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Bobble-head Shorts Series

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Bobble-head Shorts Series

by Artemis

http://www.livejournal.com/users/artemisraine/


Rating: PG-13
Disclaimers: I don't own the pretty boys or their friends in the Smallville universe. If I did, the CLex would be riftless and eternally in love. Neither money nor profits were made in the creation or posting of this story, and I have no money anyway. Spoilers: Season 1 -- Season 2. Completely AU from there. Summary: A series of short stories, scenes, or dialogues. Meant to be humorous, Clark finds out what happens when you poke Lex Luthor with a stick. Warnings: Same Sex (MALE/MALE) relationship. If this turns you off or offends, go back now. NOTES I: A series of short snapshots of conversations, scenes, or dialogues. A brief, unsuccessful attempt at writing a drabble. It grew from there into an exercise to write "short" snippets and still tell a story. Inspired by a bank commercial and Lacey's McBain's Cow Drabbles (link found in end notes), this writing exercise tickled my imagination. Dedicated to Lacey, for her Cow Drabbles and the image of Lex slapping Clark's denim clad ass! November 2004.


Bobble-head Shorts Series
By Artemis
November 2004


SHORT 1: THE SET UP

"What the fuck is this?!"

Clark turned around smoothly, smiling warmly at the lean form charging into the room. Lex was so enraged, he didn't see the amused glint in Clark's green eyes, nor did he hear the teasing tone in his voice. "Hello, honey. When did you get home?"

Lex ground to a stop, retribution and doom swirling around him like a massive storm front. "Don't 'honey' me, asshole. Contrary to your fucked up sense of reality, you don't have anything approaching a sense of humor--"

"I missed you, too," Clark said, still beaming sunnily. "Every minute at work is like an eternity--"

"--and one day I'm going to use that little black book Dad gave me," Lex threatened, glowering, "and your ass is going to be in the sights of the top hitman in the country--"

"--and all I think about is seeing you, being with you, because that's the only time I feel complete, heart of my heart,--"

"--with kryptonite bullets, asswipe, and...heart of my heart? What the fuck are you-- Shit! You're impossible!" Lex said, voice rising into almost a shout. Throwing the figure in his hand, he growled as Clark superspeeded with ease to catch it. He snarled before storming out of the room, "If you have the slightest quiver of a survival instinct in that tiny alien brain of yours, you'll get a blanket and pillow out of the bedroom before I go to sleep tonight."

Lex was barely out of the room before Clark broke down and started laughing. Huge, gasping guffaws that made his stomach hurt. When he started wheezing, he very carefully set the Bobble-head Lex Luthor in his hand on the floor.


SHORT 2: THE CONTRITE LITTLE SHIT

"Not one more step," Lex said, voice cold as the Arctic wind.

"Ah, Lex--"

"Don't start. Get used to the couch because you're about to become intimately acquainted with it."

"It was a joke!"

"And I thought it was so funny that if I see your ass in this bed or any other bedroom suite you'll find out the real meaning of 'living at the office'."

"That's not fair! Come on, Lex. I know you don't mean--"

"Couch. Now."

"Come on. It was just a joke!"

"..."

"Leeeeex..."

"..."

"Fine, Mr. Un-funny Pants! See if I go out of my way to make you smile again."

The bedroom door slammed shut.

Lex muttered loudly, "Asshole, I'm not that easy," before rolling over to go back to sleep.


SHORT 3: THE RECONNAISSANCE

"Find out who made it."

"But sir, it isn't being sold on the market. It had to have been a custom job and--"

"I don't care what you have to do. Break balls over this if you have to, I want to know who made that, that, thing, and I want to know five minutes ago."

"But--"

"If you don't find out who he commissioned it from, I'll assume you aren't capable of doing your job. If you aren't capable of doing your job..." Lex trailed off, the threat clear.

"Yes, sir! Consider it done, Mr. Luthor."

"Five minutes ago, Henderson."

Lex hit the off button viciously on his desk, spinning his chair around to look out the enormous wall-to-ceiling windows behind him. Sending a steely glare towards The Daily Planet building, he said aloud, relish in his voice, "I haven't torn a company apart in years."


SHORT 4: THE CIVIL WAR -- LOIS

"I can't believe this!" Clark hit his fist against his desktop. "He won't even let me in the bedroom. All my clothes have been moved out into an armoire in the study!"

"You can't be surprised by this, Smallville."

"I knew he might be a little...miffed...but I don't see what's the big deal!"

"He's Lex Luthor."

She didn't even blink at the withering look she received.

"He's the big man," Lois prodded with a smirk. "Not the man with a big head."

