Semper Ubi Sub Ubi
by Amarin Rose
The title is Latin. It translates to, 'Always wear underwear.' :)
"Boxers or briefs?"
"And what makes you think that's any of your business, Miss Sullivan?" Lex returned dryly.
Chloe just grinned cheekily. "The public wants to know."
"The public will just have to die of curiosity," Lex said, smirking slightly.
"Or you could ask the boyfriend," Peter pointed out, wrapping his arm around his girlfriend's shoulders.
Chloe gasped. "You know what type of underwear Lex Luthor wears? I'm shocked. Shocked, I say. Shocked and appalled--" she grinned at his chagrined expression, "--that you didn't tell me."
"I would have thought you'd be shocked and titillated," Clark put in, dropping down into the booth next to his boyfriend. "Now, why are you talking about my lover's underwear? Without me?"
Sighing, Pete said, "Chloe is perverted and finally got Luthor to agree to an interview." Turning to his girlfriend, he added, "And you know perfectly well that when I said 'boyfriend' I meant you should ask Clark."
"I know, Peter; you're just so cute when you're blushing." Chloe grinned.
"I wouldn't think you could tell," Lex mused, taking a sip of his cappuccino. When Clark reached for it once it was settled back on the table, he slapped his boyfriend's hand away. "Get your own, Clarkbar. You know I don't put sugar in mine."
Clark sighed in mock frustration. "Sure, Lex." Sticking one hand in the air, he waved to catch Lana's attention. When she held up the coffee pot in her hand, he gave her a smile and nodded.
"Ah, the joys of small towns, where everybody knows your name and your coffee preferences," Pete rolled his eyes.
"If you'd said beer preferences, I would have thought you'd been watching 'Cheers', Townsend," Lex joked.
Peter frowned. "Cheers?"
"An old television show about a bar 'where everybody knows your name,'" Chloe told him. "Now, back to the matter at hand..."
"Which is?" Lana asked, placing a cup of coffee -- known at the Talon as the Clark Sugar Shock Special because it was a double mocha cappuccino that had honey, cinnamon, chocolate syrup and almost a half a cup of sugar, which no one but Clark had ever been able to drink without wincing and declaring their teeth needed an immediate cleaning -- in front of Clark.
"What type of underwear does our most esteemed Lex Luthor wear?" Chloe said, parodying an investigative reporter's serious tone.
Lana snickered so hard she had to quickly set her coffee pot on the table so she could cover her face with her hands. "Y-you actually asked him that?" she gasped out between laughs.
Chloe raised and eyebrow. "Boxers or briefs?" When the other girl nodded, Chloe dipped her head in a solemn sign of silent confirmation. When her face was revealed, she was grinning maniacally. "You bet your cheerleader's uniform I did." Giving the business magnate in question a pointed glance, she added, "And he has yet to answer."
"That might be in part because you haven't asked the right question," Clark broke in.
Chloe blinked. "Hmm?"
"Well, unlike fifty years ago, there are more types of men's underwear than just boxers and briefs," Lex pointed out.
"Boxers, briefs, jockey shorts, thongs, bikini briefs..." Lana listed.
"...and, of course, the ever popular with the college 'I don't do laundry' set...commando," Clark finished with a wide smile.
"So, Clark..." Chloe gave her best attempt at a coy smile -- which still came out looking like she was plotting one of her infamously devious plots, otherwise known as Sullivan Schemes. "Which does Lex wear?" Her grin widened. "Or, perhaps...not wear?"
"The public may never know," Clark pronounced loftily.
"Aw, c'mon," Chloe entreated.
Looking smug, Lex said, "What makes you think my lover is going to answer that question any more than I would?"
"A bit full of yourself, aren't you, Alexander?" Clark drawled out his lover's full name in that way that made him shiver -- with lust, not the creeps.
A glint of alarm shone in his blue eyes for no more than a split-second; when it was gone, Lex said, the dread only apparent in his voice to those who knew him well, "You wouldn't."
Clark raised one dark brow. "Wouldn't I?"
"Yes, wouldn't you?" Chloe broke in impatiently. "Please? Soon, before I explode from curiosity?"
Downing the last gulp of his 'so sweet it would rot your teeth' cappuccino, Clark said, a patently innocent grin on his face, "Let me just say...that Lex doesn't take humorous Latin phrases to heart."
Lex buried his head in hands and groaned. "Claaaark... I can't believe you!" he almost whined, voice muffled slightly by his position but no less strident for all that.
Chloe, Pete and Lana exchanged puzzled looks. None of them understood what was supposedly so enlightening about Clark's vague words. "Huh?" the blonde said for all of them.
Clark arched a brow in inquiry.
Chloe pouted. "I wanted dirt, Clark, not a riddle!" she complained.
Clark shrugged. "You're the one who wants to be an investigative reporter; you figure it out," he told her.
Crestfallen, Chloe slumped back in the booth. "With so little to go on, no one could figure it out!"
Lex finally chanced to raise his head. Seeing that none of the teens at the table -- his boyfriend included -- were laughing, he dared to hope that maybe Chloe was right. Perhaps none of them would figure out what Clark was hinting at.
It would be best not to tempt fate, however; they'd best leave before Chloe managed to weasel anything else out of his lover.
Still leery that the other three could figured out what Clark was talking about -- however remote he possibility -- Lex rose from his seat and nudged his lover toward the aisle. "C'mon, Clark, let's go." He grinned to show his lover he wasn't mad with him; after all, there were worse things than their friends finding out what kind of undergarments he preferred. He couldn't think of many that were more embarrassing outside of facts involving their sex life, though... "Before you spill all my secrets."
Clark grinned back, inwardly breathing a sigh of relief that his lover apparently wasn't going to hold a grudge. He'd been worried for a few minutes that he'd gone too far. "Sure, Lex."
Pressing a ten-dollar bill into Lana's hand to pay for both his and Clark's coffee, Lex tugged his lover out of the Talon.
"I don't get it," Chloe said as she watched the two exit the building.
"I don't either," Lana said as she pocketed the money, making a mental note to figure out how much of it was a tip when her thoughts were a bit clearer.
"A humorous Latin phrase?" Pete mumbled. "That has to do with underwear?" He mulled that over for a moment; it wasn't too long before the light dawned. Remembering the one Latin phrase he'd ever learned aside from 'E pluribus unum,' and 'Veni, vidi, vici,' Peter burst out laughing. "Oh, man! That's priceless!"
It only took Lana a few seconds longer to put it together, and then she joined him. She clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle her snorts. "Lex Luthor...he doesn't... Oh, God!"
Chloe, however, still looked baffled. "What? Guys? What's so funny?"