clark. It may not be the best Martini in the world considering how it was made, but I can guarantee you that it's not poisoned." However, Lex does place the pitcher on the table and takes a few steps toward Clark.
"Lex, it's green." And, boy, does that sound stupid when actually spoken.
Lex isn't smiling any more. Actually his face is so strained it looks as if he is either trying to find the solution for the Grand Unification Theory in his head or not to laugh. "It's Apple Martini, Clark. It's supposed to be green."
Now that the panic subsides, Clark realizes that he feels none of the usual disgusting meteor effects. But he does feel slightly nauseous when he notices the sly expression on Lex's face.
"Of course if I'd known that you were coming over, I'd come up with something more suitable to your tastes. I just know you'd love the Chocolate Martini or, you like white chocolate better, right? Well, I'd made you Orgasm Martini. It's... delicious."
Oh. The oven must be working heavily because the temperature in the kitchen just jumped a few hundred degrees. Clark rubs the back of his neck and offers a wistful grin of his own.
"It's not too late." Is it?
And the smile is back with a vengeance, making Clark wonder just how much of that Apple Martini has Lex drank before he came over.
"I don't have the secret ingredient -- White Creme de Cacao, necessary for a good Orgasm Martini."
And if Lex won't stop saying "Orgasm" like that, Clark will suggest that they skip the entire pointless Martini part.
"What did you think..." a soft chime interrupts the question for which Clark is thankful to whatever deity is protecting the last shreds of his dignity. Lex's attention is promptly switched toward the oven. "They're ready." He grabs a pair of towels off the rack and opens the oven. The delicious aroma of chocolate is much stronger and Clark decides that he just might have to try whatever it is Lex is baking. Even if it is baked by Lex and he is not getting over that concept for approximately ever.
"So why are you baking exactly?"
An indifferent shrug. "I saw an article on Princeton and got, for the lack of a better word, nostalgic."
"Are you trying to tell me you used to bake in college?" And there are a lot of things Clark is willing to believe. This not being one of them.
Lex turns around, placing a large cookie tray on the counter. "Not every day. Most of the time, some of the ingredients didn't make it far enough. After all, these are very special brownies."
And there is a smirk that makes Clark reconsider his desire for a taste. He watches Lex cut the brownies with precision a surgeon would be jealous of. "So is nostalgia also the reason for attire?"
Lex glances at his clothes and when he looks up, his eyes are sparkling. "Nah, laundry day."
And Clark is laughing, because it must be a joke but after catching Lex in the kitchen, there is no way in hell he's going anywhere near the laundry room. His psyche wouldn't be able to survive the shock.
Lex tosses the knife into the sink and starts looking for something in the cabinets. Clark picks up one of the pieces, staring at it dubiously, remembering the brief comment Lex made before.
"Those aren't poisoned, are they?"
Lex glances over his shoulder and suddenly he spins around and is staring at Clark, all the laziness, all the softness gone from his eyes. Stare so intense and sharp that Clark starts worrying about his supposedly impenetrable skin. But before he can ask what's wrong, Lex takes a deep breath and it's gone, just like that, and Lex is grinning lazily again.
"Good question, Clark." He walks closer, until he is only a foot or so away and at this distance Clark can see that there is some slight tension in his frame that wasn't there before. Lex leans, gracefully, against the counter, crossing his hands on his chest and there is a tiny smudge of chocolate on his jaw that is doing a great job at distracting from whatever Lex is saying. Something about higher society in over-long-ago century adding a bit of poison to their food every morning so that their bodies would grow immune and only when he hears Lex say his name he tries his best to tear away from it.
"Huh?" Wow. That was an impressively intelligent response. He looks higher, until he meets Lex's amused gaze and yep, the edge is still there, if hidden.
"I think this is where you remember that those brownies had just been taken out of the oven moments ago and thus are very, very hot."
He drops the brownie and Lex manages to catch it with appearing from god knows where plate, with a speed and accuracy that Clark starts to wonder whether the cocktail actually did have some meteor powder mixed in it.
Of course he heard the vicious rumors that fencing lessons achieve similar results.
He offers a weak, "Ouch?" that wouldn't fool anyone, especially Lex. Yet strangely Lex doesn't look angry or even inquisitive.
"Oh, Clark," and Lex has a soft curve gracing his lower lip, not a pout but the kind that people sometimes have when they are looking at little children doing something adorable. The same one that his mother had had when he'd tried to make breakfast and had burned the eggs, because he'd forgotten to use butter. When he was seven. He isn't sure he likes Lex looking at him that way and he might get offended or angry later. When he isn't too busy hyperventilating.
Lex shakes his head and starts transferring brownies from the tray to the plate. Clark just stands there for a long minute, waiting for Lex to finish with the task and start with the questions he isn't ready to answer. He throws a longing look at Martini, experiencing his first sudden urge for a drink but not sure if he could get over the ugly color to actually try it. Lex follows his gaze and his grin shifts into one of a predator on a hunt and has Clark thinking that maybe he was just anointed as the canary.
"Trust me, Clark. You wouldn't like it. However, now that I'm thinking about it, how do you feel about Pineapple juice?" Lex picks up the pitcher, the plate and heads toward the corridor, head tilted in a silent invitation to follow him. "Because there is this cocktail, for which you blend it with some Absolut and Midori & Malibu, that is just fantastic. If I'm not mistaken, it's called Alien Seduction."