"Ha, ha," Clark said, giving her another look before lowering his head to his desk. He thumped it several times against the scarred wood as he muttered, "He won't even look at me."

"Be a man, Kent. Poke a King Cobra with a stick, now live with the bite."

"Deep, Lois. Real deep."

Lois just laughed.


SHORT 6: THE CIVIL WAR -- CHLOE

"He's such a baby!"

"You had to know he'd get pissed."

"Not like this. He's blowing it all out of proportion."

"Tweak the tail of a tiger..."

"God! You and Lois are exactly alike!"

Chloe gave him a bland look.

"He's being ridiculous," Clark pouted. "I wanted to make him smile. You know how he gets sometimes. I thought he'd laugh."

"Riiiiight." She so wasn't buying Clark's wounded victim act.

Clark squirmed for about ten seconds before blurting out, "It's been two weeks! He had all the bedrooms locked, and I have to shower in the bathroom off the entertainment room."

"Your life's so tough," she snarked. "Too bad about those Jacuzzi bathtubs. How ever will you live?"

It went over Clark's head. Waving his hands in the air wildly, dark hair all askew into spikes, the furrows from his fingers clear, he said dramatically, "He had Marie stock the fridge with salad!"

"Gasp. The horror."

"Every night at dinner, it's peas or creamed corn. Peas. Creamed corn. Peas. Creamed corn. With salad! Chef's salad. Chicken Caesar salad. Mandarin salad. Garden salad. Spinach salad--"

"I get the picture, Clark."

"It's like some warped nightmare."

Chloe just rolled her eyes.

"With endless amounts of peas. Peas everywhere! You don't want to know how often I've had to force down pea soup."

She raised an eyebrow.

"Well, he won't talk to me," Clark said defensively. "But it's worse if I don't eat what Marie makes. The first night, the air in the room actually grew so cold I could see my breath."

"You are such a drama queen," Chloe declared with a snort. "Apologize, dork boy."

"I didn't do anything wrong!"

"Uh huh. And I'm the Queen of Egypt."

"It was a joke."

"Grovel, Clark. On your knees pleading. With the puppy eyes."

"He's making this into a bigger deal than what it is." He crossed his arms over his chest. "I didn't do anything wrong."

"Which is your problem," Chloe said sagely. "Tell yourself that, but don't tell Lex. If you ever want to have sex again, Clarkbar...grovel, and grovel huge."

Clark set his face stubbornly.

"Huge, Clark. Huge."


SHORT 7: THE CIVIL WAR -- PETE

"You are so fucked, man."

"Why didn't you talk me out of it!"

"Do you remember Fifth grade? Suzy Graham and her pigtails?"

"You should have tried harder back then, too!"

"Clark, I love you like a brother, but you're the most stubborn SOB I've ever known, and that includes Luthor. I couldn't talk you out of getting an air conditioner if we lived in the North Pole."

"Hardy-har har. Way to have my back, Pete."

"I'm just saying, man, I'm glad it's you and not me."

"Thanks a lot!"

"Yeah, Lana would've had my balls for breakfast over this," Pete said fondly, pride in his face. At Clark's glare, he rolled his eyes. "Dude, chill. At least Luthor hasn't arranged to have you cut into parts or sent out invitations for an alien shish kebob."

Clark grew alarmingly pale.

"At least I don't think so," Pete said, scratching his head. "I'm pretty sure Lana would've mentioned it if we'd gotten an invitation to another Lex Luthor shindig."

"Pete!" Clark croaked.

Pete huffed, not even looking at his best friend. He grumbled in disgust, "She went on and on for weeks after the last one. Don't see the appeal myself, but rich boy does have a way with women."

Clark glared.

Pete eyed Clark up and down skeptically. "And you. Hey! You don't think the man's going to step out on you, do you? Lana told me Angelina Jolie's in town for a movie shoot. Lex always did have a thing for brunettes."

Clark choked.

"Hasn't he watched Tomb Raider, like, fifty times? He always did like that opening sequence just a little too much. If he'd been my man, not that I'd date anyone with a dick, just for the record, I'd have--"

"Pete!"

"Come on, buddy. Like any guy over twelve hasn't had dreams about those lips. Didn't you tell me once Lex had some sort of fixation on your mouth? Which, by the way, TMI, dude, TMI. But her mouth...it makes a man want to weep, even if he has a wife as fine as mine." Pete sighed with a touch of longing. "Plus, she's got the whole package. A face to die for, cheekbones of a goddess, and those eyes. Not to mention..." He made an hourglass shape with his hands, and then cupped them in front of his chest in a light bounce.

Clark choked again, and his face got a little green.

Pete blithely ignored the affronted look that passed over Clark's face, and he definitely didn't smirk when Clark's eyes finally narrowed menacingly even as the brunette raised his fingers to touch his lips worriedly. Instead, Pete widened his own eyes in surprise, as if he just thought of something. Digging around on his desk, he made a pointed gesture at his appointment book.

"I hear Bruce Wayne's coming into town, too, for the Gunderson fundraiser." Pete puffed his chest out in satisfaction. He'd been the one to organize the political event, so he was proud as a papa for reeling in the East Coast business magnate. "Didn't you say once he and Lex had a thing before?"

Clark's jaw dropped.

"You know, Wayne was listed in People's 50 Most Beautiful for the last five years. If I was a chick, I could see why. Tall, dark, handsome, and almost as rich as a Luthor. Hey, I never noticed. Other than the eye color, he looks sort of like you, doesn't he?"

Pete started pounding Clark's back as his face got alarmingly red. "Breath, Clark. Breath."

Clark sent him a weak glower as he began coughing.

"Don't worry, bro," Pete said consoling as Clark continued to cough, "Mom was just saying she wished one of us was still single. She has a list a mile long of single women in her church group that she'll hook you up with."

Facing blanching white, even as his cheeks were highlighted an angry red, Clark completely missed the wicked gleam in Pete's brown eyes.


SHORT 8: THE CIVIL WAR -- BRUCE

"I'm only going to say this one more time, Kent. It's none of your business."

"I just want to know what he said to you," Clark snapped.

Bruce looked at him, deep blue eyes hooded by amused arrogance.

It was pissing Clark off.

"I called the Regency," he bit out. "The penthouse suite--"

"Isn't necessary," Bruce finished for Clark, voice rolling out from the vid-comm screen as smooth as dark chocolate. "Lex--" the name sounded like a caress, making Clark's grip on the desk tighten until the sound of cracking wood sounded in the air, "--has already offered to host me during my stay in your fair city."

"Great," Clark said through clenched teeth. Peachy. Wonderful.

Son of a bitch.

Bruce didn't even bother to say good-bye. The smug bastard just half-smirked--did they teach all snot-nosed rich brats how to do that in boarding school--before the transmission was cut off.

Bastard. The damn fucking rat bat bastard.

Clark looked around the study for something to throw against the wall, or maybe smash into smithereens. Unfortunately, everything in here was his, partly because it was his home office, but mostly because all his stuff from the bedroom had been transferred here that first day after the Big Hissy Fit. So Clark managed to quash the impulse somehow.

Not that it made Bruce Wayne any less of a fucking bastard.

Son of a bitch!


SHORT 9: THE CIVIL WAR -- LANA

"Clark," Lana said gently, voice sweet and kind. It was getting on Clark's already frayed nerves. "Don't you think this has gone on long enough?"

He grimaced at her sourly, childhood infatuation and the rose-colored glasses that went with it having long been put away. "Pete talked to you, didn't he?"

Lana sighed, the sound soft and breathy like the first warm breeze of spring. "He was concerned, Clark. You left his office 'in a rage', as he put it. He was hoping I'd stop you before you did something...unfortunate."

Like calling Bruce?

Like acting like a jealous shrew?

Like practically accusing Bruce of coming to town to seduce his boyfriend slash lover slash partner slash pissed off other half of his soul?

No, Lana, I didn't do anything stupid. I just gave Bruce another reason to laugh at me behind my back and think I'm nothing more than a countrified idiot redneck who doesn't deserve to breath the same air as Lex Luthor.

Clark wasn't bitter. Not at all.

Fucking Bruce.

Lana sighed again. She did that a lot around Clark; she always had. Clark wasn't sure what that said about him. "Clark, we're both worried about you. And Lex. We count you among our best friends. Our family. We want to see you work this out."

At least she wasn't laughing at him. Like Pete. And Bruce.

Fucking Bruce.

Lana looked at Clark's darkening face in concern. She reached out, patting his knee with one slim, small hand, nails painted a soft pink, like the inside of a kitten's ear. "Sometimes bumps happen in a relationship. Miscommunications take place. I'm sure you didn't mean to hurt Lex so deeply."

Huh?

"Hurt? Lana, I don't know what Pete told you, but it was a joke. Just a joke! Lex is making a big deal out of nothing--"

She looked at him, huge hazel eyes shimmering with disappointment.

"--and blowing this all out of proportion..." Clark stumbled, faltering.

The sunlight shining through the windows of the study glinted off the diamonds of her wedding ring, sending out rainbow flashes of color. Her black hair was smooth and glossy as a crow's wing, drawing the eye to her exotic, delicate features. Another small pat to his knee, and she said soothingly, "I know just what you need to do."

"You do?" Clark manfully didn't notice the pathetic hope in his voice. It was a bitch sleeping on the sofa. He either had to curl up into a fetal position or he had to let his feet hang off the end, the angle on his legs wreaking havoc on his muscles. If he reached out at night for a phantom lover, well, he tried not to think about it too hard.

Damn it all! It was just a joke.

"Really," Lana confirmed with a soft smile, her cotton candy pink lips making her teeth sparkle extra white. As much as Lana's beauty still struck a nostalgic pang in his heart, the sheer perfection of her sometimes grated. Not that he'd ever admit that to Lex, Chloe, Pete, his parents, or anyone else who'd listened to him wax on for hours about said perfection back in the old days. "Bruce Wayne's in town next week. Chloe told me they're best friends. I'm sure if you ask him to talk to Lex, he could get Lex to at least talk to you."

Clark hunched down into his seat and glowered balefully at the universe.

Fucking Bruce.


SHORT 10: THE CIVIL WAR -- WALLY

"Supes," Wally said around a mouthful of hotdog, words garbled. "You got to step up."

Superman looked down at the red-costumed hero with a grim face. Clark would have been very disappointed to hear that this expression really didn't differ all that much from Superman's normal appearance.

"You know," Wally said, waving one hand in the air. "Step up to the plate. Don't know how they do things on Krypton, but around here, when the little woman's in a tiff, you got to grovel. Beg. Flowers, chocolate, really bad poetry. Whatever it takes."

Little woman?

"It's an art," he said carelessly. Taking thirty seconds to speed back to the kitchen, grab two more hot dogs, and speed back to the control room, the Flash continued chatting as if he'd never left, "It doesn't even matter what you say, it's how you say it. As long as you put in somewhere, 'I'm sorry' and 'It's my fault', you're all gold."

Superman frowned. Again, not that unusual a sight, so the Flash didn't even notice.

Did everyone know about his problems with Lex?

"Groveling, done right, will make Blue Eyes forget all about your little thing." Wally leaned back against the consol and burped. Patting his stomach, he let out a sigh. "Man, that hit the spot. Two dozen hot dogs just doesn't fill a guy like it used to. You know?" Tapping his chin thoughtfully, Wally looked up at Superman.

Superman's eyes narrowed. He never had liked the way Wally looked at Lex. And who the hell did he think he was, coming up with some stupid nickname for his boyfriend slash whatever?!

And he didn't have a little thing!

"You know, big guy, I think what you need is an in. Wonder Woman had a great idea. Me, being the great guy that I am, am willing to pass it on to you."

Was the entire League gossiping about his love life?!?

Or lack of, a distant corner of Clark's mind butted in.

"Isn't Bats friends with your hunk of burning love?" Wally blinked innocently at Superman. "Princess tells me they were boyhood pals or something. I bet Bats could get your foot in the door just like that," he finished, snapping his fingers.

The railing underneath Superman's hand was instantly crushed by a clenched Kryptonian fist.

"Plus, as much of a babe magnet as I am, Bats is some sort of playboy or something. Knows his way around both sides of the fence, if you know what I mean. He'd know just how to sweeten ol' Blue Eyes up. Maybe he could work out some way you could start getting a little action again." Wally waggled his eyebrows, leering at Superman as he leaned in close enough to nudge him in the ribs. "Bet he could even give you tips."

Superman growled.


SHORT 11: THE CIVIL WAR -- CHLOE II

"Don't cast those puppy eyes at me," she warned. "He gets pissed every time you leave your underwear on the floor. What'd you think he'd do for making fun of his head."

"I never should have told you about...his head?"

Chloe cast a disappointed look at him. "In case you missed the memo, he's bald, Clark."

"I know that!"

"So what do people notice about him?"

"Well--"

"What did he get teased about as a kid?"

"That's not--"

"Why do people still call him a freak?"

"He's not a freak!"

"His head, Clark. His bald, very conspicuous head. Which you made into joke by blowing it up on a doll and sticking it on a little spring neck. What does one plus one make?"

Chloe watched as puppy eyes were flooded with guilt, and she had to hold back a sigh.

Only Clark Kent could get to Lex Luthor so effectively through careless, thoughtless cruelty.

Unmeaning cruelty.

The Clark Kent M.O.

She moved closer and hugged him hard. Even if he was a jerk, he was her jerk. The dope.


SHORT 12: THE CIVIL WAR -- MARTHA

Clark squirmed at the disappointed look his mother was giving him. However, years of experience kept his lips zipped as he sent a pleading look back to her.

"Oh, Clark."

His stomach dropped at her tone of voice.

"Honey, it's been a month. Do you really want to see another month pass by like this?"

"No, but..." Clark looked up at his mom, blinking sadly. "I don't know what to do."

"Clark." The warning in her tone--and in his name--had Clark sinking down into his chair. "You were raised better than that."

"But, Mom!"

Martha frowned at the whine in his voice.

"I didn't do anything wrong!" He stared at the kitchen table, a pout slipping out without thought. Tracing a finger along the tabletop, he mumbled, "I just want him to stop being so mad."

"Does he have a reason to be?"

"No! Yes. I don't know..." Clark sighed. "Chloe says I hurt his feelings."

Martha cleared her throat.

"I don't know. Maybe I did. I just thought it would be funny! Now he's barely speaking to me."

Martha waited patiently. Clark could feel her stare.

"We're being 'civil'," he groused in disgust. "Three weeks of solid silence, and now...at least he's talking to me again. For all the good it does me. He shows Marie more affection than he does me."

Raising his head, hoping for maternal wisdom, Clark looked up in time to see Martha flush.

It took a full minute to get it.

"Mom!" He gaped at her, horrified. "I didn't mean...I wasn't talking about...that was not what I...argh!"

Martha's lips twitched, but otherwise her face remained serene. A faint blush still highlighting her cheeks, she watched as her only son went red, right to the tips of his ears.

"You did NOT just think..."

Her expression didn't change.

"Mom...I'm not talking about my...sex life--" he choked the words out, "--with you. There's just some things...we're not doing...I mean, I'm not going there. Nuh uh, no way."

Blue eyes met with green for several minutes, her gaze steady, and Clark was the first to look away.

"Chloe told you, didn't she? I'm going to kill her."

Martha reached out, patting her son's large hand.


SHORT 13: THE CIVIL WAR -- JONATHAN

"Son, there's a time in every man's life when his woman denies him certain...rights."

Clark sank down into the sofa, wishing he could disappear. Damn it! The loft was supposed to be a sanctuary, but Mom just had to send Dad out here.

And why did everyone keep comparing Lex to a woman?

"I know it's hard to imagine, but even your mother has been...a mite upset with me a time or two in the past."

Okay, not everyone. But Wally and Dad. Was it a blond thing?

"There was a time, just a few years after we'd been married, that I spent an entire week out on the sofa. Darn if I know what I did, even to this day, but there I was, having a pillow shoved in my arms."

Because Lex so wasn't a woman.

"Relationships are hard work, son. Too many young people take for granted that love is all you need to bind you together."

Not that he'd really know. After all, he could barely remember the last time he'd seen Lex naked. Lex wouldn't even drink out of Ty Nant bottles in front of him anymore.

He sighed.

"So that's why you need to step up and take charge."

Huh?

"Though, I don't suppose you've decided that maybe you and Lex might need a little time apart?"

Time apart? Clark's head shot up.

"Lois has a spare bedroom, doesn't she?" Jonathan shot his son a hopeful glance. "Beautiful woman, that Lois. Smart. Strong. Knows her own mind. Reminds me of your mother."

Clark scowled.

"No, no. Of course not. You and Lex are committed, and it's good that you work out your problems. Relationships are hard work." Jonathan sounded just a bit disappointed, and suspiciously like he was trying to talk himself into believing what he was saying.

"Yeah, Dad," Clark muttered. "Thanks."

"No problem, son."

They stared at the walls for several minutes.

"Son?"

"Yeah, Dad?"

"A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

Clark barely held back a groan. He'd get Mom for this. Somehow.

Were all women this sadistic?

"At times like this, there's only one thing a man can do."

Waiting expectantly, Clark didn't hold out for much hope.

"Grovel. Admit it's your fault, even if you don't know what has her in a tizzy, and grovel."

Clark didn't bother to repress the groan this time.


SHORT 14: THE PARENTS

Jonathan sighed, sinking into the bed with relief.

"Did you talk?"

Face twisting into a grimace, he leaned over and turned off the lamp.

"I couldn't tell when he left. He seemed happier. Didn't he?" Martha's voice sounded out in the darkness, soft as corn silk in late August.

"I talked to the boy," Jonathan soothed, turning over and slipping an arm around her waist. "You know how he is about Lex. They'll have things patched up in no time."

"They haven't had an argument like this since they were boys," Martha fretted. "We know how those always turned out."

"He'll forgive him, Martha. He always does." Not that Clark did anything that needed forgiveness. His boy was a good man, sweet and open as the day was long. If anyone did anything upsetting, it was--

"Lex sounded strained over the phone."

"They'll work it out." They always did. The tiny hope he'd carefully cherished that Clark might meet a nice woman and get married had long since turned into resignation. Maybe even acceptance.

"He threw Clark out of their bedroom. For a month, Jonathan!"

Jonathan silently cursed Chloe, well intentioned or not. The girl just couldn't help herself, getting Martha involved. Admittedly, it did hurt a little that Clark hadn't come to them. If Chloe hadn't called, they'd never have known Clark was having problems.

He missed the days when Clark used to come to them for everything. It was still hard, accepting their little boy was all grown up with a life of his own. A family of his own. Which was the hardest part, in a way. He wondered if his father had felt the same way when he'd brought Martha to Smallville, his city-girl bride.

"I know it's none of our business, but I wish he would have come to us sooner." Martha squeezed his arm. "And poor Lex. He had to be devastated to do something so drastic."

He nodded, even though she couldn't see him. It made his gut ache to admit it, but... "Yeah, Lex is crazy about Clark, which is why they'll work it out."

Like it or not, Lex and Clark were committed to each other.

Jonathan fell asleep, haunted by dreams of Lois, Clark, and chubby dark-haired grandchildren with arms waving to be picked up.


SHORT 15: THE EPIPHANY

It was the crying that drew him.

Sifting through the wreckage of the plane crash, the others were busy separating the living from the dead. It was like a macabre game of dodge ball. Time to split into teams. Dead on the right. Living on the left.

When he found the source of the weeping, he hovered in the air. For the first time in a long time, he was uncertain what to do. A young man cradled a bloody body in his arms, the soft swell of breasts the only visible clue to gender. There was an air of grief in the air, a shimmer of despair, that had Superman pausing, uncertain as the first time he'd put on the blue suit and red boots.

Blond hair rose, and lost blue-grey eyes looked up at him through a sheen of tears, not really seeing him.

"We were supposed to have forever," he croaked out, voice raw and full of pain. Mouth slack with disbelief, he whispered, "It wasn't supposed to end like this."

"We were going to be together forever."


SHORT 16: THE CEASE FIRE

For the first time in over a month, he pushed open the door.

Lex was lying in bed, white sheets swallowing him up, pale blue comforter kicked into a pile on the floor.

Superman wasn't sure how long he stood there, watching him. Listening to the rhythm of Lex's breathing, the song of his heartbeat. The superhero knew the exact moment Lex woke up.

Blue-grey eyes fluttered open, blinking sleep-haziness away. Upon seeing Superman, they chilled, sweeping up and down the blue-clad form with a hint of anger. They paused, stilled on green eyes filled with tears, and thawed.

Lex held out his arms, murmuring, "Clark."


SHORT 17: THE MORNING AFTER

Fingers were brushing through his hair. Familiar touches, stroking him gently, making his scalp tingle. Causing a veritable flood of comfort and safety to flow through him.

His lips tilted up as the press of lips whispered across his temple. Wriggling into the warm body beneath him, he nuzzled into the soft skin of Lex's neck. Inhaling deeply, he breathed in Lex.

Lex.

"Go back to sleep," Lex said softly.

"Don't leave me."

A shocked silence filled the room.

"I missed you."

The fingers in his hair tightened.

"I couldn't bear living without you."

"What--"

"We're supposed to be together forever," Clark whispered against Lex's skin. "You are my forever."

Echoing in his mind, he could still hear a tear-laden voice.

"It wasn't supposed to end like this."

"We were going to be together forever."


SHORT 18: GROVEL, AND GROVEL HUGE

"All right, tell Anderson to move forward."

Clark padded through the hall, ears cocked to the sound of that beloved voice.

"No! I don't want to hear excuses. Just get it done."

His hands tightened on the white towel in his hands, wringing his hair roughly with the soft, plush material.

"Forward everything to Gabe. That's his project."

The towel around his waist slipped down his hips. It took only a moment to reknot it.

"Send the file to Charity. She'll know who it needs to go to." The clink of glass being set down on glass came from Lex's study, the whoosh and splash of liquid accompanying it.

Lex wasn't drinking, was he? At this time in the afternoon?

"Approved."

Clark didn't care how super Lex's liver was, he didn't like Lex drinking too much. It didn't matter how much alcohol had to be consumed to affect him, he still thought Lex bordered on alcoholic tendencies.

"No. Make sure Phillip approves of the wording first."

This is what happened when he messed up. When he didn't pay attention to Lex, when he didn't get his priorities straight. Instead of sulking for the last month, he should have been spending every moment he could with Lex.

"Have legal go over it."

Lex wouldn't be drinking.

"Call me if anything else comes up. I'll be at my home office all day, at this number."

What if Lex had died?

"Grant. This is Luthor. I need to know about your decision."

It could happen. Super-healing aside, if the injuries were bad enough...what if Lex didn't have time to heal...what if...

"That sounds doable. Courier the specs to Charity by the end of the week."

Heart clenching, he felt like something had ripped open his stomach. Like that time battling the Joker's Hit Squad. Because he kept picturing Lex in his mind, like that girl, in his arms. Bleeding. Broken. Still.

So terribly, terribly still.

"I'll have the updated plans to you by then."

The silence was the worst. Feeling the slippery, slick blood on his hands, growing tacky as the minutes passed. Lex's beautiful features sliced and smashed into a featureless lump. All of it so horrible, but nothing as bad as the silence.

No heartbeat. No swoosh of blood rushing through veins. No gurgling of body organs. No soft breath exhaling. No beloved voice, a silky smooth cadence, the best music ever.

"That isn't what--" Lex broke off, looking up as Clark pushed the door open. Blue eyes flickered over nakedness covered only by a slim width of white.

Clark saw a flash of desire, a flare of love, but both were quickly shut behind steel doors. He held the second towel in his right hand, letting it hang down towards the floor.

Lifeless.

So horribly lifeless.

"Excuse me for a moment." Hitting a button on the consol, Lex pursed his lips. "I'm busy."

"I'm sorry."

Lex stiffened.

"I was wrong."

"Clark--"

"It was supposed to be a practical joke," Clark confessed, the words tripping out of him. "I wanted to see your reaction. I knew you'd get mad, but you weren't supposed to stay mad. You were supposed to think it was funny, too."

"This isn't the time--"

"Eventually," Clark hastily added. "Because I saw some stupid commercial, and I thought 'Wouldn't it be funny if they made a Bobble-head Lex?', which was dumb now that I think about it. Don't be mad at the company that made it. They did it as a favor to Superman."

"As interesting as this is--"

"Please," Clark said, eyes dropping to his bare feet. "I'm so, so sorry. I was a jerk. I didn't think how it might hurt your feelings. I never thought...you're so confident all the time. Gorgeous. Smart. Sexy. Talented. At, like, everything. I never thought you'd...it wasn't to make fun of you. Or your...head."

"Grant, something came up. I'll call you back later."

Clark swallowed hard. "Everyone told me I should apologize. It made me all the more determined that I wasn't in the wrong, which was childish and stupid."

"Clark, you don't have to do this."

"Please don't leave me. Or kick me out. Or make me be alone anymore."

Breath caught in his throat, he listened as Lex walked over. Hands, familiar and dear, cupped his cheeks gently, urging him to lift his head.

"I love you," Lex said, when Clark finally looked at him. "That isn't going to change because we have a fight. Yes, this went on longer than it should have. The longer it went on, the more pissed off I became that you wouldn't apologize."

"I'm an idiot," Clark admitted. "I'm sorry."

"I know," Lex said, wrapping his arms around his waist. Pulling Clark into him, he pressed a kiss to a still-damp shoulder. "I'm sorry, too."


SHORT 19: AFTERNOON DELIGHT

"I need you."

"Shhhhhh..." Lex pressed a kiss to his stomach, hands skimming the top of the towel, fingertips tickling Clark's skin.

"Oh, please, Lex, please," Clark begged, head banging against the wall. He thrust his hips out, towel tented. "I need you so bad."

"I know," Lex murmured, undoing the towel. He pressed another kiss just below Clark's belly button, and then slowly licked the crevice where thigh and torso met.

"Ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap..."

Tongue and lips swirling around ever closer to what was really aching to be touched, Lex used his hands to stroke the outside of Clark's thighs and the curve of his butt.

Wet warmth surrounding him, Clark nearly banged a hole in the wall as pleasure enveloped him in an intensity that nearly had him crying. It had been so long, and last night had been so horrible, and the dreams. Nightmares. He needed Lex so much. So very much.

It was almost like the first time, the sense of wonder. Magic. It only took a few moments more before he was shaking in Lex's arms, Lex's throat swallowing and massaging. Knees trembling, he reached out to grab onto solid, lean shoulders covered in Lex's favorite Princeton sweatshirt.

"I got you," Lex murmured quietly, petting his thighs softly. "I got you."

Clark liked the sound of that.


SHORT 20: FUCKING BRUCE (NOT THAT WAY!)

"You're a moronic fool."

Clark forced his lips to curl up in a tight smile. "Yes."

"He should have thrown you out into the streets years ago."

It was a fight to keep the smile--if it could be called that--on his face.

"He's one of the best people I've ever known, and he's given you dozens of more chances than you deserve."

The killer was, it was true. Lex should have turned his back on him back in the old days. In Smallville. But for whatever reason, he wouldn't quit. Wouldn't admit defeat. No matter how many times Clark insulted him, called him names, lied to him, told him he was no better than his father. Even when he'd called the friendship off, told Lex to go to hell. Lex had declared that Clark Kent and Lex Luthor would have a friendship that would be legendary, and damn anyone who got in the way of that, including Clark Kent.

"He used to call me. Talk about you. If I'd known then what I know now, I'd have taken him out of that town myself."

Not that Lex had been perfect. Not that Lex hadn't lied. But Clark had never forgiven himself for starting their friendship with lies. For defining their relationship on his terms, his conditions, and even his admittedly childish, selfish take-and-take-some-more blindness.

"You nearly destroyed him."

Clark also couldn't forget all the times he'd purposefully hurt Lex. Justified head injuries for the greater good. Justified temper tantrums for wrongs committed. Justified harsh words for self-defense. Lex may have lied, he may have investigated, but he'd never once purposefully hurt Clark or his family.

"A lifetime of Lionel trying to break him unsuccessfully, and you nearly succeeded in just two years."

Clark swallowed hard, absorbing each accusation without a word. Bruce had a right to be angry. Often, the Wayne billionaire was the only one who took Lex's side completely, who always gave him the benefit of the doubt. If Clark went whining to his friends and family, Lex only had Bruce.

The bastard. The god damn bastard. Because deep down Clark knew but for a twist of fate, Bruce would have had Lex instead.

There was a very small part of him that would always wonder if Lex would have been happier.

"He could have married anyone."

And gotten killed, he snarled back silently. Guilt immediately flooded the brunette reporter. It wasn't Lex's fault he'd married two black widow bitches.

He nearly growled, thinking of Desiree and Helen.

"But he wants you."

"I know I don't deserve him." Clark kept the hostility out of his tone. Barely. He met Bruce's blue eyes openly. "But I need him. He's what keeps me sane. Centered. I'd rather die than ever leave him."

"You really hurt him."

Typical Bruce, going right for the jugular. But it was also true.

"I won't do it again."

Bruce remained stonily silent.

"I love him, Bruce."

"And he loves you." Bruce turned away, walking out of the room. Just before he closed the door, he added, "You will hurt him again. It's inevitable. But next time?"

Clark waited.

"Don't wait so long. I won't hesitate to interfere otherwise."


SHORT 21: GOOD NIGHT

"Do you think Bruce looks like me?"

Clark turned in time to catch a hint of unease pass through Lex's eyes. However, it was quickly replaced by amusement.

"Where is this coming from?" Lex leaned in to kiss Clark leisurely. Drawing away, he shook his head, smirking. "You've got to get past your animosity. Just because he stepped on your toes a little when you first met him..."

"He acted like he owned Gotham!"

"He does."

Clark didn't appreciate the dry tone or the lack of support.

"Don't pretend you aren't just as territorial about Metropolis."

"That's not the same!"

"Clark. You'd piss on every building if you thought you could get away with it."

"I would not!" Clark glared at Lex, thoroughly scandalized. What kind of person did Lex think he was!

Lex just rolled his eyes, slapping Clark's butt.

Grumbling, Clark turned over, not needing another 'helpful' hint. His pique calmed a little as Lex spooned in, curling behind him.

Lex was almost asleep, when Clark asked again, "So...do you think Bruce looks like me?"

Lex groaned.

END


ADDITIONAL AUTHOR'S NOTES AND CREDITS:

NOTE II: Lacey McBain's Cow Drabbles can be found at her live journal entry: http://www.livejournal.com/users/laceymcbain/78102.html#cutid1 I love Lacey's drabbles--especially considering I am in awe of anyone who can tell a story in 100 words--and this series is cute, funny, and too damn sweet for words. I'm a sucker for a "Lex finds out" story, and if you mix in krypto-mutation-weirdness, I'm hooked. Highly recommended drabble series that tells a warm-fuzzy inducing story that's worth checking out. Lacey, you are a Goddess. I worship at the altar of denim-clad Clark, his little red backpack, and mad scientist Lex. My tail is swishing, too. NOTE III: When I picture Bruce, it's always the Bruce from the animation (originally on FOX and was most recently found on Cartoon Network). He and Clark look eerily alike, almost like brothers, down to their blue eyes! Also, I've always been fascinated by the antagonism, hostility, and genuine respect (bordering on friendship) between the two superheroes. This Bruce (from the animation), and his relationship with Superman, is echoed in this story.